By Dr. Jake Miller (2020)
What GP are you in? What is unique about your GP that you feel makes it better than the others?
GP8 - The best combination of GP7/8 faculty. D4 year in AEGD.
If you were a D2 what advice would you have given yourself to better prepare you for clinic?
I think the most important thing is to take all lab work and lab courses in D1/D2 seriously and understand WHY you do each thing (especially in dentures!) - this will prepare your hand skills. As a D2, it is good to spend time in OS working on your local anesthesia so that it is something you aren't nervous about when you start clinic.
What is a trait that you believe is crucial for success in clinic? Why?
Perseverance and Preparation - There can be some long days in clinic especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays - The more prepared you are the more effective you will be.
What was your first procedure? What went right? What went wrong? What would you have done differently? What did you learn from it?
A TPW of course! It took the whole appointment time even though my wife's teeth were perfectly healthy and I had a classmate helping me.
What has been the biggest lesson you learned reflecting back on your time in clinic at UMSOD?
You have to learn to be somewhat comfortable with being uncomfortable - this is when you grow.
What would you have done differently from the time you started clinic to the time you finished clinic? Why?
I would have put an "OHI" code in every prophy/perio maintenance/SCRP so that I would get those perio points.
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?
In general the biggest hurdle was stress - how to manage it so that it doesn't keep you from succeeding. Clinic can be fun, but there will always be stressors that you need to be able to handle in stride.
What has been the best piece of advice you have received while in clinic?
"Good things happen when you show up to work" - Dr. Gorman
How did you best manage the stresses of classes and clinic at the same time? How difficult was this transition for you?
I prioritized clinic preparation over classes and relied on my good study habits from D1/D2 to make it through D3 didactic.
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?
Know your patients well and communicate well so that when chairs become available you know who a good fit would be to utilize them. At the end of appointments make the next appointment right away - or get the patients availability 3-4 weeks ahead of time so that you know when they can come in when you get new chairs.
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?
Waiting for checks from faculty can take a long time - this is not avoidable but can be minimized by doing your best work (the less times you have to revise a prep, the less time waiting in line to get it checked) and gaining the trust of the faculty (so that you could do two preps at a time or do more of any procedure before being checked)
What resources did you use to prepare you for Boards Part II?
Dental decks - I don't recommend any more than 1-2 weeks of studying.
What tips worked for you in getting patients to say “yes” to your proposed treatment?
I always just try to educate the patient, show them pictures, and let them understand what their options are so they can make the best choices. If they understand what they are signing up for then they will follow through.
What skills/techniques for certain procedures did you find particularly helpful when beginning clinic?
Local anesthesia is huge for gaining patients trust - also clear communication so they know what to expect from each procedure.
Are you going into GPR or AEGD? If so, which one and why? What was the biggest contributing factor that led you to gaining admission to your program? What advice would you give someone with interest in gaining admission to that program?
GPR - York PA - I want more surgical experience and pediatric dental experience. I don't know why they chose me, but my advice is to visit all of the programs you are interested in before you apply. You may find that there are some places you don't want to go. Also, the places you like will know your face and know that you are seriously interested.
Who were your faculty mentor(s)? What was the best advice they gave you? why did you choose them to be your mentor?
Dr. Platia, Dr. Freundlich, AEGD Faculty - I benefited from all these faculty by working with them directly in clinic.
Do you listen to any dental related podcasts? What are your favorite ones and why?
I listen to the Dental Guys and Dentistry Uncensored sometimes, but don't love podcasts as a medium for learning. I do enjoy a lot of the guests they have on podcasts and see it as a good way to feel out what other people are thinking about dental topics.
Did you attend a clerkship? If so, which one and what has been the biggest benefit you had from being a part of it?
Diamond Scholar - the biggest benefit was the ability to see more patients and do more procedures.
Were you a Diamond Scholar? If so, how did you best organize yourself for success in attaining all requirements to achieve Diamond scholar status?
Yes, "Good things happen when you show up to work". I tried my best to have a patient in the chair as often as possible - always be ready to take an emergency!
What did you do that you feel gave you an advantage in patient selection for boards?
Try to have a sister with a class II lesion.
What was something that you did differently from your peers that you feel benefited you in clinic and that you will be able to carry on in private practice/residency?
It's a hard question to answer because you don't always know what your peers are doing.
How was your externship process? Which externships did you choose and why? What was the biggest takeaway from your externship experience?
I'm interested in working in public health settings, so I found my experience at Access Carroll and my extramural externship at a FQHC very helpful in giving me an idea of what that might be like.
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.
Try to get good sleep and eat well - your patients deserve for you to be at your best.