Organization is key in the juggling act we call dental school. Here are some of the things that make my life a lot easier in clinic and it just so happens that they all fit into scrub pockets!
1) A good planner
– Paper planner (Pocket-sized so you can keep in your scrubs)
– Smartphone calendar (My absolute favorite: Fantastical; see #9 below)
2) Two pens
– Why two? Someone will always ask to borrow one and not give it back right away, and that will be the precise time you need your pen.
– The ‘7 year pen’ is supposed to last 7 years (I know what you’re thinking: “If I don’t lose it first…”)
3) Business cards
Info to include:
– Your name, clinic location, phone number (see below)
– Other side can include Appointment information (Date, time)
Sources for printing:
– Your school may print them for you
– Order cheaply through websites
– Print your own using free templates online
4) Google voice
– Call and text patients (and vice versa) with a different phone number from own phone
– Voicemail accessible remotely, automatically transcribed for you
5) Documentation of paperwork
– Snap a photo with your phone to ‘scan’ them
– Keep track of what you’ve turned in with Evernote or a spreadsheet
*Remember, anything with patient information should be encrypted and password protected to be HIPAA compliant, there are lots of resources online on how to do this. Check with your school about specific policies.
6) Scrubs, scrubs, and more scrubs
7) Lip balm
– My personal favorite: Aquaphor (very moisturizing, long lasting and not too glossy so guys can use it too)
– More professional than smacking gum around your patients and faculty
– A dentist with bad breath is never good, even when you wear that mask
9) Timesaving smartphone/iPad apps
– Free checklist maker for multiple lists like ‘Classes’ or ‘Clinic’
– Email any of your checklists with one click
– Share lists with other people for group projects, etc.
Evernote– Free notetaking app
– Attach and open PDFs, Word docs, spreadsheets easily
– Cloud system that syncs/saves automatically
Fantastical (Apple products only)
– Calendar app around $5
– Type out agenda item such as “Lecture Thurs 8-9” like a text and the app automatically figures out what you mean
These are, of course, just my opinion for what I find helpful in clinic. What are your ‘must-haves’ for clinic or pre-clinic? Are you more of an old-school paper planner and pen kind of a student, or do you use your smartphone for everything? Do share your tips here!
~Jiwon Lee, Columbia ’14, president