Last night was definitely one for the books. After an exhausting two weeks of school, we were able to finally unwind with our colleagues. ZIPS, as well as the other UCSF SOD fraternities, had their initiation dinners. I found out my big!! She is absolutely incredible! I am so happy and excited to have her by my side through dental school. This photo shows our lineage, although we are missing our cousins. I have one big, ROYAL family.
Today, I got surprised by my big in sim lab. In the midst of midterms, it was so nice starting my morning today with these lovely treats. I had a Scientific Methods midterm yesterday as well as a peer to peer learning presentation in anatomy on the infratemporal fossa. Tomorrow, I have my second anatomy exam as well as an anatomy practical. Our class has been pretty stressed. We get to end this week on Friday with our fraternities' dinners. At our dinner for ZIPS, we all find out who our bigs are. To whomever my big is, thank you for giving me one more reason to smile this morning.
This has been one heck of a tiring week. We had a Histology and Pathology exam as well as a Histology and Pathology practical on Monday. Then, on Wednesday, we had our Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences midterm which included 3 separate classes' material- Tooth Morphology, Operative, and Biomaterials. On Thursday though, we finally got to drill into actual teeth for the first time. We practiced filling teeth that we drilled into with flowable and/or composite. It was such a great experience. I don't feel as confident with drilling as I would like to, but I definitely feel a lot more comfortable now than when we first started drilling into typodont teeth. I feel the progress and I cannot wait until I can pick up a dental bur and confidently restore patients' teeth. Today, I am one step closer to that goal.
Did you know that dental schools have fraternities too?
I joined ZIPS at UCSF last Friday. UCSF School of Dentistry has 3 different co-ed fraternities. Over 90% of our dental students (according to most dental students that I spoke with) belong to a fraternity. Our dental fraternities host events, connect us with alumni, provide opportunities, etc. Honestly though, in my opinion, everybody is so collaborative that being a part of a single fraternity does not really exclude you from the other fraternities nor does it really separate you from the class as a whole. Generally, everybody helps everybody, and I truly feel like we are all in this together.
Today, I volunteered with UCSF Children's Health Hut to provide free oral screenings and fluoride varnishes for children. We volunteered at the Southeast Sector Health Fair. There were many booths that helped educate people more about their health. Working with children is very different from working with adults. The way you communicate with children patients is vastly different from the way you would communicate with adult patients. Making children comfortable enough to trust you and let you work in their mouths can be quite a feat but so rewarding.
Don't forget: Annual dental visits for Adults and Biannual dental visits for Babies/children (unless your dentist recommends otherwise)!
The past two weeks, I was jumping from lectures to labs to interviews to the gym. Almost every day for the past two weeks, I had three sets of clothes with me when I went to school: a pair of scrubs, a set of gym clothes, and professional clothes. I have been asked why I've been trying to be so involved since I'm in professional school now and I am going to be a dentist in four years regardless of whether or not I get involved. I have a passion for being involved, giving back, and learning. It is what has gotten me to where I am today, and I will not be giving that up any time soon. Also, if you want to apply to certain specialties, residencies, and organizations after you earn your DDS, being involved definitely matters. Out of the three board positions that I applied to, I was awarded two. I will serve as UCSF ASDA Community Service Chair as well as UCSF ADEA Outreach Coordinator. I feel so blessed and excited to organize events, reach out, and give back to our community. I also met with various professors about their research projects to see if we could work together in the future, but I still have yet to solidify a research mentorship.
Today was the first day that the 2017-2018 UCSF HealthLink mentors and mentees met each other. UCSF HealthLink is a program in which UCSF students, from various healthcare professions, link up with high school mentees that are interested in healthcare. We work with our mentees for a year, helping them discover and/or solidify their interests in healthcare. We have various workshops and events. For example, at our first meeting today, we had a vitals and a surgical knot tying workshop. We taught our mentees how to take a patient's vitals. I finally got to take my stethoscope out of its box and put it to good use today. My family is Gold Grizzlies, and we have 3 medical, 2 physical therapy, 1 masters, and 1 dental student as mentors to a group of motivated individuals from Northern California.
