Before I started dental school, I asked one of my dentistry mentors what she thought my biggest challenge would be. “Time,” she answered. But I wasn’t worried. I had a busy husband, three kids involved in sports and community groups, and a small business.
Dentistry has long been a family profession beginning with my great uncle and my grandfather. This led to both my dad and my aunt following in their father’s footsteps. As I embarked on my first year of dental school in fall 2017, my cousin did as well.
I created this video with the intent to encourage other dental students with families that it is possible to balance school life with family life. It can be overwhelming juggling diapers with crown preps. I do not have it all figured out, but if there is any wisdom to be learned from my mistakes, I hope to pass that on to others like me!
When you’ve grown up in a town with a population totaling 9,074 people, wanting to become a dentist at the age of 12 might seem a bit far-fetched. What I didn’t realize at the time was how a rural hometown would benefit me in the process of becoming a dentist as well as when I return home to practice after graduation.
The dentists that have become my mentors are a husband and wife team, and they have known my family and me since I was in preschool. They have invested their attention in me for years and shown me the ropes of a dental practice. Since they both grew up in my little hometown, they knew exactly the position I would be in going into school. They also told me how financially beneficial it could be to come back and work in my hometown after graduation.
It’s now 11 p.m. You’re still on campus studying for tomorrow morning’s oral pathology exam which you’re ill-prepared for. You’ve got an ASDA lunch and learn tomorrow that you have to organize, and you’re seeing your first patient in the afternoon. You also have two unfinished fixed pros projects in the sim lab that you have to complete before the end of the week.