In dental school, we are often surrounded by ambitious and driven students, who are often called “gunners.” Gunners seek success, can be competitive and may act on self-interest without thinking of their fellow classmates.
The journey to dentistry is associated with high levels of stress due to habits of perfectionism, economic pressures, the constant need for approval, overwhelming situations and patient anxiety. Therefore, our brains often require a decluttering process I like to call “mental floss.”
For myself and my fellow third-year dental students, this summer was a time of great transition from the simulation lab to clinic. We donned face shields and nervously stepped into the unknown world of patient care.
For all of us, the past six months have brought adjustment after adjustment. Bad news has littered our TV screens, we’ve experienced stress like never before, and life as we know it has changed — possibly forever. It’s been a lot to handle, and for my classmates and I, the start of clinic as DS3 students was thrown into the middle of all it.
You’ve all likely heard the phrase “get some fresh air” to reduce your tension or to help you think more clearly. But did you know this advice is actually based on fact? Nature has been proven to boost cognitive function and mood.
The journey to receiving that acceptance letter is not easy. A student — let’s call her Jamie — must complete all necessary prerequisite courses with good grades, then accumulate a competitive overall and science GPA. Additionally, Jamie must show her dedication to service and her interest in the health care field through extracurricular activities.
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.