If you can believe it, we are completely done with our first year of dental school!! I’m now writing you from the beach, pina colada in hand, as we have a week-long vacation before beginning our second year of school (D2). Final grades still haven’t been released, but I can’t say I care too much at the moment since I’m enjoying the sand beneath my feet; I will say I do feel a lot better about how my hard work panned out since my last post, “Stayin’ Alive”, though.
So many events happened the past couple months that it’s hard to keep up… but here were some of my favorite activities:
- Florida Mission of Mercy is a huge annual event that takes place over two days. It’s not part of the University of Florida but a lot of students use it as an opportunity to gain dental experience and serve the community. The mission is to provide professional dental services at no cost to patients who are underserved or uninsured in Florida. This year the event took place in Ft. Myers in the middle of March. I signed up for assisting in the restorative dental clinic in the morning and sterilizing instruments in the afternoon but ended up volunteering two shifts as an endodontic assistant instead since the endo clinic was short-staffed. Since I had never even seen a root canal in person, I was in HEAVEN. I learned so much from a team of amazing dentists and got to work with the sweetest patients. Below is a shot of Brett, Dhara, Missy and myself after a long day of assisting!
- White Coats! The Class of 2021 was invited to try on white coats to make sure we have the right fit for our White Coat Ceremony in July. I might be more excited about this ceremony than our actual graduation! It’s the real “dentist coat” with our names and school embroidered across the top that we get to wear in clinics and I guess it makes me feel a little cool.
- Bicuspid Ball is hosted every year by the D3 class. It’s basically Dental School Prom and it was a blast! In fact, this year’s theme was “Odontoblast”, with a sort of futuristic feel. We danced the night away and got to explore the brand-new Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention in Gainesville. My friend Karley offered to do updos for the party so I took the opportunity to get my very first professional updo! She did an insanely good job and I felt so fancy!
- Super Sealant Saturday is an event hosted at UFCD every year that includes an oral exam and sealant placement for kids. Sealants are a cost-efficient preventive care technique that protects hard-to-brush areas like the deep grooves in the first molars. I got to spend my day working the photo booth with our mascot, Molar Man, andassisting with Oral Health Instructions for families. Speaking of sealants, we got to do our first real dental procedure on each other in our cariology clinical course! I was a little hesitant that we were using etch and resin sealants on one another with only one day of practice in sim lab, but it was a non-invasive procedure and faculty was there to assist, so everything came out smoothly!
- But I didn’t prepare for everything. I schedule things meticulously. My planner is color-coded with times and dates, events and reminders. But I didn’t schedule getting sick. So you can imagine my dismay when I woke up at 2 AM the morning of a physiology exam and spent the next seven hours looking pitifully at my saltine crackers and Ginger Ale for some relief (I’ll save you the glamorous details of that morning). Long story short, I’m a huge baby and wasn’t ready for this so I showed my face for my hour of exam and then spent the rest of that day in bed. Oh, and I can’t forget about my loupes. The right lens popped out of my trusty $1400 loupes about a week before my psychomotor… so I learned to prep and restore a Class I without any magnification. It wasn’t fun, but I’m happy to report the loupes are being repaired, upgraded and sent back by my wonderful representative at Designs for Vision and they were super accommodating, even though I couldn’t get them back in time to perform for psychomotor. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches!
- Oh, so this is why I’ll never be able to listen to Drake the same way again. Our Cariology professor assigned us preventive dentistry topics and requested we make a video 3-5 minutes long to educate the class on each topic. Let me just say… some of those videos were phenomenal. I got to see some serious creativity by my classmates and have chosen two gems to share with you: