By Tess Moran (2021)
What GP are you in? What is unique about your GP that you feel makes it better than the others?
I am in GP5! Our directors are very involved in the progression committee and practicing in general dentistry, so I think that we get a really great idea of the state of the world and dentistry as it is right now! We also have one of the nicest and most collaborative cultures in all the GPs – looking at you, new D3s, to carry that same torch moving forward!
If you were a D2 what advice would you have given yourself to better prepare you for clinic?
Be patient with yourself. Everything comes at a different time for different people. Be aware that not everyone will always be rooting for you, but it isn’t anything against you personally! It is just the nature of clinic, and know that anyone would give a hand in a heartbeat if they have the time!
What is a trait that you believe is crucial for success in clinic? Why?
Flexibility. Our clinic is very much based on students having an ability to be flexible in their scheduling, thinking, and problem solving. If you can do backward bends mentally, you’ll kill it in clinic.
What was your first procedure? What went right? What went wrong? What would you have done differently? What did you learn from it?
My first procedure was a prophy! I think that trying to understand that you don’t actually have to scrape the cementum, and it’s all about tactile feedback, is really important. But it’s OK if you don’t get that until after you’ve done 20 cleanings!!!
What has been the biggest lesson you learned reflecting back on your time in clinic at UMSOD?
Reflecting back, I realized that everyone is going through their own personal struggles. The patients, the professors, and your fellow students. Even the assistance, the front desk staff, and the CMS staff. If you can give a smile and a friendly word, you really just might make someone’s day!
What would you have done differently from the time you started clinic to the time you finished clinic? Why?
I wouldn’t change anything. Well, maybe I would try a little bit harder to make my articulated casts look nicer... but it seems like the pros department doesn’t hate me yet!
What has been the biggest hurdle you have had to overcome in clinic? How did you overcome it and what did you learn from it?
My biggest hurdle was probably the first time I do any procedure. It’s hard to get over that learning curve. But once you’ve done it a few times, you feel like a pro! Once you can give advice to your friends, you feel like an absolute superstar. So it’s all worth it in the end!
What has been the best piece of advice you have received while in clinic?
Go with the flow! Also, if a patient comes in with a bag of dentures, don’t tell them that you’re going to make them another denture pair. It’s likely that it won’t work, and the patient will leave angry after all of the hours you put in
How did you best manage the stresses of classes and clinic at the same time? How difficult was this transition for you?
You manage! All of your friends are right there with you, and the year before did it as well. So, it really isn’t as bad as it feels. Some days you’ll have to choose between doing the best by a patient, or canceling their appt and doing the best by your didactic class.
Do you have any insight on how to best have access to chairs and make appointments? If you do, what advice would you give people who are seeking the most efficient way to obtain chairs?
I honestly think that we can’t answer this right now with everything up in the air.
What aspect of clinic did you find to be the most time consuming and how would you recommend a student go about being more efficient?
Prosth. There’s no way around it, no way for it to be more efficient! Honest. It’s just long hours of hard work.
What resources did you use to prepare you for Boards Part II?
I’m using dental mastery app.
What tips worked for you in getting patients to say “yes” to your proposed treatment?
There’s no good answer here. You could go to hours and hours of classes on this, it’s called case acceptance, and he still wouldn’t know. It’s all about your personal style, what your strengths are as a communicator and as a clinician, and playing those up for the patient!
What skills/techniques for certain procedures did you find particularly helpful when beginning clinic?
Honestly, just ask your supervising faculty every single time before the appointment starts for their pointers, or just bring them over, and they’ll tell you anyways, unbutton!
Would you mind providing your e-mail/social media accounts for future students to follow/contact you if they may have any questions?
If you have any additional advice/tips you'd like to disclose please feel free to do so below and thank you so much for your participation.