January is often a time for new beginnings. Ideas are drafted, goals are set and plans are made. Oftentimes, these goals involve fitness, weight loss or dieting. While these are important factors of health and wellness, they can get old quickly, leaving you feeling bad about falling off the wagon. I am by no means an expert, but I have found that training for something — anything — has made it easier to stick to a resolution.
Public service announcement: Justine Bednarski is a closeted shopaholic (pun intended). Aside from not owning enough hangers for the surplus of tops I have somehow accumulated, my kryptonite lies in the hands of the shoe gods. Although trendy, my riding boots and strappy wedges weren’t quite the style of shoe appropriate for the pre-clinical and clinical settings of dental school.
Let me be completely transparent: I’m hardly a “light” packer by nature. The suitcase I took on a recent trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, weighed in at a hefty 64 pounds. Want to see me lose my cool? Ask me to magically find a home for 14 pounds of shoes at 4 a.m. in the airport.
When you spend six weeks traveling Europe with a standard 45-liter backpack, you have to get very creative with your limited space. So, over the years, I’ve adapted out of necessity.
Dentistry is a door to many unexpected opportunities. This was certainly the case for Dr. Sam Smiley of Dublin, Ohio. 13 years into his career, Dr. Smiley received a fateful call from the Columbus Zoo. A 350-pound western gorilla was not eating properly and was in obvious distress. Dr. Smiley was asked if he’d perform a dental exam during the gorilla’s routine physical. He agreed, and so began his career as a volunteer dentist for the Columbus Zoo.
I am a first generation American. Both my mother and father grew up in communist Poland. After overcoming many obstacles, they were fortunate to obtain their U.S. citizenship and establish themselves in my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. My parent’s immigration to the United States is heroic in my eyes. They made sure their future family would have lives filled with opportunity. Neither of my parents had the chance to go to college or get advanced degrees, but they understood the meaning of education in the U.S. They instilled in me the importance of achieving. My parents did not specifically push me into a professional degree. However, due to their constant encouragement to excel, I grew to love academia and dreamed of becoming a dentist. The next question was: how on earth was I going to achieve this?
With so many factors that go into treatment planning (cost, insurance coverage, time requirements, length of procedures, knowledge of the treatment, fear), sometimes we may lose sight of what is best for the patient. Never make assumptions. Get to know your patients. Make sure that he or she understands what the procedure entails and is clear on the pros and cons of every treatment option. Taking the time to listen to the patient and explain all possible treatment options and ways for future prevention is paramount to treating each person in the best way possible.
Today kicks off our celebration of the second annual ASDA National Predental Week! ASDA chapters and predental clubs will be hosting events throughout the week, such as dental school admissions workshops, dental lab simulations and dental school tours, to engage current ASDA predental members and encourage new predentals to join ASDA. Check out our list of events to find one near you!