Tuesday, December 30, 2014

tie a bow on that 2014

I love the holidays. Speaking of which, hello again. I'm sneaking in just to write my last post before 2014 is up. I timed my entire morning routine this morning. I think if I hurry a bit, I could squeeze in a sweat session in the mornings before school. That's something new I want to try in the new year (that resolution thing, you know).

I love the idea of celebrating the year just ended with every birthday (thanks Jessie for this throwback post) and the same goes for this calendar year. Beginning of the summer before clinic, I wrote down a few goals I had for myself:

- Get comfortable speaking to patients about their needs (including finances)
- Integrity.
- Get confident about my clinical skills. Breatheeeee.
- Learn to be a good team player with faculty/staff/classmates in the hectic (often very stressful environment)

Looking back on my journal from the past few weeks, I'm on my way. I'm not there yet, but good thing I have 1.5 more years of dental school left!!! And to know that I'm on the right path with my amazing faculty and my inspirational classmates in this nurturing environment, that alone is enough for a celebration. 

Here's to 2014, for all its joys and hardships. 

Happy holidays! And thanks for sticking with me throughout this crazy adventure... even when I'm being a vacation bum and refusing to do anything dental related. ;)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

checklist to Christmas

I'm flying out tomorrow, I made this list and I'm checking it twice.

- Get into the mood of Christmas. My apartment is feels so very winter-y and Christmas-y with the addition of one single string of Christmas lights. Frank Sinatra was singing Christmas songs in clinic all week long.

- Finish Christmas shopping at the most beautiful store in the world. Holiday shopping becomes twice as festive at our Center City Macy's. 

- Prep the second inlay, conquer (all) fears. Second time is much better. I got started on my second gold inlay before leaving for the break! This time, I knew the sequence of events and generally felt more at ease. I even took the final impression by myself! 

When Dr. N finally ok'd my final inlay impression, I did a little happy dance in my head. 

- Get a little crazy about Christmastime. I wish this was my chair... but it's Sharon's set for the next Bad Tooth Productions. After our exam this morning, I blasted Christmas music while packing clothes for my trip... really I just packed twelve dangly earrings that look like Christmas tree trimmings.

And watch Sharon's final video here (this is what Penn Dental is really like, 100%)

Merry Christmas & happy holidays! Safe travels, everybody. See you on the other side of the Pacific! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Three things I've learned from clinic

Do you remember how you felt at the beginning? When you just began piano lessons or learned a new sport, a new board game...  I'm now six months into my career. And as I continue on this journey of career-growing pains, I keep coming back to Amy Cuddy's "fake it 'til you become it" TED talk.

These three things I've learned, I keep reminding myself over and over again.

1. Let go of things you can't control. 
I call this my "Jesus take the wheel" mantra. A short excerpt of things I get frustrated about: lab turn-around time on an inlay, a patient's diagnosis of aggressive periodontitis, that root canals cost almost ten times as much as extractions. Even the fact that this patient has cavities! Today I almost shed tears telling a patient she has cavities on half of her teeth. Now I know I could never be an oncologist.

These are out of my hands. Only thing I'm doing is raising my blood pressure.

2. Have a sense of humor.
When things get ridiculous, all you can do is laugh. I shared my rotation with Jordan (whose Q+A I loved writing) and it was a continous laughing session. He cracked jokes with patients, gave them elbow fives (compliant with Penn's strict infection control guidelines...), and spoke in accents. Like my friend Maura says, "always gotta look like you're having fun!" 

saw this ridiculousness going home last night: look at the window!

3. Accept your suckiness.
As cynical as this sounds... it's true. Unless you are a certain Alex in our group, your best days are yet to come. (And it's probably true for him too) And it's not just hand skills, for me it is:

- being assertive and confident talking to patients
- being flexible (like when a resin becomes an amalgam I am in full panic mode- because I wasn't mentally prepared)
- accurately estimate my working time (don't let my appointments run over to 5:30PM)
- not taking the short cut (like finishing perio probings in a hurry)

I'm always counting my blessings: having such wonderful mentors, having amazing/helpful upperclassmen (I've grabbed them halfway in tears), being in the best group (self-reported) at Penn dental. I'm inspired every day and challenged every single moment.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hanging out with Jordan the future orthodontist

I have a special post today! Because I got called out by Jordan that "posts have been slacking lately", I decided to recruit his help. So here it is: why he's glad he's going to orthodontics, what he does in his free time, and why every ramen needs an egg.

