Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This Is How I Spend My Free Fridays...

It feels like it has been years since I last posted here. Somewhere along the lines, I just never got back into work and blog mode following spring break. The coming of April also brings a ton of work - 2 research project presentations, 1 presentation on "Exercise during Pregnancy", 2 research reports, 2 papers, and 2 lab finals. So bear with me until we get closer to graduation.

I'm not sure how common or uncommon this is: a dentist with a general fear of blood. I'm the lab member that still gets queasy when we have to collect tubes of blood for plasma epinephrine samples in our kinesiology labs. As a future dentist, this worries me. I figured that the best way to cure me of my fear is to "throw myself to the dogs". In other words, force myself to shadow and assist in the oral surgery department where there is bound to be loads and loads of blood.

So I threw on a pair of disposable gloves, a dental gown, and disposable eyewear and started assisting in oral surgery. There were some interesting cases (i.e. alveoloplasty) but most of the time, the student dentists were simply extracting teeth or extracting the roots of tooth from the gum. It was also my first time suctioning and assisting. I'll admit that I'm not a pro at suctioning; there are so many things to consider at one time - "am I blocking the dentist's light? am I getting in his or her way in the mouth? am I suctioning too much or not enough? what in the world is the equipment that they are asking me to get?!?!" The student dentist was kind enough to laugh at my inadequacies.

"At least you didn't faint from the sight of blood", she told me.

The moral of the story: it takes baby steps, people, baby steps. Everyone has to start somewhere. The other moral of the story is that I should probably watch a few helpful YouTube videos on dental assisting...

But I survived! And I enjoyed it enough that I'm probably going to keep going back!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

ASDOH Update

I returned from my morning classes to find a little white envelope sitting inconspicuously on my desk. I let out a sigh and braced myself for the worse as I tore open the envelope from the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health. No good news could possibly come in an envelope this small, right?

On the bright side, I was only half right. The envelope didn't contain good news yet it didn't contain bad news either. It was simply a quick follow up letter from the admissions committee saying that all hope is not lost. Sometimes in life, no news is the best news.

Song of the Day
Lights - Ellie Goulding

Monday, March 5, 2012

Third Batch of Acceptances, USC Dental School Class of 2016

The Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC sent out their third batch of dental school acceptances for the class of 2016, which meant that student doctor network was aflutter with excitement. Congratulations and welcome to the Trojan family!

My new March 2012 banner is dedicated to my friend Conan, who took time out of his busy life to teach me how to make a tooth out of composite material. I have to say, I like this composite stuff so much better than amalgam. I took the completed tooth home to show my roommate (who just got into UCI School of Medicine!) and she thought I had extracted a real tooth from some poor patient's mouth.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Minor Annoyance

Let's just say that I can't wait for dental school to start. I'm actually quite annoyed with my undergrad kinesiology courses at the moment. I'm typing this entry with two bandaged fingers as a result of blood tests following a timed 10K on the stationary bike while wearing a VO2 mask that severely inhibits breathing. Surprisingly, I really like the research project that my group is conducting. We are looking at whether listening to upbeat music or watching television has a greater positive effect on exercise.

I'm more annoyed with the lab TA. I mean, I love my TA as a person and as someone to randomly chat with but I'm annoyed by her grading of lab reports. I'm okay with strict teachers and strict graders as long as they make it clear from day 1 that they are strict. However, the lab manual simply says to "answer all of the post-lab questions". So if the grader wants the students to "answer the post-lab questions using long-winded and in-depth paragraphs describing the results in terms of physiology that we shoddily learn in lecture (thanks to our 'professor')", they should make that clear on day 1.

And by the way, when a 'professor of science' spends 10 minutes in lecture trying to persuade the class that during depolarization, sodium enters the cell via the sodium-potassium pump, you know that you won't be learning anything of substance in that class...

It would be nice if the TAs let us know what they are expecting to see when they grade lab reports on day 1, not on week 8 - after they have graded a handful of your lab report already. This injustice is only serving to make me irritated and angry. When I am irritated or angry, I tend to become very competitive, agressive, and slightly unhinged on academics. So I vow to go batshit crazy on the next lab report I turn in. If my TA wants in-depth use of physiology to answer each question on the post-lab, I'm going to let her have physiology.

I repeat, I'm going to be slightly unhinged and maniacal  on my next lab report. Beware.

Spread the Smile Campaign

Whenever a dental school interviewer asks me what specialty I want to pursue, my default answer is "I don't know yet". As a pre-dental student who hasn't had exposure to a majority of the dental specialties yet, I don't want to make a rash and uneducated decision. But in the past few years, my experiences have made me heavily lean towards pediatric dentistry. Even though I have never shadowed a pediatric dentist and have no idea what the specialty entails, I LOVE being around kids. Kids are different than adults. They are simple, vivacious, and easy to please - traits that are generally missing in the adult population. They have magical way of unintentionally brightening your day!

These are pictures from our Spread the Smile campaign last Friday at Vermont Avenue Elementary School, featuring our special guests: Bob (the dinosaur) and Banana Split (the monkey).