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A Day in the Life of a Dental Student - Second Year

Christian and Halee tell what it's like to be a second year dental student:

Christian Ortiz, Meharry '15

Christian Ortiz

This year is much more fun. I’d much rather stay after class to do lab work than study the krebs cycle and smell like formaldehyde after hours of anatomy lab.

I prepared for the NBDE Part I using ASDA released board exams. I would research and make notes on every question I got wrong, then read all the notes I accumulated before taking a new exam.

My favorite part of the past school year was participating in a continuing education session with the North Carolina AGD. We divided up in groups and worked together to present treatment plans for complicated restorative cases. I felt like a real dentist!

I'm looking forward to going on a mission trip next summer. My school offers mission trips to Haiti and Jamaica.

Over the past year I have gotten better at expressing myself using dental terminology. I struggled with this during my freshman year.

The biggest challenge this year has been trying to find time to read my textbooks amidst all the lab work.

I wish I had known that I shouldn't worry about grades as much as understanding the material and procedures.

I hope that next year my jokes for patients get better. I've said some pretty corny ones.

In my free time I play intercollegiate club volleyball for Vanderbilt University.

My involvement in ASDA has forced me to better my public speaking.

Halee Hyatt, Washington '15

Halee Hyatt

This year has been a blast, but busy! I think the biggest adjustment has been getting used to being at school (and often, in our preclinical lab) from 7:30-4:30 every day. While this year has involved more demands on our time, our hands and our minds, it has also allowed for more creativity and growth.

The NBDE was the last thing on my mind this summer because I did an internship in the offce of a congressman in Washington, D.C. I was working at least eight hours a day and exploring the city the rest of the time. Over the six weeks leading up to the exam, I studied my dental decks 4-5 hours per week. In the 10 days between when I got home from D.C. and the exam, I did full-time studying (10 or 12 hours per day). I think my classmates generally found that we were well-prepared.

My favorite part of the past year has been getting to know my amazing classmates. They are selfless, intelligent and hard working. They inspire me every day. We have a group of students that works extremely well together. I would recommend that incoming dental students pledge, as a class, to treat each other with respect, to work as a team and to understand that each person has their own strengths.

I’m looking forward to two things: first, having my own patients to manage and care for, to be able to see the entire picture of their medical and dental needs, and to work toward meeting those needs while developing strong relationships. Second, I am looking forward to being exposed to all of the specialties in a clinical setting.

Over the past year I have become more comfortable with my role as a student leader. I have felt more at liberty to challenge status quo, provide creative solutions to problems at the dental school, and implement the changes we want to see. I was appointed by our new dean to be the student representative on a task force that will examine how to improve organizational structure in departments at our school. I am thrilled to be involved in positive changes for all students.

The biggest challenge was balancing life outside of school with the academic, leadership and volunteering demands of a dental student.

I wish I had known that we would have time for more than we originally expected. Becoming president of the UW ASDA chapter as a second year may have been unconventional, but I have found out how incredibly fulfilled as a student leader and how much it adds to my academic experience. I don’t think I could have survived taking 12 classes and the crazy academic demands of second year without the meaningful, exciting work I’ve taken on in ASDA.

I hope that next year I continue to practice effective delegation.

My involvement with ASDA has been instrumental in helping me develop self confidence, a sense of purpose in dentistry, an idea about how important life-long advocacy will be for our profession and for our patients.

Go to A Day in the Life of a D1.

Go to A Day in the Life of a D3.

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