Travel + Leisure

Residents Talk Summer Fun Tips for Dental Students

As the weather starts to get warmer and spring rain is watering the earth, many dental students are looking forward to summer break. It is always a balance between relaxing and being productive during any break in dental school. To make summer planning easier, here, current residents offer some recommendations on how to make the most of the season, as well as discuss their favorite memories from vacations past.

What was your most memorable vacation?

“I went solo-backpacking after D1 to London, Paris, Brussels, Cologne, Prague and Munich. I went on a non-profit photography organization trip to Iceland the year before, and I met a lot of people there. It was an organization where they took photographs and did exhibitions for charity. Although it was a solo-backpacking trip, I was able to visit the people I met through the previous trip.”

—Gina Lee, DMD, Ortho Resident, Class of 2022

What was the most relaxing part of your vacation?

“I went to Korea for the first time when I was invited to an International Association for Dental Research (IADR) research trip. My wife and I found a coffee shop with 3-D puzzles. We had some coffee, and made 3-D dinosaurs and butterflies. I enjoyed it so much that I bought the puzzles and brought them home. Eating good food in Korea also took part in that relaxation.”

—Curtis Dugas, DMD, Perio Resident, Class of 2022

What did you do to have the most fun?

“My 24th birthday was during the break, so I went to Amsterdam. I went with my three dental school friends, and we stayed in homestays. We went to all the places that tourists go. I was there for only three days, but it was a blast. Then I went to Brussels for the second time.”

—Gina Lee, DMD, Ortho Resident, Class of 2022

What did you do during the break that was productive?

“Research. I helped a lot of students who wanted to get into residencies with their research. I was involved in 15 different projects other than my own, and they all ended up getting into residencies. I was happy to help them with their journeys. I also felt accomplished, receiving awards and prizes. It was worth the trouble.”

—Youjin Chung, DMD, Prostho Resident, Class of 2022

What did you do during break that might have helped you to get into residencies?

“A research presentation for Perio and AGD. It was interesting to see everything geared toward the surgical end without restorative. It was field-focused. I was presenting alongside residents and their faculties. It was a great networking tool.”

—Curtis Dugas, DMD, Perio Resident, Class of 2022

Anything else you wish you could have done in dental school?

“I wish I enjoyed dental school more, [along with the breaks, taking more vacations]. I would have wanted to go to Europe and to Korea to enjoy my family’s company, but it was busy with school and my kid.”

—Youjin Chung, DMD, Prostho Resident, Class of 2022

Although there are still some restrictions with traveling nowadays, we can always plan ahead to make sure we make the most of our summer break — whether it’s relaxing with family or having fun with close friends and enjoying new hobbies (such as coffee shops with 3-D puzzles). We can also be productive by doing research or participating in online conferences. These are only a few examples, but the options are endless.

Have a happy and safe summer break!

~Se Won Hwang, Pittsburgh ’22

Se Won Hwang

Se Won Hwang is a third-year student at University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. She enjoys exploring restaurants in different cities with friends and family, and she plays the flute, paints, and meditates to wind down and relax.

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