Dental School Year Three
I can’t believe we are already a few weeks into Roger’s fourth year of dental school! Crazy right? It feels like just yesterday I was sending him off to his first day of school – dental school that is.
So to celebrate I thought I would share with you a little Q&A I did with Roger about his third year of dental school. Oh & if you are wondering about his first two years I have posts about those as well: first year post – second year post.
Now on to the Q&A!
Q: What happened in year 3 (big picture)?
It’s all about clinical.
It’s all about washing his scrubs really well!
Q: What challenges did you face?
You see a ton of people & are exposed to a lot. You also get sick a lot. You have to find a balance between lab, clinics, & studying. It’s like working full time as a dentist & full time as a student. You’re basically paying to work as a dentist.
There were some really bad days, you kind of block them out.
You also have a lot of requirements (more than some other dental schools) that you must get done in order to move on to year 4. UAB is a good school for preparing you for the real dental world. It can be hard when you are a student, but helpful in the long run for your career.
Finding patients can also be difficult. I was able to acquire almost 1/2 through the graduating senior class & 1/2 through treatment planning, along with some family & friends.
I never knew what to expect. Some days were rough, some were good. If you know in advance it can help to have a plate full of cookies or a relaxing night at home planned.
Q: What did you learn?
I learned how to do real dentistry. I now feel like a dentist, while in the past I was just a dental student.
I also learned how to balance life. I had to come to grips with the fact that the rating (score) is out of my control, because it is more subjective in your 3rd & 4th year. This can be both a curse & a blessing. Although your grades can go down you have to realize you can only do your best & you can’t worry about what is out of your control. So while you can somewhat control how you do your first two years of dental school by studying more etc, your second two years are 1/3 up to you, 1/3 if your patients show up, & 1/3 up to the faculty who usually grade subjectively.
All I can do is pray & support Roger through his ups & downs.
Q: What was good about your third year?
You start to feel like a dentist (although you are still treated like a student).
As mentioned before, the upside to grading is that you learn to balance it all better & you have more time for a life outside of school.
Also I was happy to receive The Hinman Scholars Award/Scholarship. It was nice to be appreciated a little to make up for some of those “dark days” of dental school.
A mini weekend vacation in Atlanta for the Hinman Convention was really fun. Although my favorite part of third year was when it ended. This time next year these last 3+ years will finally start to pay off – literally!
With love, G
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