If you keep up with Mouthing Off, then you’ve read several posts about stress relief and mental health. And if you are like me, you read them, but you don’t change any habits because of the notion that “there’s not enough time” to do so. Despite their stress-relieving benefits, I was continually telling myself that I didn’t have the time to do yoga or meditate. Over the past couple months, though, I noticed that with graduation looming, I was not sleeping well. I believed my lack of sleep was due to increased stress, so, while awake in the middle of the night, I searched for ways to relieve stress.
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 a fourth-year student approaching graduation, it can be hard to stay motivated. Over the past four years, you have worked hard, and now you feel “senioritis” looming. Although coasting to the finish line seems appealing, it may not be the best option. If you have completed your competencies, you may find yourself with a lot of free time. Use that time to expand your education. Here are some ideas to build on your educational foundation during your final semester.
It’s Monday morning. You roll over in bed and hear the alarm clock going off. At 6 a.m., there is nothing you’d rather do more than hit the snooze button and go back to sleep. We all know how this story ends because we all have likely been there: You keep hitting “snooze” and then end up running late. Starting the mornings off on the wrong foot can affect your productivity all day. Here are six ways to help you get out of bed on time.
My wife and I knew it was time for a change. We were a six months away from our wedding date and we wanted to get in shape. The lifestyle of dental school and working life had made unflattering changes to our bodies. Essentially, we wanted to get in shape before we said ‘I do.’ We joined a gym to begin our fitness journey. After a month we were seeing some results, but not as rapidly as we needed. Gym leaders discussed the opportunity to participate in an ‘elimination style’ diet. I had never heard of an elimination diet before, but we were both intrigued. Our decision to participate in the diet provided us the results we desired in time for our special day. But what is an elimination diet?
Explaining dental procedures in an understandable way to patients can be trying at times. During treatment planning appointments I often find myself talking to a patient that appears completely lost. I try to search Google to find the perfect image to depict what I am talking about. Many times I am unable to find that image. Searching the internet can be time-consuming and fruitless. Discussing treatment options with patients can be increasingly difficult for dental students entering the clinic. The difficulty lies in the details. As students, we spend years learning fancy vocabulary that oral health professionals understand. Simplifying treatment to aid in patient understanding can be challenging for even the most experienced dentists. However, there are resources available that can aid in conversations with patients about common dental procedures.