Starting D2 and the Candy Store for Dentists

Yay, welcome to D2! We’ve been working hard in our first summer semester but are still carving out time for making memories… other than radiographic localization techniques and type IV hypersensitivity.

Put some SHPEP in your step!

River Oak Dental Students observe candy effects on teeth.
Impressions Program waxing in sim lab. Photo courtesy of UFCD.

One UF Health Science Center’s (UFHSC) greatest attributes is their advocation for students of all walks of life. I got to enjoy one of their outreach opportunities firsthand this year by volunteering with the 2018 Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP). Basically, SHPEP invites students who are interested not only in dentistry, but in medical, pharmacy or public health and immerses them into classes, laboratories, rotations and workshops to gain hands-on experience in each profession.

Through an application process, several students who may not otherwise have access to such resources get a taste of our world for six weeks. A similar opportunity taking place over the summer that is unique to the College of Dentistry is the Impressions Program. I had the pleasure of meeting students in both programs and assisting many of their first experiences taking impressions, waxing teeth in a sim lab, and doing mock school interviews. Watching these pre-dents and pre-health students made me so full of life and was a great reminder of where we started!

Florida Dental Convention (FDC)

River Oak UF College of Dentistry Palm Bay FLBeing a part of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) has been more rewarding than I expected! It included admission to FDC this year, which is a massive event held over a weekend that offered hundreds of Continuing Education courses, included a big vendor fair and was a dynamic networking environment for everyone tied to the dental field. It’s the whole “kid in a candy store” feeling you’d imagine, especially since it took place at the Gaylord Palms. The courses I attended were insightful for life after dental school and highlighted treating patients with autism and how to be an effective Medicaid dentist. I took home freebies and learned about the latest and greatest products and technology for patients. I highly recommend taking this trip if you’re a pre-dent or dental student to get some vision for life after school. These gals and I will definitely make this a yearly tradition!

River Oak Dental Students smiling for group photo Palm Bay FL River Oak Dental Students Class photo. Healthy, smiling faces, Palm Bay FL

Discovering New Careers

I’m often asked why I want to be a dentist. Among my several answers is that dentistry has dozens of doors to open and I’m constantly learning. For example, Dr. Larry Grayhills gave a presentation for our chapter of the American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD) sharing his career in Forensic Dentistry. I love to binge-watch criminal investigation shows, like NCIS and Criminal Minds, as much as the next person, but I’ll say those are some pretty glamorized versions of the real thing.

River Oak Dental Students posing and smiling for a group photo

It’s easy to tell that Dr. Grayhills love it and is amazing at what he does, but I don’t know if I have the nerve to get gruesome by identifying human remains and solving violent cases. Nevertheless, we were all pumped to learn about where the road can take us, and I’m keeping my options open!

Futures Bright in Coats of White ????

River Oak Dental Students pose with hangars for new dentist coatsFun continues with the AAWD! The club has a tradition of presenting members with personalized “white coat” hangers before the ceremony. It’s a time for us to get together and relax while getting a little memento to make our day even more special. The ladies of 2021 are all smiles!

July 14th was the official ceremony day! The receiving of a white coat represents a step toward professionalism. Different schools award them at different periods of the curriculum, and UFCD has chosen the completion of the first year to present dental classes with their coats. We are no longer just students taking classes for a degree but are becoming young men and women with the responsibility of caring for patients. We are still only a quarter of the way to being “real-deal dentists” but it’s an honor to know one day I will wear this coat while building relationships with my future patients.

River Oak Dental Students and future dentists celebrating their  Graduation

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