Meet Jordan K. Graduate of UVA '12, master of rhythm and rhyme (most of these I've transcribed word for word...), future orthodontist. Today we had our oral surgery rotation together and between extractions and consults we talked about d-school life, with comments from Brian, Matt, and Jay. 

Studying the skill... not talking about football: from L- Brian, Jordan, Matt.

Yesle: So how is third year going?
Jordan: It's good, although not conducive to napping. If I nap, it's from 5-8PM after class, then I gotta wake up, eat my ramen noodle with an egg, study, gotta watch my SportsCenter... (Brian and Matt comment on the egg) Yeah, the egg exponentially increases the nutritional value of the gourmet noodle.
Matt: I just sleep in on my days off. Napping is a sun-dependent thing. 
Jordan: Yeah, days off area awesome. I go to the 8-10 class, go to the gym- you can just say that I read study guides on the elliptical... well that's a lie.
And about clinic- yes, I'm not going to be doing fillings as an orthodontist, but I appreciate that fact, that I won't be doing these things.
Yesle: How did you get into orthodontics? Why do you wanna be an orthodontist? (Oh side note, Jordan and I had braces for almost the same period of time. Then he got his off early and left me in teeth prison.)
Jordan: I like to move'em teeth. I had braces twice, first because of my Class III and second time in dental school. I like that no one's scared of going to the orthodontist. 
Jay: What about when people get them tightened? Doesn't that hurt? 
Here Jordan brought out his future ortho hat and explained that either the change in wire material or the change in thickness causes increased tension on the brackets, making the patient feel like the wires had been "tightened up".
Matt: So did you take ortho class seriously?
J: Yeah, and I've been paying attention to ortho over the years. 
I need to comment here that Jordan and I were discussing the Tetralogy of Fallot later and Jordan could name- off the top of his head- the first two conditions of the four characteristics. I was just glad I remembered how to say "Fallot".

Although he's so darn humble, I'm sure he'll have a reason to celebrate come next year's ortho residency match day. THANK YOU to Jordan (and Matt and Brian and Jay) for talking with me and making sure I'm up to date on my blogging.

Yeah, this photo is totally not staged.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

life on hold: home envy

Happy weekend! It's raining outside and I've got jazz music playing in the background. Yesterday I finally beat 2048! It took many hours (basically all my hours spent at the airport) but the moment was triumphant and glorious, just like I had imagined.

I'm starting to think more about the future: you know, my fourth year externships, where to do my general practice residency, if I am even sure about doing a GPR (and not specializing)... I'm hoping to make some soft decisions soon.

I think I've gushed about her before, but I was looking at Alaina Kaczmarski's home office evolution (she's the co-founder of The Everygirland gosh her apartment is beautiful. As someone who has major apartment envy and yet not a single major furniture to her name, I was feeling... uncomfortable, jealous, and perhaps even like a hypocrite.

Did I tell you my friend is thinking about buying a house? She's been working for four years now and she's getting married but you know, she's my age. Meanwhile I'm clipping photos of inspirations and wall art for a home I don't know when I'll have. It all makes me very serious. 

Despite all this, I'm trying to have faith. That things will work out, that I'll be doing something I love in two years. That I'll be living in a sunny airy apartment with a chandelier and a yellow couch in the living room. Complete with a cat in the corner.

And here's a positive spin: I'll be making those purchases after I've developed and curated my own style. For example, I love complementary colors adjacent to each other like this purple and yellow flowers I picked up this morning. So I need to get a purple chandelier... or a purple cat?

What life goals and aspirations do you feel you've put on hold? 
How do you still make these part of your everyday life?

