My four years of dental school flew by. When I was trying to survive dental school, it seemed long and arduous — unending. However, when I stood on the stage to receive my doctoral hooding earlier this year, I couldn’t believe how fast those years came and went. It seemed like just yesterday I started my dental school journey and looking back on it now as a prosthodontics resident, I realize there are a few things I learned throughout the process.
Update your ADA Find-a-Dentist profile so potential new patients can find you wherever you land. Digitize your records for credentialing and learn about your student loan refinancing options to get a step up on paying off your debt.
Each year, more than 6,000 dental students across the United States obtain dental licenses through a patient-based clinical licensure exam. As a dental student, I’ve learned all about what the test will entail: performing two fillings and a cleaning on a live patient, and then preparing a crown, bridge and an anterior root canal on plastic teeth. I’ve also learned about the controversies surrounding the exam.
You think you are finished. After surviving your classes and practicals and passing boards, you prepare for graduation and then you realize you have yet to figure out what exactly you’re supposed to do next. That was me in summer 2016. I had been so consumed with my school work and extracurricular activities that I neglected the reason why I came to school — to get a job.
In April 2012, I emptied my class locker, turned in my required department signatures and stood in line with half a dozen classmates to terminate clinic privileges as a graduating dental student. Maybe I was expecting confetti or balloons. A parade for all of us seemed appropriate. But instead, there was just some paperwork to be completed and the return of my student ID and ASDA office key.
Whether in school or after in a practice setting, achieving your goals will usually come down to one thing: being a good leader. Leaders in a dental practice are the backbone of an operation; a good leader can inspire an inexperienced team to do things that a team that has been together for 10+ years but with no leadership cannot. Because a successful leader is invaluable to any team, at Heartland Dental, we invest in leadership development for supported doctors. While a leader needs to be many things to be successful, here are just a few of the most important traits to have.
As a dental student or resident, you probably haven’t thought much beyond getting your first job. Once you get your first job, you are going to have a lot of decisions to make. Hopefully, one of the first ones will be to decide what to do with the money from your paycheck that you don’t spend. If you have student loan debt, you might be ready to throw your entire paycheck at your debt. Should you? Maybe, maybe not. It’s different for everyone. But here are some things to consider.