Friday, October 31, 2014

NYC: the cronut.

We had a chance to breathe last weekend with no exams in the horizon. Lan and I took off to NYC where we finally got to try those famous CRONUTS and I got to see the 9/11 memorial.

I especially loved the High Line! I love both the idea and the execution. You could see train rails peeking out between the greenery.

The current cronut flavor was pumpkin chai. Was it worth waiting in line for an hour in the freezing cold 50 degrees? Heck yes. Our photos after getting the cronut have us all red-eyed and frozen-smiled...

Perfect getaway for the weekend. I'm really starting to see NYC as a potential residency spot. Good news: since New York requires dentists to complete a year of residency before practicing, there are tons of spots. If I do make it out here, you'll probably find me outside Dominique Ansel's bakery every Saturday morning at 8AM... wanna wait in line together?

I must say this about the cronut: what an excellent marketing success! The hype, the myth, the secret and the glamour (Je voudrais un croissant!) elevated this simple pastry into a legend. We're trying something similar in my clinic (psttt: and I wonder how much value is in the essence of things and how much in its halo.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

scary scenes from dental school (Happy Halloween!)

Now that Halloween is coming up, some creepy shots from my dental school life... or is it from a horror movie?

I decided to mount a tooth I was practicing a root canal on... and decided it was a bad idea for more reasons than one. How creepy is this? Every time I walked back into the operatory I had to take a deep breath.

Don't let this happen... or this mannequin might haunt you for all of your dental school days.

and this from our oral surgery lecture:

Hope everyone has a happy Halloween!!! Hope your Halloween is trick-less and pumpkin-plenty! It's the weirdest thing, I crave those candy corn bites during off-Halloween season (when they are nearly impossible to find!) but when October comes around I have no desire for them at all.

Monday, October 27, 2014

the ebola virus

The E-word has finally reached Penn. We received a university-wide email informing us that Penn is one of the hospitals prepared to deal with the Ebola outbreak. 

We always go through a medical history update at every appointment. It's been added a few more questions including: have you traveled outside the U.S. in the past 30 days? And a follow-up question: where? Was it Sierra Leone or Liberia or Guinea? There's another question that follows: have you come in contact with an Ebola-affected person? 

Because EBV spreads through direct contact and body fluids (saliva and blood!) dentists are at an especially high risk for exposure. Saliva is kind of the name of our game. In keeping up with dentists' concerns, ADA has released a guideline statement on dealing with Ebola-stricken patients.
I like that we use personal protective equipments regularly. Sometimes we see old clinical pictures of patients and cringe at dentists' bare hands. They did not use gloves & practiced with skin-to-skin contact. Wearing gloves, face mask and glasses just comes naturally for us: I do feel naked without my PPE.

If you've read The Hot Zone, you might have vowed to stay locked inside until all this goes away. Unfortunately CDC just confirmed yet another Ebola patient in NYC this week... not to mention it is all over the news spilling onto political debates. I like that it's on everyone's minds so we are extra careful with the protective gears but please let's not dress like this for Halloween... I don't think that even works.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

the case against scrubs

After a painful two week period of throwing out everything, my closet feels more abundant and I feel more in control. Looking at my old clothes made me reflect on how my personal style has changed over the years. Lately I've been focusing on dressing professionally- but with a twist of my own style. I attended a professional wardrobe workshop at Loft and loved these details like belting a comfy sweater dress and adding statement necklace with button-up's.

One problem? I wear scrubs five days out of seven. Sometimes I'll even go work out in my scrubs... biking in neon blue doubles as a safety precaution.

I loved this post by Chris Bailey where he experiments with clothes that affect his productivity. You should go read it (and his entire year of productivity), but these points I loved:
1. To pick the most productive clothes to wear, decide on what will make you the most productive: being more confident, or being more relaxed. Then wear clothes that make you feel that way.
To me, this means that even sweatpants and a T_shirt can be your perfect outfit if feeling relaxed is the goal, if this creates the mindset you want to enter.
5. You can compartmentalize your work life by changing your clothes when you get home. 
Dress for the role you want. So if you want to signal (even to yourself) that work is over, dress up different from you do at work, so you can slip into that mindset- naturally. 

So how do I feel about wearing scrubs? We don't really have an option since scrubs just became mandatory at Penn. I don't like it... because I don't feel dressed up enough. But it's more because I want to practice dressing up. And associate this dressed-up state with being ready for work. I need to get some misfitting blouses and clashing patterns under my belt to develop my own professional style. I like to think Mary Orton did not start out looking the way she does on The Class Cubicle. I want my experimental period to be in dental school, not the first few months of my job. 

On a related note, I finally figured out how they chose our class scrubs color: our bright neon lockers is a perfect color match!!!

Have you ever had a dentist who wore scrubs? What are your thoughts on a mandatory scrubs policy?   For you lucky ones who don't wear daily scrubs, what is your favorite professional outfit? Mine has to be a short-sleeve dress, belted and with dangly earrings.

The $4200 toothbrush from Reinast

Have you heard of this new "luxury toothbrush" from Reinast? I saw this little clip in Time.

Unless you have perfected the modified Bass technique, I still recommend electronic toothbrushes, Sonicare or Oral-B, for a fraction of this cost, thank you very much. Unless the point of this toothbrush is not actually oral hygiene and I've missed the point entirely...