Friday, December 5, 2014

the early December celebrations

Early December always feels like a celebration. This is the time I got early college admissions, when I heard back from dental schools, and when my friends got into residencies (one dear friend will be staying at Penn next year!!!). So if you're celebrating a happy occasion this week, let me say this again:


Hope you're popping the bubbly, filling your room with balloons, picking up a little splurge for yourselves. You've worked hard and you deserve it. 

And if you don't yet have a reason to celebrate, have faith that your time is yet to come. Sometimes pre-emptive celebrating (and a pat on the back for all the hard work you've put in) is the little nudge you need to get the celebratory juices flowing your way.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thanksgiving break in Orlando

While I was seeing my afternoon patient (impressions guns I hated you that day), my flight got cancelled. Alex couldn't reach me so she booked me another later flight and by the time I'd cleaned up, everything was magically taken care of.  After all the craziness, I made it into Orlando at 3 in the morning.

Four amazing days with this girl! The interactive wands are genius. For a moment I couldn't help but suspend my reality and gasp in wonder at all the magic around me.

As a future dentist I can't help but find these things the funniest...

Meanwhile tons of you got into dental schools (AHHH!) and residencies (AHHHH!). Hope you had a relaxing break before the BIG phone call. I'm so excited to hear all about the good news (and the tough decisions) you guys are making!!!

Frolicking (ahem, I'm trying to desensitize myself with this word) around Universal Studios I found this sign and it's really true...

The best part of the trip wasn't the roller coasters (I went on everything while Alex held my stuff and watched) or the crazy shopping deals, it was coming back to our hotel room at 7PM and getting underneath the covers and laughing at the silly goat commercials. Sometimes a vacation away from absolutely everything... is just what the doctor ordered.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

New at something: first gold inlay

Can you believe it's almost Thanksgiving? I am spending my Thanksgiving in Orlando with the bestie and we're determined to find pumpkin pie on Thursday. 

Today I tried something new in clinic: gold inlays. In dental school, we do stuff for the very first time on a real person... it's uncomfortable and scary. 

This got me thinking about the whole business of firsts. My first amalgam filling was scary. My first prophy cleaning was scary! And remembering that feeling (while embarrassed: "I was nervous about that?" but still very fondly) is good. It reminds us where we started from. Kind of a silly thing, but I remember when I took my very first plane trip alone. Senior year of high school, visiting colleges. I know I am secretly terrified in those photos at the airport.

And I must say this: I am so so so thankful for having good friends. I called Alex on my way from home to rant about how crazy these inlays are: compared to simple preps, these inlays are on a whole new level. I was able to express my fears and doubts about this dental school thing (Will I ever reach my faculty's level? If not, why even bother?). And the fourth years in clinic who calmed me down, checked up on me, and encouraged me.... I'll spend my whole life paying back all the love I get.

Now, I don't know about you, but Thanksgiving is going to be all fun and no work. I refuse to pick up my work phone at all. My fingers are crossed that my plane does not get cancelled tomorrow!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

the braces are OFF! (& a special weekend)

When I woke up this Thursday, I knew it was gonna be a good day because 1) the new episode of Serial was up and...

2) I was getting my braces off that day! My teeth feel so slimy- there really is no other word to describe it. Also: I think of Taylor Swift every time I use this color setting in Photo Booth. 

This weekend was amazing! My friend Emily got engaged and her now-fiance got their friends to sneak into their apartment! We all surprised her before he proposed. It was so difficult to keep such a huge secret from a dear friend... 

If you saw my tweet, all the girls wanted to look at the ring (of course) and decide if she could wear the ring with gloves. The entire evening got me thinking about relationships and marriages in general... The moment was so romantic and I teared up a little bit. So much love and joy in one Christmas lights-decorated room, everything was so perfect. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

I want a cat.

I should be studying implants but I found this old picture from the summer. Just some cats I used to know. I had sent this picture to my parents and pretended I'd adopted both of them. They accepted that I'd gotten two cats in dental school, until I told them they weren't actually mine. ;(

I think I really want a cat. Do you see how cute these babies are? Because I could get a little kitten who'll look outside the window all day until I come home. I didn't know it was possible to love a cat this much. My heart is melting looking at this picture, imagining their soft bellies and sweet (mischievous) little faces.

