Moving to New Orleans to start dental school felt like traveling to a whole new world. The streets, the climate, the architecture, the people — everything was different. For a long time I felt out of my element, especially once dental school started.
It was the last day of October in Chicago, and coming from sunny California, I was captivated by the city’s snow-sheathed streetlights and wispy winds. The city lights illuminated the “Bean’s” location nestled in Millennium Park. Eating deep dish pizza at a restaurant just minutes away would warm my frozen fingers and give my body ample energy for the days to come.
As a fourth-year dental student who is halfway through my last year, I think back to the beginning of dental school — those days of uncertainty, the dental lingo that did not yet have any meaning and a work ethic I strived to grow into. By your D4 year, you will have gained a newfound confidence. Instead of wondering what you are doing, you determine what you don’t know and how to find the answers. You will have built a patient base and discovered areas of dentistry that you like the most. The following outlines things you can look forward to as you transition into your fourth year.
If you’ve experienced clinic, I suspect you have had at least one difficult conversation with a patient. Having these types of talks is one of the hardest parts of our jobs and can occur every day. As dental professionals, it is our duty to report the facts about our patient’s oral health to them. Once the patient is informed, they are tasked with making a decision about the course of treatment. How can we make these conversations easier for ourselves and our patients?
As busy dental students, our credit score is the last thing we want to think about, but it is never too early to start building your credit. Building my credit score and maximizing credit card spending rewards are two of my hobbies. In my downtime, I like to check my credit scores and online bank statements, as well as read financial articles. Earlier this year, the method in calculating credit scores was changed. The new scoring system is being implemented by a company called VantageScore, which was created by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These changes could affect your credit score overall, whether you have good or bad credit. But how is your score calculated in the first place? Here are some factors that impact your credit score.
When I was applying to dental school, I was full of hope, dreams and aspirations. My personal statement was chock-full of determination, resilience and steadfastness. Absolutely nothing was going to stop me from accomplishing my dream of getting into dental school.
This is an open letter to the incoming first years. Congratulations! You made it through a tough application process and the fun is just about to begin. The next four years will be a whirlwind of new experiences and knowledge that will sculpt you into who you will be as a future practitioner. Here are seven steps to help you have a successful first year: