By Dr. Lauara Rojas (2020)
What GP are you in? What is unique about your GP that you feel makes it better than the others?
GP6 - Our directors are honestly the best. They teach us without yelling. We learn from our mistakes without punishing grades like "U"s. It’s the best. Plus Dr Brilhart and Dr Desai are always available to talk to us.
If you were a D2 what advice would you have given yourself to better prepare you for clinic?
Invite a D3 for lunch, bring a pencil and a notebook. Write down all the things they will tell you, bring questions to them. Ask them what is an EIT, what is an APE, How long do you wait to do an EIT/APE? What is the difference of a Prophy/Perio Maintenance? Also, DO read the syllabus of EACH class. Make sure you know how many points, units, procedures do you need each semester to keep your grades high.
What is a trait that you believe is crucial for success in clinic? Why?
Organization. BE organized with your patients. Make sure you call them 3 days, 2 days AND 1 day before their appointment. I did that with my patients to make sure they did not forget about the appointment. (because of this I had a very low rate of no-shows/cancellations). If you do a long/involved procedure, make sure you call them the day after to check up on them. It not only builds rapport, but it is also a good opportunity to tell them the next step of the treatment plan and get them excited for their next visit (kinda). I like to remind them about the final result too. Something like: "I hope your re feeling okay. As we spoke in yesterday, you can take medications for pain if you feel you need to. Any complications I am just one call away. Please do not hesitate to contact me. I am here for you. Next appointment, we will continue to work in the treatment plan. We are in a good path and making progress to a stable oral health. I am very excited we have been able to keep some teeth from extractions" - Something like that…
What was your first procedure? What went right? What went wrong? What would you have done differently? What did you learn from it?
A prophy (like the majority of us). But my first real procedure was a #5MO. It went smoothly. One tip which is very controversial among students, but I do believe in the purpose of a DENTAL DAM, some believe it is a waste of time. I've always used (almost always) and it makes me think all the fillings I have placed will have a better bonding and longevity.
What has been the biggest lesson you learned reflecting back on your time in clinic at UMSOD?
Enjoy the journey but work hard, really hard. Do not take the easy route. Now is the time for you to learn and make mistakes.
What would you have done differently from the time you started clinic to the time you finished clinic? Why?
Stop doing so many tpw and tpu.
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?
Getting Prosth and TP chairs. Most of the time they were busy but I would constantly check and wait until another student would drop their chair. I would check very, very frequently.
What has been the best piece of advice you have received while in clinic?
Give the HO bands a try. I started using HO bands more and more to the point I would prefer the HOs rather than Garrisons. Also be kind with your assistants, prep dispense guys, and everybody.
How did you best manage the stresses of classes and clinic at the same time? How difficult was this transition for you?
Never managed it. I was stressed all the time, but the feeling of being stressed always makes me work harder and makes me feel that I need to do more. So I KINDA learned to enjoy it.
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?
Keep checking. Chairs get dropped the day before or the day of.
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?
Every procedure is time consuming if you are not prepared. Make sure you watch videos or read ahead of time. Set up your chair ahead of time if possible. Assist a D4 in a procedure. The first time I had to do a Post and Core build-up I was terrified. I wasn't sure if the materials I read in the power point were available in clinic. what I did was, the day before, in my free time, I checked the schedule to see which D4 was doing a post and core (because they are the experts, right?) and then I assisted her. She walked me through all the process, gave me tips, told me which burs are better. Told me that I had to get a few materials from the 4th floor endo clinic. etcetera… Highly recommend doing this. Not only for post and come but for everything that you are going to do for the first time. Even a filling.
What resources did you use to prepare you for Boards Part II?
Anki, Mosby, DD, Mental Dental, Tufts Pharm (There is this webpage called Udemy.com that goes through all the tufts pharm questions but it has mnemonics for everything- Basic Pharmacology Mnemonics Online Course- Part 1)
What tips worked for you in getting patients to say “yes” to your proposed treatment?
Many, I like to build Rapport with them first so they know that your opinion is coming from an honest part. Draw for them, make sure they understand. Another thing that helped me a lot was to help them go through the Financial discount that the school offers for people who qualify. IF they qualify, they would get majority of procedures 30% off. Some people think it is hard but in the contrary it is so easy to apply! It helps your patient stick to all the treatment. Maybe 60% of my patients qualified for it. All they need to do is to bring a proof of income of their last 4 weeks of work, so pay stubs or the taxes from last year. Once they come for their TXP appointment, you can sit down with them and help them fill out the form that is in the front desk. (they are more likely to fill it out if they are doing it with you as opposed to, you handing them the form and they take it home and then forget to fill it out). The form takes 10 minutes max to fill out, you don't even have to fill all the information. Then you take the form with the proof of income they brought to Tiffany or Mil and if they qualify, they apply 30% to all the treatment plan. (most of it). You only do it once every year for each patient.
Who were your faculty mentor(s)? What was the best advice they gave you? why did you choose them to be your mentor?
Dr Stanley Cohen - I would even go for every day life advice to him. No wiser doctor than him
Would you mind providing your e-mail/social media accounts for future students to follow/contact you if they may have any questions? Please provide that info below.
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.
Best of luck. I am not the best at typing since english is not my first language. But if you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact me! :)