D2 Fall

It

I went out and saw the movie “It” the other day and, like a true dental student, I couldn’t help but pay way too much attention to Pennywise’s abnormally long maxillary central incisors during the dialogue with Georgie.

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We recently learned about CRR (crown-root ratio) in Fixed Prosthodontics class. It is “a measure of the length of tooth occlusal to the alveolar crest of bone compared with the length of root embedded in the bone.” (Shillingburg 85) Ideally, the ratio should be 2:3, although 1:1 is also sometimes acceptable. The problem with too much crown show is that the opposing teeth will create stress on the crown and may make them mobile. The occlusal force created by natural teeth (assume these are his natural teeth) can reach 150lbs!

Anyways, we don’t really know the length of Pennywise’s roots, but if it’s anywhere near normal, he may not have those 2 teeth in the sequel. And honestly, I can’t think of anything scarier.

D2 Fall

First exam of the year

We just finished our 5th week of second year and just had our first set of exams this week. That feels so weird to say. This week, I had to re-teach myself how to study after a month of no tests or quizzes. Although that sounds pretty nice (it is), there is significantly more time spent in lab compared to first year. Before starting school at TAMCOD (formerly Baylor), I frequently heard about how notorious this school was, out of all the other Texas schools, for lab work. Although our class schedule ends at 2 or 5, sometimes I stay until 7 to finish that day’s lab work. Here is the first page of the D1 and D2 schedules for comparison:

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I crossed out each day as a way to congratulate myself for surviving another day…The next page was worse as it approached “Blacktober”.

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The D1 schedule was 3 pages long and this year’s schedule is 2 pages. The D2 schedule has much less exams, and most of the exams are actually practicals.

I’m glad to say that I can now have a proper weekend and sleep before midnight every day!

D2 Fall

My Birthday!

Well, it was exactly a week ago from today.  I’m officially no longer “forever 21” or “feelin’ 22”, but turns out people actually still do like you when you’re 23. It was on a Thursday (the only day our schedule ends at noon) so that was great! Except I ended up staying in lab until about 5 or 6 anyways to finish making my custom tray.

Despite this, it was still an awesome day and I had chocolate for lunch because why not.

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D2 Fall

First Impressions: A Year In Review

I was going to make this post on the anniversary of my first year orientation, but I’m about 3 weeks late.

Since then, I have experienced many “firsts”. Here are some of them:

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My first day in dental school. I’ve since become a nocturnal vampire person and have gone 20 shades lighter.
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My first impression (or poured up impression)
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My first gold crown
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My first time applying fluoride varnish
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My first time zip lining
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First picnic with my favorite girls
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Another one because I just like this picture
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My first time in San Francisco
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My first time working in the sim lab.
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My first time receiving a care package from a very thoughtful friend 🙂
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My first time trying to start a campfire from scratch

 

 

 

D2 Spring

Boards Update

A little late in posting this but last week I found out I passed boards! Rumor has it that our class did not get a 100% pass rate this year, but I’m glad I can say that I PASSED!!

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Now that board are out of the way, D2 year seems pretty nice (compared to D1). Looking at our exam schedule, we don’t have any exams or quizzes or practicals until a month into school. Although that sounds great, I think it’s because it would be unfair to grade our crappy work at this point. We have now transitioned into the Sim Lab and are still trying to figure out how to take different impressions, pour casts, make crown preps, and all the other lab stuff that goes on behind the scenes. It’s more physically exhausting than mentally exhausting, but it’s definitely more interesting!

Uncategorized

How To Prepare For Your Dental School Interview

As interviews are fast approaching, we will soon start seeing all these poor, unsuspecting but very hopeful pre-dents roaming through our halls. Rewind almost exactly a year ago from today: I was one of those hopeful pre-dents. Although it was a blur, the pang of nerves I felt on that day has rekindled my memory. I’m going to share some tips from what I remember.

Note: This advice is specific for the TAMCOD interview. Every school has a different process. I suggest looking up the school’s mission statement to see where they place their focus. 

Before the Interview

A potential checklist for what you need to prepare:

  • Get an idea for potential interview questions. See below for more detail.
  • Know the interview style. Some interviews will have one person interviewing you with a list of questions they will go through. Some will prefer to have an organic conversation with you and ask you a couple basic questions (this is the A&M interview type). The interview is also (partially) closed-file as opposed to open-file. See below for more detail.
  • Have at least 3 questions ready to ask your interviewer. You will have 3 different interviewers and they will all ask you if you have any questions at the end of the interview. You could technically say no or ask them the same question, but it doesn’t hurt to plan.
  • Master the handshake. Be more cognizant of yourself when you next shake someone’s hand. For people like me who have spaghetti arms, this needed some work. A firm handshake just exudes more confidence.
  • Buy a hard folder or portfolio. You will need to fill out some paperwork and you might want to take some notes during the presentations. You also need somewhere to put the papers they will give you.
  • Buy professional business clothes. You don’t have to splurge on something extreme hoping they will applaud you for your chic fashion sense. Just wear something that is comfortable and makes you feel confident. If you are a girl, definitely invest in comfortable heels for the tour. I recommend these Clarks heels. I was walking on air.
  • If you can, arrange for someone to drop you off and pick you up so you don’t have to worry about parking.

