You’ve been crouched over your patients for hours. Your hands are starting to cramp and your neck is getting a bit stiff. You don’t really have the time to stop and go get a massage so you push through the discomfort and finish delivering the necessary care. Unfortunately this is a common response to pain. It’s a negative habit that can have real physical consequences in the future.
So…you graduate from dental school and you want to buy a practice. You know what state you want to practice in, but not much else; they didn’t teach you the business side of dentistry after all! So where do you start?
There are numerous benefits dentistry offers, but unlike other professions, ours offers opportunities for travel. It may seem like you only travel to the simulation lab or clinic. Do not be fooled by the four walls of your school as there are opportunities. It is easy to get caught up in the business of our lives while in school. Endless deadlines, lab work, progress notes and consults can seem like a never-ending to-do list. Opportunities to travel lie in every pit and fissure.
When a computer becomes overrun with more information than its processor can handle, it crashes. The human brain responds much the same. Take me, for example. I recently wrapped up an ordinary day in the life of a third-year dental student. I had lectures in the morning and treated patients in the afternoon. On the ride home, something felt off. Everything I needed to get done was passing through my mind. I needed to study, finish lab work and prepare a treatment plan for tomorrow’s patient. Aside from school responsibilities, my wife needed me to get groceries. I got home, dropped my bag and knelt on the floor. All at once, those thoughts flooded my brain and I could not move. I just sat there, emotional and frozen.
The 2014 U.S. Census estimated 63.7 million adults 65 years and older will be living in the United States by 2050. Elderly adults are now more likely to keep their teeth, live independently and demand better care. However, they are also more likely to have xerostomia, physical or cognitive impairments and other comorbidities.
Most of us would agree that beginning dental school is challenging. I’d liken it to being in the passenger seat of a muscle car during a drag race. You’re excited to get going, but largely unprepared for the change of pace that you’re about to experience. How we adapt during this time is instrumental to our future success.
With the second year of the ADAT test cycle underway, and the first testing window of three completed, there is a lot to gain from the experiences of our colleagues. For one, they’ve shown that while the ADAT is challenging, it can also be manageable with the proper study approach. Based off their feedback, here are some key strategies for preparing for the ADAT as well as specific tips for the dental student, general dentist and international dentist.