The dentist’s role in fighting the opioid epidemic

For the second year in a row, the U.S. life expectancy has declined, and the ongoing opioid epidemic is at least partly to blame, according to a report published in December 2017 by the National Center for Health Statistics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, death rates tied to drug overdoses climbed 18 percent each year between 2014 and 2016. Over 63,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2016, with adults between 25–54 years old being the most likely victims.

Getting personal with your statement

Now that Dec. 1 and Phase I/II Match Days have passed, it’s time for the next round of prospective dental school and residency applicants to start thinking about that personal statement. Many of us remember struggling as predental students to convey our passion for dentistry – all without using the word ‘passion’ – in only 4,500 characters. Yet, whether you’re a predental student or a residency hopeful, writing that personal statement rarely comes easy. After all, the personal statement is often considered the most important part of your application. When thousands of equally qualified candidates are applying to the same program with a similar GPA, test scores and extracurriculars, how can you make yourself stand out among the rest?

Global perspectives through dental school

As a dental student at the University of Michigan, three separate vacations of two weeks each are generally all the break time we get each year. Like students at other programs, this time is usually spent recuperating after final exams and maybe taking a quick vacation to get away. However, thanks to opportunities put in place by our university, students here have the opportunity to travel to places like Greece, Kenya and Guyana during their breaks.

This past August, I was able to take an eye-opening trip to the Bauru School of Dentistry in Brazil. The trip allowed me to experience dentistry not only in a different school but in a different hemisphere. These immersive programs may not seem like top priority when starting school, but after experiencing it firsthand I cannot recommend it enough.

Has the Flint, Michigan, water crisis hit a nerve in the fluoride debate?

flint water crisisWhen the water source of a small community in Michigan was switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River due to financial issues, the devastating long term effects of this decision took the nation by storm. During the nearly two years that the city of Flint was using the toxic water source, its citizens cried out for help. But by the time the city reacted, the damage was irreversible in many ways. According to an article from NPR on April 20, 2016, a resident of Flint had her water tested for lead at 104,000 parts per billion in 2015. The Environmental Protection Agency’s limit for drinking water is 15,000 parts per billion.

What to expect at National Dental Student Lobby Day

With Annual Session over now, you won’t have to wait long to get your next national ASDA meeting fix. Carry that ASDA fever excitement over to National Dental Student Lobby Day which is coming up on April 13-14 in Washington, DC. Come and advocate on behalf of your profession and your classmates. Whether it is your first or your fourth lobby day, I can promise it will be an experience you won’t forget.

Read on for tips for attending National Dental Student Lobby Day!

My experience at UDM’s summer enrichment program

After a four hour long trip from McAllen to San Antonio, TX, we had arrived at the annual ADEA GoDental fair. My university, The University of Texas – Pan American, had a large number of predental students attend. We also stopped at the other Texas dental schools on the way.

What else was there to learn? I took the opportunity to explore outside of my comfort zone. I made an effort to speak to various dental schools that I had already researched online to find out more information. Out of the many schools I came across, one school caught my eye in particular. Dr. Young, the director of multicultural affairs, and a dental student, Matt, representing the University of Detroit Mercy – School of Dentistry had really guided me the most. They introduced me to UDM’s Summer Enrichment Program, which would teach me more about dentistry and help me to discover more about myself and my career aspirations. This enrichment program targets students who come from educational or financially disadvantaged backgrounds.