Poetry in motion

Anacristina Chapa is more than just a dental student. She is also a poet — and a well-recognized one at that. She was named the 2016 Poetry Slam Champ of Laredo BorderSlam and has competed in various regional competitions. Last year, she was a member of Houston’s Write About Now poetry team and competed in the National Poetry Slam competition in Denver. She has received media attention for her work illustrating modern life, especially for college-age students and Latinos.

Patient consent and dental anxiety

In February 2017, the Journal of Dental Hygiene published results of a study that found 19% of the sampled population had moderate to high dental anxiety. Dental practitioners are well aware of the clinical challenges posed by patient anxiety. But one situation in which its influence may be overlooked is during the informed consent process. Informed consent is an essential component of the treatment sequence as well as an ethical obligation of every practicing dentist. It rests on the ability of the professional to communicate effectively with the patient and on the capacity of the patient to understand and synthesize the relevant information. The ultimate goal is to allow the patient to arrive at an autonomous decision.

When life throws you a clot: my experience with pulmonary emboli

Intravenous IV drip I will always remember learning how to cut a crown preparation for the first time. As I sat in class and looked down at my hands, I wondered if they would ever be skilled and steady enough to refine a margin or achieve the perfect taper. I felt intimidated, but the crushing weight and pressure on my chest did not feel like normal school stress or anxiety. At that exact moment, life was literally throwing me a curve ball (or as I later found out, three).

In our lab session following class, I found myself struggling to catch my breath and felt extreme discomfort in my chest and arms. With the help of faculty members and classmates, I was taken to the emergency room, where I waited for hours with many unanswered questions. My diagnosis finally came: three pulmonary emboli. While it felt reassuring to know exactly what I was facing, I had no idea what a long struggle the recovery would be.