Titans of GP 7: Caitlin Montgomery

By Caitlin Montgomery (2021)

What GP are you in? What is unique about your GP that you feel makes it better than the others?

GP7. Directors are really protective over what we need and I feel comfortable asking for help.

If you were a D2 what advice would you have given yourself to better prepare you for clinic?

It's a learning process - "Rome wasn't built in 1 day" - so be easier on yourself if you're struggling.

What is a trait that you believe is crucial for success in clinic? Why?

perseverance + flexibility because each case is different. You will prepare for a procedure, but then the patient might end up needing something else, so just be flexible and open to doing something new every day.

What was your first procedure? What went right? What went wrong? What would you have done differently? What did you learn from it?

I had O.S. block the first week of clinic, so just learning how O.S. was different from regular GD clinic, etc... and how to set up, assist for extractions.

What has been the biggest lesson you learned reflecting back on your time in clinic at UMSOD?

Set up as early as you can before procedures, and make sure the unit 100% works - test the water, hand piece, suction - especially before restorative cases. Also, isolation is KEY. I wish I had viscostat or hemodent readily available rather than trying to struggle without heme control.

What would you have done differently from the time you started clinic to the time you finished clinic? Why?

Nothing, it's all a learning process, and I have learned the most from my mistakes.

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?

Timing: I started out very slow. I still am on the slower side, so trying to improve skill and speed at the same time is a huge hurdle for a lot of people. It will come with more experience, but I think I overcame it by also believing in my abilities and that the faculty won't let you do something stupid.

What has been the best piece of advice you have received while in clinic?

Always check findings in your patient with YOUR OWN EYES. Even if something is written in the chart, make sure to document what you saw yourself.

How did you best manage the stresses of classes and clinic at the same time? How difficult was this transition for you?

It was difficult, but still making time to go to the gym a few days a week helped with stress.

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?

Book at the end of your appointments if possible while the patient is still in the chair, or at least ask what days they are readily available and write it down so you remember.

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?

Tracking faculty down for swipes and getting x-rays approved, so try to get them done at the end of clinic.

What tips worked for you in getting patients to say “yes” to your proposed treatment?

Providing a print-out of all the treatment options.

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.

Don't be afraid to ask questions and assist D4s in procedures that you will be doing soon!

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