...And if you haven't seen Sharon's Bad Tooth films, go do it now. That one is to Shake It Off!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

reading rounds

I'm starting a new series of fun reads I find around the web. There's such good profiles out there about women I admire & the culture of success. 

1. I get that it's a challenge for a leader to be genuine and caring, while getting things done. (Hasn't everyone hated that person in high school group projects who's sending follow-up emails by the hour?) But it's tricky because "striving for likability may carry a whiff of fakeness"...  How does Jenny Lyons do it? All the while looking impeccable in her big glasses and preppy-chic outfits. 

2. Has it hit you that Taylor Swift is our age? Actually, she is younger than me by six months... sometimes I wonder what she's doing this very moment- probably recording the next big hit or hanging out with her many famous bff's. Sigh. "Next to Lorde, the rest of us look like schlubs"... both to the older generations out there and to ourselves. How to make sense of this new trend and use this as motivation.
How the Cult of Early Success is Bad for Young People... at Time.

3.  I love this: (Question was "What advice do you have for developing your own style as a young entrepreneur?" )
"Your style can be an artistic part of your personal leadership journey. Who do you want to be and what do you want to be known for? Style belongs to the last piece of that multivariate puzzle that includes and begins with how you treat people, how you navigate challenges, and how you express yourself."
Levo League founder Caroline Ghosn's Power Outfit... at Levo League

4. Also this gem... mourn that the professional-you could never get this crazy awesome haircut like Robert Pattison's.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

two questions over coffee: why do you blog?

Last weekend I went to a Halloween party and met someone who was visiting Philly. She was a reader of this blog & it was crazy and fun to meet someone in such a random place (Hi Tina!!!). Since I get such fun questions via email/twitter, I'll start answering some of your questions publicly on my blog.

About that Halloween party, I went as Wilson from Castaway. Extra points for you if you guessed that from my clues on twitter! I had seen a picture of someone dressed as Wilson and wanted to go as one half of the greatest love story known to mankind.

Here we go:

Why do you blog? How did you start blogging?

I've kept a journal since 6. In college I wrote a blog about everyday college musings (xoxoyesle) & started this blog because I wanted to read about dental school life! After starting d-school, blogging became a great way for me to reflect on my daily happenings (in a positive way as imagined by an outside observer). It was also a great way to keep up with family and friends.

I love that I'm developing my own voice as a writer. I also love connecting with people through the blog! In addition, blogging has been an expansive learning opportunity for me. In addition to becoming a stronger (more confident) writer, I've learned some coding, SEO, and online marketing.

How much free time do you have? What do you do in your free time?

To be honest with you, this is a question I've been finding myself asking. Third year has opened up a lot more free time. I work hard during the week (I'm in dental school mode) and try to take my weekends off completely. Right now it's running and friends. Fall in Philadelphia is the perfect setting for running and I love jogging along the river.

The world is a big place and so many of my loved ones live far away. I spend a lot of time on Skype and on the phone... and I love traveling and visiting them whenever I can.

Oh, and last week I baked a pie. For the first time in my life! Trying new things (most of them food) is a great joy of mine.

That's it for this week. If you have any more questions, feel free to reach out to me via email or twitter. Good night lovelies!

Monday, November 10, 2014

twitter twitter

Let's connect 

Twitter is quickly becoming my favorite app. I love a quick stroll on the app to see what everyone (I mean fellow dental school classmates and Taylor Swift) is up to. 

My tweets are: cats, Philly running scenery, punny teeth jokes. 
Connect with me here.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

5 things I learned from having braces.

We are nearing the end of my braces saga. As of today, I have two weeks (you have to imagine me saying this part in a really high-pitch voice) left with braces. Looking back on my two years with braces, I've learned some things... both about braces and also about being a good dentist.

Dainty little Sesame to start this post:

1. Patient has to want it. Coming in every 3-4 weeks is hard work with a full-time job... and who doesn't? Sometimes I had to skip class to make it into my appointments. Also difficult was: wearing elastics. Not eating popcorn or nuts. It's a wonder anybody gets perfect teeth because even as a dental student, keeping up with all the rules was hard.

