I grew up in Heredia, Costa Rica, one of the richest coffee-producing cities in the country. Costa Rica has over 900 bird species, which account for 10% of the earth’s avian population diversity.
In dental school, we are often surrounded by ambitious and driven students, who are often called “gunners.” Gunners seek success, can be competitive and may act on self-interest without thinking of their fellow classmates.
If you have been on TikTok recently, you have probably come across a video featuring the following quote: “You have to start romanticizing your life. You have to start believing that your morning commute is cute and fun — that every cup of coffee is the best that you’ve ever had. That even the smallest and most mundane things are exciting and new.”
Every prospective dental student has their reasons for why they want to become a dentist. I came to the field like many others, taken by the opportunity to help patients day-to-day by relieving their dental pain and addressing their aesthetic concerns through clinical and artistic skills.
Between balancing coursework, preparing dental school applications and maintaining a social life, it’s inevitable to not feel overwhelmed or stressed. The pandemic has exacerbated challenges with our physical health, while also amplifying many academic, mental and social challenges.
Whether it be for a routine cleaning or a surgical extraction, many patients face fear and anxiety when visiting the dentist. According to a December 2013 Australian Dental Journal study, it has been estimated that one in seven people exhibit a high level of dental fear.
Senior year of high school, the glory year of being at the top of the social food chain, a 17-year-old Adam Berry was playing the most sacred sport in South Dakota: ice hockey. Berry, a varsity player, was looking to score a winning goal at a home game. The crowd was cheering, the ice sleek, the players racing down the rink.