As a recent graduate, looking back on my university experience, I can honestly say I had the best time. At times it can feel overwhelming and hectic, but the lifelong friends you will meet and the memories you will create, also make it incredibly enjoyable and rewarding.
There is no secret code to cracking dental school, however, if I were to embark on the course again, there are a few things I wish I would have known.
So, I have summarised these in 6 short points:
Five years is a long time, and focusing on your mental health from the start will really help you in the long term, especially when undertaking such a challenging degree. Make sure you take time away from studying and enjoy university life by developing a hobby, being part of a society or a sports team.
There will be lots of opportunities that arise and you shouldn’t shy away from them. They will each offer new, unique experiences, which could help you develop throughout university and beyond. Whether it is identifying a specific area of dentistry you really enjoy or helping to build a strong CV for life afterward.
“Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Just because someone has already done their first filling or has completed numerous root canals, don’t worry. Your time will come.
The university tutors you will work with are all experienced clinicians, who really do have a wealth of knowledge, so ensure you get as much experience or information as you can from them. Ask questions if your struggling or don’t understand something, they are there to teach you and guide you in the right direction.
Any time you have a chance to practice something, then do so. It’s very easy to disappear from the clinic early, especially on a Friday afternoon if your patient hasn’t shown up, but clinical time is like gold dust. You’ve paid for this tuition so make the most of it.
Try to be patient, you may feel like you are taking a long time when treating patients, but it’s more important to complete high-quality treatment. Speed will then just come naturally.
Lastly, one of the most important pieces of advice; don’t compare yourself to anyone. Just because someone has already done their first filling or has completed numerous root canals, don’t worry. Your time will come.
All that you can do is your best; you deserve to be where you are.
The first steps into your dentistry career can be daunting.
That’s why it’s important to pick the right environment that’s going to help you grow – while never losing focus on why you wanted to be a dentist in the first place. Find out what we can offer you as a Newly Qualified Dentist at Bupa Dental Care.