 

The Interview Day

My interview invitation was at 10am on a Wednesday sometime in the middle of August. That’s not actually when the interview started, however. When I got the the school, I went up to the 5th floor into the admissions office to find out I was the last one to get there. Believe me, I am late to a lot of things, but this was not one of them! I got there 5 minutes early, but I think everyone else had gotten there at least 5 minutes before me.

They had us wait in a small-ish room. The chairs were against the walls, all facing each other, so you had no choice but to make conversation while you all sit there filling out paperwork. I think there were about 10-15 people in the room consisting of the afternoon (me) and morning groups. Various faculty came in to give us more information about the financial aid, cost of attendance, research on campus, etc.

They then split us into 2 groups. One group will get the tour/lunch first followed by the interview and the other group will interview first. I was in the former group and the whole morning was spent in nervous anticipation.

During the tour, there were some nice D4’s who volunteered to show us around (although I think they were in it for the $10 lunch voucher).  For lunch, I got a 6-piece Chik-fil-a chicken nuggets with waffle fries but I think I could only eat a nugget and a couple fries. I don’t know if this is a normal thing, but when I’m nervous my appetite goes out the window and I just can’t eat anything.

 

The Interview

My group was finally sent to the same room they had us wait in that morning. They started to call us back one by one to be interviewed. Actually, the interviews were not that bad. I think TAMCOD, as oppose to some other schools, really just want to get to know you. Two of the interviews will be from the dental school faculty and one will be from the Dean of Admissions, Dr. Miller. The interview with Dr. Miller will be the only one that is open-file. I think she is the only one who actually read my application. The other 2 had my application in front of them, but they seem to have skimmed it 5 minutes before I arrived into the room. They mostly tried tried to spark conversation and get to know me, although they did ask a few real interview questions. The interview with Dr. Miller was much more of a typical dental school interview, but even then, it felt like it was more of a conversation than anything else. She asked me questions about my application mostly. I did not get asked any scenario “what would you do in this situation” type of questions in any of the interviews.

If you want to “study” for the interview, I would suggest collecting as many interview questions as you can in a word document with your potential answer. This is so you can look back on them and remind yourself what you might say. DO NOT memorize your answer, unless you want to sound like a robot. You want to sound as honest and un-rehearsed as possible.

Note: Only the first 5 questions were questions I was actually asked. I couldn’t remember the rest (if there were any other real questions to be honest), so I listed some others I think could also be asked.

  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  • Why do you want to be a dentist? Be clear and confident in your answer. The person who asked me this did not read my application, so I briefly summarized my personal statement.
  • Why A&M?
  • Can you tell me about _____ experience you had? (know your application very well)
  • What are you planning on doing during your gap year/semester? (if you have one)
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • How do you spend your free time?

 

After the Interview

Now that your interview is out of the way, you should celebrate! Treat yourself to dessert, splurge on online shopping, go out with friends, whatever floats your boat. Then send a thank you card/email (I prefer email) to your interviewers. Make sure to grab their business card or you’ll have to dig through the depths of google like me. Then, pray you get in and wait patiently until December 1st.

Good luck!

D2 Summer

Bored of Boards

Lana Khazma

So I took my boards 2 days ago. All day, I was getting flashbacks to pre-dental me taking my DAT at the same Prometric testing center. It was a weird mix of nostalgia for my much more motivated younger self and disgust that I had to relive the experience again. In total, it came out to be about 8 hours long including optional and scheduled breaks. So, as you can imagine, by the end of it I was pretty much mentally exhausted. It wasn’t all that bad this time around, though, since half the test takers that day were my classmates. It was also less nerve-wracking than taking the DAT since we don’t actually get a numerical score. I just need to pass.

As a result, my study schedule was extremely brief in comparison to my DAT study schedule. In about 2 weeks, I crammed everything we learned throughout the year. If you don’t already know, the NBDE Part I is comprised of four, 100 question sections. Each section is a mix of one of 4 subject areas:

  • Biochemistry and Physiology
  • Anatomic Sciences (Gross anatomy and Histology)
  • Microbiology/Pathology/Immunology
  • Dental Anatomy/Occlusion

For studying, if you’re curious, I used the 2012-2013 dental decks, National Boards Mastery App, google (LOTS of google), and youtube. I would say these resources were good “refreshers” of the material we had throughout the year. Although nothing on the exam seemed like gibberish, I did frequently have to use my sub-par long term memory for those concepts we briefly went over once in class and never touched on again. So that was great.

But you know what’s even greater? I have a whole week and a half to spend on break. I know, it’s not much, but it’s better than nothing. Besides the faint echo of panic in the back of my head telling me that I failed the boards exam, for the first time since last summer, I am absolutely free of responsibilities and worries.  Ignorance truly is bliss.