Today was our first time working in our "patients'" mouths. We learned how to properly place typodonts in our mannequins. Then, we worked on our indirect vision using the hand mirror along with an explorer to point out various teeth from different angles. We also got to use our burs (dental drills) for the first time today on blocks to practice what preparing teeth for restorations would be like. Ergonomics is essential in dentistry. The proper posture and form needs to be utilized when working to minimize our risk. Many dentists become disabled and unable to practice due to back, neck, and hand injuries. We need to develop good habits early on to prevent excess stresses in the future.
Can you tell that we're smiling?
Today was our first day in clinic. This will be my clinic group for the next year. We will be interacting as each other's patients, assistants, and providers as we guide each other in the practice of healthcare. On our first day, we had to practice setting up the cubicle. Proper infection protocol is essential. We don't want anything to be unsanitary for our patients. I love my group! I cannot wait to work with them for the next year as we help each other grow one step closer to becoming dental professionals.
Today was our first day waxing. We began by waxing little plastic squares as practice. We then used wax to reconstruct a plastic left maxillary central incisor (tooth #9). It was actually a lot of fun. Today was definitely one of the first days that I can say I practiced the "art" of dentistry in school.
Today, I volunteered at California Dental Association [CDA] Cares. This is an event in which CDA recruits dental specialties, general dentists, dental students, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and general volunteers to donate their time to provide free care for patients from all walks of life. A bus full of UCSF students drove over five and a half hours last night to come to Bakersfield and volunteer at this phenomenal event. We drove the distance and stayed in Bakersfield for less than a day because we wanted to give back. The worst part of today was that not everybody that wanted to be treated could be seen by doctors. There simply was not enough time. Dental insurance needs to be more accessible in the United States. What many people fail to realize is that oral health affects systemic health. A simple toothache can lead to fatal circumstances if not treated properly. We need to work on improving access to oral healthcare together, which is exactly what CDA Cares aims to do. The best part of today was...everything else. I started the day by volunteering in the sterilization department where we prepared dental instruments to be used again by the dental professionals. From there, I was given the incredible opportunity to observe as well as assist oral surgeons. It was my first experience ever assisting, and it was on an oral surgery case!! Prior to assisting, I spoke with the patient about their story and their case, and it reminded me yet again how much oral healthcare providers change people's lives for the better. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me.
Did you know that most dental schools in the United States require dental students to collect extracted teeth to work on as dental students?
This requires most dental students to go to various oral surgery and dental offices and drop off jars to collect extracted teeth in. Some offices will refuse dental students and some offices will comply. If you are ever asked to do this as a dental student, I highly recommend starting early and dropping jars off at various offices. I took jars to five different offices. One of the offices lost my jar, and at the end of four months, not a single office had filled a complete jar. You have to remember that there may be other dental students that dropped off jars as well and that the extracted teeth will be split amongst the jars. I had collected approximately 147 teeth, but after having to separate out the teeth that were broken or had amalgam fillings or crowns, I was left with about 120 teeth. We were asked to collect about 200 teeth with various stages of carious lesions. Most of the work that we'll be performing on the extracted teeth will be during our second year of dental school so I still have time to collect. I remember collecting my first jar and having the weirdest feeling about holding people's teeth in my very hands. I'm grateful for all of the offices that collected these teeth for me, and I look forward to practicing my skills very soon.
Word of advice for those that have to memorize a large volume of information: Make your desk into a whiteboard. Studies show that repetition leads to better recall. Thus, if you use a white board to write, rewrite, draw, and redraw whatever it is that you have to memorize, so long as you're engaged with the material, chances are that you'll be able to better recall that information later on...and you'll be saving the environment by using less paper.
Today was our fourth day of classes. We had our first Foundations of Scientific Inquiry class. The professor is the same faculty member that interviewed me ten months ago. Time surely does fly. In anatomy lab today, I used rib shears to open the thoracic wall of our cadaver and got a closer look at the organs that lie inside. It was one of the most surreal experiences I have had to date. I am truly learning a lot in such a short amount of time, and I could not be happier.
