1st summer-work or play or both?

Discussion in 'Dental' started by mike05tusdm, May 20, 2002.

  1. mike05tusdm

    mike05tusdm Member
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    Hello All,

    I'm wondering what most of you did in the summer between 1st and 2nd years-since this is pretty much the last free summer we have.

    On one hand, I feel like I should work full-time-since this will be pretty much my last chance to earn any money. We only have 7 weeks though, so that makes it hard to get a job especially with college students finished right now-so if I was a biotech company looking to hire interns, I'd much rather have someone available for 3 months. I feel as though I should do something work-productive though, since I would feel like a lazy piece of $hit if I just vacationed all summer.

    OTOH, 2nd year will be brutal with Boards at the end and the 2nd years here have all told me about their insane 2-week long exam blocks and endo/crown and bridge labwork, so the ones I've talked to said to work as little as possible over the summer. I definitely want a few weeks to go on vacation, but 7 weeks of vacation seems a bit long...

    I guess I'm just wondering what people did and why they did it-I know every situation is different.

    Thanks, Mike
     
  2. markymark

    markymark Senior Member
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    enjoy it because usc doesn't have a summer break... and i'd sure enjoy one if i had one too.
     
  3. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
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    Play, Play, Play!!!! I didn't, and did the research thing, while a good experience, looking back at it, did I significantly improve my life experience or change the world of dentistry as we know it?? Umm, no. Did I slightly improve the look of my CV for my residency application, likely so. Do I wish that I had played more golf and spent some more time at the beach??? YES! If you have your heart set on heading into a very competitive residency (ortho, endo, oral surgery) then the research on the CV will be a plus. If your not looking into those fields, do yourself a mental health favor, take the time for yourself, and then make up for it over the following three years by volunteering some time in some of the programs for community service that I'm sure your dental school has. That will look good on the CV (If the residency directors even look at that part of your CV) <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  4. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    I agree with Dr.Jeff - if you are sure you don't want an ultra-competitive residency after dental school, then no need to bother with resume-boosting activities. However, I have no idea what I want after dental school. I just know that I don't want to get to senior year and think "Hey, I really like endo. I think I want to specialize in endodontics. Oh, but wait. I'm not as competitive an applicant b/c although I have the grades, I didn't do any research in dental school and it is now senior year."

    So to keep all my options open after dental school, I did research after my first year summer and am planning to continue with the research after the NBDE - part I this summer. My classmates and I all doing research still had time to relax - the key is selecting the right mentor who has a "get some work done but still chill during the summer" attitude and doesn't demand 9 - 9 in the lab every day.
     
  5. mike05tusdm

    mike05tusdm Member
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    Thanks for the tips-I think this summer will be mostly play and work part-time a bit. I'm definitely not looking to get into a competitive residency or specialize-no need to add more stress to dental school-My goal is to pass all my classes and be employed when I graduate. I guess I can afford to lie on the beach and not worry about resume-building research then. :)

    Mike
     
  6. Hope7

    Hope7 Member
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    If you want to get into a competitive residency, would you advise doing research the year before entering dental school instead of the summer between 1st and 2nd year of dental school? Where can I find dental research positions besides the NIDCR?
     
  7. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    I don't know if it matters when you do the research. I had looked for a dental-related research spot as an undergrad. I called and met with at least seven of the research faculty at the local dental school and none of them could accomodate me in their lab at that time. Reasons they gave included - we don't have space, you don't have any experience, this lab is radioactive (?), just chill out, etc. I did end up with a spot at a cancer hospital instead and that worked out great for two and a half years. So I would suggest to just call/e-mail professors who do dental related research in the area you are looking for. Don't give up if they say no - in my case it took about 9 "no's" before I got a yes, and I wasn't even asking for a paid position.

    Also, UConn and UCSF have summer research programs for college students where you can do dental research. A lot of schools have these programs - they're usually called "Summer Research Experience" or "Research Experience for Undergraduates" or something like that. I did one of these in Boston b/f I started dental school and they are usually a sweet deal - stipend, paid housing, and lots of other perks. Most of them are for the summer b/w soph and jr year or jr and sr year, but I think there might be a few for after sr. year. I think the UCSF one takes seniors, but you have to apply by Feb or March. Most of these programs are geared toward PhD or MD aspiring students, but I applied anyways and got into several, but the only ones where they offered any dental research were UCSF and UConn.

    Please e-mail me if you have any other questions.
     
  8. Hope7

    Hope7 Member
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    Hey, thanks griffin04. The Summer Programs sounds like a good way to get acclimated to dental school. And I didn't think of contacting professors; that's a great idea. I'm going to start calling. Hope there will be fewer "no's". :)
     
  9. I'mFillingFine

    I'mFillingFine Pulptastic
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    So here I go digging up a 4-year-old thread ;) Hope you all don't mind.

    I had the same question as the OP for this thread. Buffalo has a great summer research program, but I went to the introductory meeting and listened to the profs all give a summary of their research, and....I don't know, I just want to PLAY this summer! I have NO research experience (I just did didactic bio and lots of music in college), so I don't know if they'd want to train me anyway. No idea about specialties yet, so I'm not sure how much I'd need the experience/resume addition.

    But honestly, I just want to go find a little kids' summer camp and teach cool gross science things or play piano for weddings. Should I suck it up and do the research, not do anything and live off the boyfriend, or perhaps a little something to keep me busy? What worked for you all?

    I was also a receptionist for AspenDental before, but I think I've had enough of that :thumbdown:
     
  10. Lesley

    Lesley Member
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    Hi Mike,

    I graduated DS almost 25 years ago. I needed to work during DS part time during all four years and FT during my summer breaks. Temple, where I went, had job opportunities at the university available to the students during the summer breaks between D1 and D2 and even during the shorter break between D2 and D3. One was for about 12 weeks and the other was only about 8 weeks. At the time there were job postings in the dental school for the departments that were looking for help. It also helps to go to every department and let them know you are looking. My part time jobs were from the classified. They were usually weekend jobs, dental assisting and babysitting , but I was able to find evening work M-F at a nursing home. They need help during dinner time.

    I would recommend, if you can afford it, to take off any time you have available and to not work at all during DS. It's hard enough as it is already.
    But having said that, I was not willing to take out a nickel more in school loans than absolutely necessary, and it was still a lot. It is possible to pass everything, graduate on time and work, I did, but it's definitely a strain.

    Also having said that, now that both of my children are in college one's a senior and the other a freshman, I didn't want them to work during the first two years. My older son was a TA in his major junior year and this year also. He, hopefully, will be offered this job again next year as he completes his master's degree. It's a five year BS/MSE program, but college, even a five year program, is a little different than DS. DS is very, very demanding on your time.

    Good luck. I hope you enjoy your summer. You deserve it!
     

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