2. Flossing is hard work. These Platypus Flossers changed my life! But even then, carrying a toothbrush and flossers everywhere can be exhausting. I have a little more kindness when a patient admits to not flossing because I get it.

3. Not knowing is the scary part. When I go to get cleanings, I am completely at ease because I know what's going on. During my ortho appointments, I've jumped at the mirror touching my lips- because I have no idea what was going on. I've learned to explain what I'm doing as I'm doing a procedure- as simple as pushing their tongue or retracting their cheeks- so nothing is a surprise.

4. Our teeth and bone are part of our crazy wonderful bodies. Orthodontists are magicians. How did my teeth move? How did my bite close up? It's craziness.

5. Patience is virtue. Two years is a long time. I wonder if I knew what I was getting into that fall morning two years ago. I promise update with more pictures of my changing bite soon- the before and after when my treatment is complete.

There you have it, lovely readers. And for those of you who've had braces, how did you celebrate your day of freedom? I'm thinking corn on the cob followed by crunchy (caramel?) apples...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

celiac disease and teeth

I'm listening to Spotify on shuffle and this song begins: "I was scared of dentists and the dark...."  Maybe I should have gone as myself for Halloween.

Your mouth provides a snapshot into the entire health of your body. I was chatting with someone who has celiac disease running in his family. Besides the fact that he’s been spoiled with home-cooked meals every single night (“gluten-free” wasn’t a common place thing until recent), he told me something fascinating: multiple family members have teeth issues stemming from their celiac disease. 

I had no idea there was a link between celiac disease and teeth! Dr. Peter Green of Celiac Disease Center at Columbia suggests this blindness is common for dentists. He recommends that if a patient presents with an inexplicable enamel defect, to keep celiac disease in mind. Clinically, celiac disease patients’ teeth may look like fluorosis or tetracycline staining. But after you’ve completed a thorough history with nothing to explain for the mottled, weak looking teeth, maybe consider celiac disease.

In addition, celiac disease whose key to treatment is the initial diagnosis, may manifest solely in the mouth in forms of enamel defects and canker sores. I read that in Canada, the average time a celiac patient goes before their correct diagnosis is 11.7 years. Less than 1 in 5 Americans with celiac disease patients are aware they have the disease. 

You learn something new every day. I am just fascinated about this little tidbit I never knew before! Something else to give you a peek into my life: I'm reading this by Anne Fadiman and it's such an intimate look into epileptics whose world I know nothing about.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

dental student & a part-time filmmaker

I've featured Sharon multiple times on this blog. We looked at her typical dental school workday, discussed her fitness priorities, and talked her military scholarship. I admire her for her ability to just DO IT. One day she'll say, "I think I'm going to start CrossFit". Couple of months later, she's teaching CrossFit at her gym.

A week ago, Sharon told me she was making short films. In fact, she's already finished one. This girl just gets things done like she says she will... even with our dental school responsibilities. Go watch Sharon's film debut! It's hilarious and features many of our own Penn dental lovelies.

watch here!!!

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: dentalgoldblog.com).... 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...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

wanderlust externships

At Penn dental, fourth year dental students are required to go on 4-week externships at other hospitals. Many of them are domestic (Alaska? Brooklyn? North Carolina?) but some are international. We just had an info session about dental externships yesterday and I'm getting so excited about the possibitilies. Traveling! Learning! Airplanes and new cities!!!

Part of me wants to pick a hospital based on what I want to learn, areas of learning I want to supplement. By the time I leave, I'll be a fourth year counting down the months until graduation!!! So I need to learn to do X and Y and get ready for the real world... but another part of me wants to pick the most exotic, unexpected place and go on an adventure. 

The choices are both good and good. Maybe I just like playing with the possibilities and get to have two daydreams. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The final post from Dave: dental interviews

Okay ladies & gents, I have the very last post from Dave ready for you guys! I actually gave my first tour for the future Penn dentals last week & remembered how nervous/excited/unbelievable I felt. Best of luck to everyone going through the 2014-2015 AADSAS cycle right now.

