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Facelifts and dentistry

187935219Crows feet… wrinkles… frown lines… just thinking about these natural parts of aging gives me anxiety! Botox is probably one of the first remedies that comes to mind as a solution to the effects of aging. And if you think you’re alone in the stress of aging, you’re wrong! The demand for cosmetic procedures and surgery has skyrocketed in the past decade. According to a review by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “Botox injections jumped 700 percent since 2000”. Wouldn’t it be great if patient acceptance of dental treatment jumped by those statistics?

But what does this have to do with dentistry?

Leadership through self-help books

reading a book

I’m a big fan of self-help books. I’m not talking about “Golf For Dummies” but just good old nonfiction reads. Whether it’s financial or marital advice (“5 Love Languages” anyone?), I really believe that you can find answers to most your problems in books. Is a book as effective as a financial adviser, maybe not; but it’s a lot less expensive.

So whether or not you’re currently attending ASDA’s National Leadership Conference in Chicago this weekend, you can still gain a lot of leadership insights just from picking up some reading material. Yes, you’ll have to put down the study guides and textbooks for a minute, but the break from dentistry might do you some good.

Read on for a list of leadership reads that can set you on the path to success in dental school and beyond.

My experience at UDM’s summer enrichment program

After a four hour long trip from McAllen to San Antonio, TX, we had arrived at the annual ADEA GoDental fair. My university, The University of Texas – Pan American, had a large number of predental students attend. We also stopped at the other Texas dental schools on the way.

What else was there to learn? I took the opportunity to explore outside of my comfort zone. I made an effort to speak to various dental schools that I had already researched online to find out more information. Out of the many schools I came across, one school caught my eye in particular. Dr. Young, the director of multicultural affairs, and a dental student, Matt, representing the University of Detroit Mercy – School of Dentistry had really guided me the most. They introduced me to UDM’s Summer Enrichment Program, which would teach me more about dentistry and help me to discover more about myself and my career aspirations. This enrichment program targets students who come from educational or financially disadvantaged backgrounds.

Know the drill on health insurance marketplaces

142030139For the first 21 years of my life, I did not have dental insurance. I just paid out-of-pocket costs whenever I needed care. For me, this wasn’t an issue because I took care of my teeth and, thankfully, didn’t have many problems. I always assumed, however, that if a problem ever did arise, getting the information on attaining dental insurance would be as simple as asking my dentist.

Juggling full-time dental school and part-time research for the first time

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 10.55.43 PMWhen applying to dental school, I wasn’t considered your traditional student. I attended community college, completed a post-bac program and did not have research experience–something many predental students have experience in. Although I graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a research heavy institution, I was never exposed research. And when I realized having a research background would help my application to dental school, it was too late. Once I matriculated at UCSF for dental school, I realized having research experience is not necessary and thought to myself, “I didn’t have to do research to get in and I never will have to do it.” Things changed very quickly.