It’s interesting, the residency dilemma. I am excited to go out there, start making money and start the rest of my life. On the other hand, I want to focus on the dentistry portion for a tiny bit longer before I bring in all other components. It’s just like making pottery. You want to get the basics right: centering the clay and making simple cylinders. Then bring in the frilly fancies: handles, trimming the bottom, patterns and vibrant glazes.
Look at this crazy organization with all the different syringes for root canals.
What was truly wonderful to me was the collaborative learning environment. Residents seeking others’ professional opinions, talking about papers they’d read, asking about specific cases they’d seen… It felt so very professional, but in a safe nurturing environment.
I also loved that different residents had gone through different dental schools, so they had different knowledge and opinions and things, including even things like fluoride or caries detection! Should you fill an incipient caries in a high-risk patient? What if he is undergoing an extensive surgery and will be unable to receive dental care for the next few years? Should you depend on tactile senses (aka the pokey-explorer) or check out new technologies that use fluorescence and lasers to detect caries?
I wasn’t even aware there were differing opinions out there, and that different dentists were taught different philosophies. So interesting.
I also picked up some practice management tips! Because it is a hospital setting, everything is quantified and tallied up. I saw wait time statistics, specific feedback from patients tacked on the bulletin boards, creative ways to solve interesting logistic problems.
Something else I realized is: I know so much. Penn has taught me well, and that made me so very happy.