On a side note, today is the first time that I've actually sat down to study since starting classes. #ucsfschoolofdentistry#ucsfdentaleducation#ucsfclassof2021#dentistry#healthcare#predental#learning#education#classof2021
Today was the American Student Dental Association [ASDA] District 11 Meeting. It was held at UCSF Genentech Hall, which was really convenient since the UCSF Mission Bay campus is about a 20 minute drive from the Parnassus campus. Today was filled with a lot of information and talks that are going to help us with our future professions, from how to work with our future healthcare team to how to physically build a dental practice with a dental architect. Since my first day of orientation, the words "grit" and "persistence" have been repeated constantly with respect to what we need to have as both dental students and oral healthcare providers. The day started with Dr. Jack Dillenberg reminding us to "under promise and over deliver." I thought that this was such great advice. There was also a vendor fair in which we got enough free toothpaste for the rest of our dental student careers. Another quote that has been repeated since our orientation is "Work hard, play hard." Going along with this mantra, we are ending the night with a cruise on the bay from 7:30-11:00pm. #ucsfschoolofdentistry#ucsfclassof2021 #ucsfdentaleducation#dentistry#predental#healthcare#asda#asdadistrict11
Today was our first day of classes. 8:00am-5:00pm. We started the day learning about dental terminology and instruments. I finally got to learn the names of some of those instruments that looked so foreign to me just a few days ago. The second half of our day consisted of anatomy, both lecture and lab. Today was the first time that I actually cut into a cadaver. It was a very odd feeling. I had to take a few minutes before starting to catch my breath and remind myself that this was for science and to better my education. It is astounding to think that people have donated their bodies to help me learn. It made me feel so honored, respectful, and appreciative.
Also, I wore scrubs around all day. It certainly made me feel professional...only a few short years before the Class of 2021 starts getting called doctor. #ucsfschoolofdentistry#ucsfdentaleducation#ucsfclassof2021#dentistry#predental#healthcare#sanfrancisco#classof2021
Today was our last day of orientation as well as our white coat ceremony. We were coated by our professors and accepted the responsibilities of a student dentist. Alumni reminded us that we did not become doctors today; we have to earn that title. We were reminded that today was not just a white coat ceremony; it was a commencement. Dean Featherstone reminded us that today is the true commencement of the rest of our lives. Wearing the symbolic white coat for the first time truly felt like a great honor. It was a symbol that reminded me of how hard I have worked to get to where I am, and the best part is that it is only the beginning. As our Dean stated, today was our commencement. I could not be more excited to pursue this career and see what the future has yet to hold for me.
Today was our second day of orientation. We received our dental kits and organized them as we sat in our simulation lab seats- the same seats that we will be in for our entire UCSF dental student careers. This picture doesn't even capture half of the supplies and materials that we received today. Our dental kits for our first year cost $13,308. No wonder why dental school is one of the most expensive professional schools in the United States. Although I didn't know many of the supplies that I was organizing today, I know that within four years, their names and usage will feel like common knowledge for me. Additionally, going through our supplies today served as a reminder that dentists are doctors, scientists, AND artists. ⚕️ #ucsfschoolofdentistry#ucsfdentaleducation#ucsfclassof2021#dentistry#predental#healthcare#classof2021#sanfrancisco
Today was UCSF School of Dentistry Class of 2021's first day of orientation. Today, we received our Ethics Handbook for Dentists which reminds us that we work in the best interest of our patients, not ourselves. This might seem like common sense, but it is easy to get lost in the idea of YOUR career when you actually chose this career for THEM, your patients. Today was the first official day that the UCSF SOD Class of 2021 met. Although there were many social events prior to today, today was the first official day where we all came together. I am incredibly blessed and grateful to be embarking on this journey with such brilliant minds at such a phenomenal institution. Here's to the future.