Check out the entire Pre-dent advice series from Dave:
1. The basic application checklist 
2. DAT study material tips
3. DAT test day & interpreting your DAT score 
4. Applying through AADSAS  

  • Travel to the Interview: If you apply early in summer (June or July), you will have some time to prepare for interviews, which start in September and August for most schools. If you apply later (in the fall), dental schools may call and offer you an interview immediately. Here are some things to think about:
+Requesting time off: Interviews may not be on a weekend, so prepare to miss class/work
  • Money: Interviews are not paid trips for dental school, so prepare to pay for road trips and/or flights, hotels, and related expenses. Try to schedule interviews in the same city close together. Find friends, alumni, or family to stay with. Try to plan some fun and sightseeing in your trips.
  • Clothing: Both women and men will need to purchase professional interview wares…usually a new suit or tailoring will be part of your investment. Avoid funeral black! You will also be adding a briefcase, attaché, or matching bag to the outfit. If it will be cold, you will be adding a coat. Get a suit holder or travel bag for the transport. Have a belt to match your shoes. If you want to get creative, your shirt/tie will be the place – but not too crazy, as most dental schools are conservative environments.
  • Behavior: These may be funny examples, but learn how to give a proper handshake, unbutton a suit before sitting down, and (for the ladies) how to discreetly change into flats. There are many more behaviors you will need for the professional setting, which you should start researching in advance!
  • Interviewing skills: Using the school’s website, student doctor network, and advice from friends who have attended the interview day, you will have to research and prepare for each school’s interview. Some schools have high stress interviews, others low stress. Some interviews are in a small group format. Some interviews have dexterity tests. Prepare for this beforehand! I suggest having a thorough knowledge of each school, current events in dentistry in general, and questions ready to ask your interviewer. Practice with a friend and prepare some answers to common questions without being scripted. Preparation is key!

Whew! You have made it this far! Best of luck interviewing, waiting, and choosing a school. The process may seem expensive and stressful now, but remember that dentistry is an extremely rewarding career. There will be many more milestones to celebrate – Yesle’s blog does a good job covering them. Congrats on applying and welcome to the profession.

I wish all pre-dents out there the best of luck! Feel free to reach out with any questions!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

evening clinics

Quick post update before going to be tonight, this will be super short so I can sleep soon! I've gotten into this awful habit of sleeping late, waking up late. Sometimes days feel too long when I have both classes and patients, so I've been snoozing my way through the 8AM classes- oops!

I did my first evening clinic session last week! A patient wanted to finish their treatment for a special event coming up so I had them stay beyond our usual 5PM deadline. A friend brought me some cookies that afternoon so I took a mini break eating these amazing oatmeal toffee cookies... and after. Actually it was like my patient happened to be sandwiched between my two cookie-eating sessions.

Can you see the dark windows outside? It was past 7PM when I wrapped up and left. Evening sessions are optional for us third year dental students... but I kind of liked it! It's a lot more quiet & getting to work with different faculty can be interesting. Everyone is great at something and it's fun seeing different teaching styles and expert knowledge.

Of course I got home to this mess. I've been going through a MAJOR closet overhaul. Looking at this picture I'm realizing how much of my stuff is bright and patterned. I started listening to this great podcast called The Wardrobe Code. Nicole gives great advice such as: buy the best shoes you can afford and shop in your own closet by putting away some pieces regularly. Naturally I was inspired to edit my own wardrobe one impulsive evening. It's been frustrating at times but so eye-opening. Oh and can you spot something cute and furry in this picture?

The in-progress phase is the messiest. But I'm lucky that Penn has a mandatory scrubs policy because I don't think I wore anything other than scrubs + PJ's for a whole week. It was scrubs, pajamas, and repeat.

About evening clinic though- I keep thinking about how regular business hours don't work for most people. When I was working, I had to schedule my dentist appointments at 7AM. I could open a practice that's open 6AM-10AM & 6PM-10PM. That's a solid eight hours & I could be a free person during the day. Now if I can only stop yawning as soon as 9PM hits...