As part of my role on the ASDA Editorial Board, I’m launching a diversity series on the national ASDA blog “Mouthing Off” by showcasing the diverse holidays dental students celebrate across the nation. Each article in this series (Titled “Celebrating diversity: ______”) will be posted around the time of that particular holiday. The first article written for the series was posted yesterday following Eid celebrations this past weekend. You can read it here!
If you are a dental or pre-dent student who would like to write for this series and have a holiday that you celebrate coming up, reach out to me! 🙂
I’m clearing my phone of old photos, so I thought I would post some random pictures I took from lab this year. Second year has definitely been more hands on with lab work, and these photos are just a snippet of the projects we have done.
Sharing is caring. Basically everyone will be asking to borrow something from you in lab, and you will do the same to others. Sometimes things get so busy in lab that you misplace things if you leave them alone for even a minute. In the first week of school, my freshly poured impression was mistakenly taken by a classmate after briefly leaving wet lab. It turned out fine though because I just took that mystery person’s poured up impression they also left behind in wet lab.
Anticipate losing something in lab. Almost everyone marks their belongings with some Washi or duct tape so they won’t get lost. By the end of the year, most everyone will owe the school some money for missing things. I ended up owing $53.23. Another unfortunate classmate ended up owing $331.
The couples that formed in D1 are now inseparable and you are already trying to figure out what to wear to their weddings.
Coming into D2, I was so used to working on bench top that I couldn’t imagine having to use my indirect vision to work in the Sim head. Now, having completed D2, I can’t imagine doing preps bench top.
You will get much, much faster at dentistry. This goes for both waxing and preps. For reference, we would have 5 hours to work on a single wax up in D1. In D2, we had 4 hours to do 3 wax ups.
Grades will become less and less important to you as you slowly lose the will to study for another exam (at least for me).
You will become more reliant on tea or coffee on the days you have lecture exams because you have reached princess status and can no longer tolerate sitting down to study.
Your Brasseler (basically a motor hand piece you can use for trimming/polishing) will double as your manicurist. You can literally have your own makeshift nail salon at your bench.
Nobody likes to take out and set up the Brasseler. You will borrow your neighbor’s Brasseler at all costs.
You will be so thankful you go to TAMCOD because, while other dental students are stressing the summer after D2 about boards, you’re chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ this summer because that was you last year.
About a month ago, I was assigned “Oral Anesthesia” rotation, more colloquially known on campus as “Stab Lab”. During this rotation, we pair up in groups in the Oral Surgery clinic and practice doing Inferior Alveolar nerve, Lingual, Long Buccal, Posterior Superior Alveolar nerve blocks and infiltrations. (If this means absolute jibberish to you, here is a picture of the nerves in the head that supply sensation to the oral cavity:)
I lucked out with a fabulous partner who made sure to study up before giving injections. He, on the other hand, was not as lucky. Fortunately, the long hours of studying head and neck anatomy in Gross lab comes back to you, and they reviewed with us beforehand. What really helped was the professor literally holding my hand while I was doing the injection and talking me through the whole thing.
There’s something odd about learning how to give injections in class and then actually doing them on a living person. After the rotation, we had to try it again on a real patient. It felt strangely surreal when the patient said he was starting to feel numb, and that I was responsible with this tiny needle and a couple drops of lidocaine.
One thing that surprised me was how little pain I actually felt. The last time I have gotten an injection was probably back when I was a good child that ate all her Halloween candy. It’s been so long that I forgot what it felt like and expected the worst. Surprisingly, I did not feel a thing both when the needle was inserted or when the lidocaine was injected (topical anesthetic helped). The slight pinch I did feel was when an infiltration was done towards the anterior region, but it was not bad at all. I think the most dangerous part about getting local is the possibility of biting your cheek and/or lip because you can’t feel it. It seemed every time I talked, I would bite my cheek, and this bothered me so much that I decided to take a nap to pass the time. I was numb for a good 4 hours!
For those who aren’t familiar, the Dental Olympics are an annual event consisting of the three Texas dental schools: Texas A&M, San Antonio, and Houston. Students from each class come together to compete in a variety of sports for their school. The event is held at or around the host school and rotates between schools each year. This year we went to San Antonio and took home the trophy!!
The Trophy will now be held in our break room for the rest of the year, and hopefully for many, many more years. It’s unfortunate, though, that we now how to change the almost 40 year tradition and engrave “Texas A&M” instead of “Baylor”.
The Olympics included several different sports, including men’s teams, women’s teams and some co-ed. The sports this year included: a 5K, Basketball, Tennis, Golf, Swimming, Ping pong, Washers, Super Smash Bros, Soccer, Flag Football, Sand Volleyball, Softball, Dodgeball, and Ultimate Frisbee. What did I compete in you may ask? Well it was actually a really cold day so I didn’t go to any outdoor events, but I did compete in Washers, a game where you have to throw washers into a box (it’s harder than it sounds). I did not win my round, but my school won overall! I was also a really great cheerleader for all the other indoor events..
A couple of weeks ago, I got contacted to meet with the school’s online news website, Dentistry Insider, to answer some questions about my new role on the Editorial Board for national ASDA. I think they were alerted about my position after asking the Dean of Students for a letter of good academic standing (required for the application). A couple days ago, the article was published! You can read it here.
Spring break probably felt like the longest yet shortest week I have ever had. Long because it was filled with lots of adventure and new experiences, but short because time really flies when you’re not studying.
For the first half of the break, I went on a girls trip down to Austin and stayed in this cool Airbnb.
Later that day we went hiking at a nearby trail and then decided to go kayaking. It wasn’t until the end of the kayaking trip that we collectively realized that we actually hate kayaking. I think it’s because we’ve almost made it a tradition at this point to go kayaking during spring break (or any kind of outdoors-y event) that we’re kind of kayak-ed out.
We didn’t even realize this while planning, but the popular SXSW (South by Southwest) conference/music festival was going on at the same time we were arriving in Austin. We were warned that there was going to be huge masses in downtown Austin, and to beware of getting caught in traffic for hours. So of course when we actually got there, there was no traffic whatsoever!
Along the way to Austin, we stopped by some popular stops like Buc-cee’s (the most amazing gas station I have ever seen) and Magnolia Market in Waco. We were actually trying to stop in Waco to eat at “Magnolia Table” the restaurant, but drove into the Magnolia Market and saw hoards of people flocking to some kind of event inside. It turns out the annual “Spring at the Silos” event at Magnolia Market was taking place that weekend! (lots of coincidences this weekend). After finally finding parking, we walked in to a variety of different artisan vendors at the outdoor vendor fair, live music, food trucks, and lots of good instagram-worthy photo opportunities.
Fast forward the second half of spring break…
It turns out there was ultra music festival at same time in miami. (Why do the music festivals keep following us?)
This year is the AADR conference. Every other year, the conference alternates between IADR (International Association for Dental Research) and AADR (American Association for Dental Research). This year, it was the AADR conference so it will not be as big as next year. I am so jealous of next year’s batch of researchers since they will be attending IADR in Vancouver! It is unlikely that I will be able to attend next year because usually only D1’s and D2’s are able to do research at my school (I’m not sure whether this is because of scheduling or to allow more underclassmen to do research).