On your way: Thinking beyond graduation

The first rule of dentistry is that you never stop learning. Laying the foundation for lifelong learning — and for earning recognition along the way — is still a top priority. Your dental education continues right into the world of practice. By remaining alert and open to new science, techniques, procedures and instruments, you’ll discover that you get much more right than you get wrong, especially if you don’t get in a hurry.

Although dental school graduation marks the close of your apprenticeship, it doesn’t mark the end of your training. An old saying in the profession is that in five years, half of everything you learned in dental school will be obsolete—but you can’t predict which half. So, it’s important to recognize that education comes in less formal settings. Professional associations provide an uninterrupted continuum of information from the past and into the future.

If you’re becoming a general dentist, joining the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) gives you a distinctive voice in the profession, and is a supportive environment throughout your career. For dental students, AGD helps you grow before you even leave school, providing ways to connect with peers and mentors through local student chapters, assistance finding a residency program or even giving discounted or free registration to national education events. And, when your needs shift from your dental school days to practicing as a new dentist, AGD provides resources essential to starting your career with opportunities to obtain refinancing on your student loans, and offering benefits which allow you to sign up for free professional liability insurance. They can even help you find your first job.

As you spend your days focusing on your career, you may find yourself drifting into isolation. While finding your rhythm is essential, don’t become so comfortable in your routines that you stagnate. Stay in touch with your classmates and colleagues. Attending local events and educational programs with like-minded people in your same situation can provide a wealth of support and help keep life balanced.

As long as you remain engaged and connected, the inevitable changes will make for a stimulating and satisfying career.

~Academy of General Dentistry

This content is sponsored and does not necessarily reflect the views of ASDA.

Academy of General Dentistry

Founded in 1952, AGD is the only association that exclusively represents the needs and interests of general dentists, providing more than 40,000 members with resources and support to deliver the best dental care and oral health education to the public.

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