Friday, April 26, 2013

Exploring Eaton Canyon

With only three more days left of spring break, we ventured to the outskirts of Pasadena for a quick mid-afternoon hike. Eaton Canyon was a perfect spot. It was easy enough for beginner hikers yet still entertaining for the more experienced adventurers.

Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon

Eaton Canyon


Monday, April 22, 2013

Day 229: Perks of Being a Dental Student

dental school free samples

One of the perks of being a dental student is that you'll be inundated with free toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, mouthwash, etc. (Unless you are a dental student at USC, which has a strict policy against companies giving away free stuff at school). This is a small sample of all the dental paraphernalia I collected from just two ASDA conferences. This doesn't even include the free Philips Sonicare DiamondClean electric toothbrush that I received at ASDA National Leadership Conference. I probably have enough toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss to last me a lifetime!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Boston Marathon


I was sitting in a conference in Washington D.C. on Monday afternoon when all around me, people began clamoring in hushed tones.
"Hey, did you hear about what happened at the Boston Marathon?"
 "Someone detonated two bombs at the finish line. There are three dead and many more injured.
My mind did an instantaneous flashback to the carnage of September 11. Twin plumes of grey smoke, toppling buildings, and innocent bystanders scrambling for their lives. Chaos. Confusion. Unease. Though September 11 was a larger scale attack on America, the Boston Marathon bombing seemed more frightening and real in my mind. I suppose my recollections of September 11 are tempered by my youthful ignorance at the time (I was 11 years old).  Also, living 3000 miles away from the scene of the crime afforded a feeling of distance and relative safety.

This time, the Boston Marathon bombing hit a little too close for comfort. Though nobody wanted to admit it, a terrorist attack was on the forefront of everyone's thoughts that day. Here we were, sitting in the heart of the nation's capitol - the ideal spot for a terrorist to target. Nearby in Boston there were bombs, explosions, sirens wailing, an 8-year old dead, and hundreds of people injured. Obviously the FBI agreed with us because security was heightened immediately in Washington D.C.

We were there to learn how to lobby effectively on Capitol Hill. Lobby about student loans. Lobby about income-based repayment of student loans. Lobby about the medical devices tax. Yet all of this seemed so trivial in the midst of tragedy.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Day 215: "Selling" Dental Treatment Ethically

Journal of the American Student Dental Association

Go check out my latest article, entitled "Selling" Dental Treatment Ethically, in the Spring 2013 issue of Mouth - Journal of the American Student Dental AssociationTo stay in business, you must get patients to accept your treatment plans. How can you persuade patients to accept treatment while staying within your ethical obligations as a health care provider?

Also, I have been selected as the new ASDA District 11 Newsletter Editor for 2013 - 2014. I look forward to creating the newsletter and representing the students of District 11. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

10 Things I Learned During My First Year In Dental School


In about three weeks, the D1s enter a period of limbo known as summer trimester. We don't know whether we should call ourselves first years or second years at that point. The D4s will be graduating and the D2s have fully evacuated sim lab. Logically, when the D4s graduate, we should be able to call ourselves second years. But upper classmen have informed us that until the new D1s arrive on campus, we are still considered "first years". Nonetheless, here's a snippet of things I have learned during my first year of dental school: 
  1. Dental school is like being back in high school. Cliques form, rumors spread like wildfire ("did you hear about [insert name here] hooking up with [insert name here] last night?"), and you're stuck with the same group of people for 8 hours a day. 
  2. Regarding cliques - they start to solidify within the first 2 months of school. Also, bromance (still) runs rampant...
  3. Coffee is going to be your best friend. Until it makes you jittery while you are doing a class II prep for a final timed practical exam. Jittery hands + high speed hand piece + preps that are measured in tenths of millimeters = bad news. 
  4. Accidentally getting stabbed by random dental instruments becomes a fact of life. Beware of buffalo knives, #11 scalpels, #12 scalpels, explorers, perio probes, 7901 burs, 256 burs, etc. 
  5. You get over the smell of gross things pretty quickly. My first week in sim lab, the smell from drilling extracted teeth made me nauseous. Now, the smell just reminds me of corn nuts (kind of gross, I know). 
  6. If you are a complete germaphobe, dentistry is probably not the right profession for you. I'm not even talking about patient saliva, blood, and body tissues flying around in the dental operatory. Sim lab itself can become a pretty squalid scene by the end of the day. 
  7. If you can get over the pride issues, you realize that it is okay to ask for help. Whether in clinic, in PBL, or in life, there's usually someone who has more expertise in that area than you. And more often than not, they WANT to help. By going out of my way to ask second years for help, I've learned so many invaluable tricks in sim lab. 
  8. You are probably going to fail at something. You may even fail multiple times. Don't expect things to be easy in dental school. Like the quote says, "It never gets easier. You just get better". 
  9. Accept the fact that there are people who live in SIM lab, study for exams weeks in advance, and know what they want to specialize in on the first day of dental school. They are called ortho gunners and there's nothing you can do about them. Don't worry because most of your other classmates are like you and have absolutely no idea what they want to do in life. 
  10. Instead of serving as a means to get wasted at a frat party on Thursday nights, alcohol becomes an accompaniment to work. We have a set of maxillary anterior waxups due tomorrow? How about a wine and waxing night? We have to read Chapters 2-4 of the posterior esthetic restorations manual before lecture? Want some beer to go with that? Was sim lab a pain-in-the-ass today? Let's relax with some whiskey while we (pretend to) read learning needs. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Day 208: Manic Mondays


Tomorrow morning at 8am is our final exam for composite. Naturally, tonight is the "cram an entire notebook worth of information into my head" type of night. It's going swell - I've already chugged a cup of coffee and a quarter gallon of water. 

I can't wait until tomorrow night! I'll be done with my composite written final exam, done with my composite class III prep, and done with my composite class IV restoration. Best of all, I'll be at the Kina Grannis concert at Bovard Auditorium

Scope Bacon Mouthwash



This has to be... APRIL FOOLS!