ehop24

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I'm currently finishing up my first year of dental school. Exams hit in a week or two. A full week of tests. I get my first patients in a month or so. And deep down, I'm a little nervous about it. My classmate and I were joking yesterday about having to call for a surgical consult after we let a polishing cup runaway and pierce our first patient's cheek.

Interestingly enough, I've never been happier. See, I didnt pick my school because it's the "best" (according to some magazine or some researcher or some dentist). Nor because it was the easiest to get into (unfortunately it was not). I didnt do it to save money. It didnt move me closer to my family. All in all, on paper it was not a very wise decision.

I picked my school because it fit me. Where it's located makes me happy. The curriculum is right up my alley. The lifestyle and attitude of the students I met with during interviewing was exactly what I wanted. Clinically, the school's record shows that I will likely graduate as an excellent (relatively) practitioner. My class will probably not raise any eyebrows with their board averages. And that suits all of us just fine. People that want to specialize will. And, if someone TRULY loves a specialty, they will find a way to get in. It might take a few extra years, but they WILL get in (FYI this is the case anywhere).

And so, I chose the school, that is me. Might as well be the Ehop24 School of Dentistry.

Turns out my classmates are alot like me. I've never been a part of such a large, cohesive group. It seems that we all genuinely enjoy the inordinately large amounts of time that we must spend together.

I wake up every morning, and I dont mind having to go sit through 8 hours of lectures. I get to hang out with with a bunch of great people all day. I dont have to kill myself to keep up with my classes because our class shares notes and study aids. Who can complain?

SIDENOTE: Your classmates will be with you all day long. ALL...DAY...LONG. Several years. You will spend more time (hours awake) with these classmates than you will with your spouse (if married). Or parents. Or dog/cat. That girl that heard you pass gas in class yesterday afternoon? You sit next to her at 8am today. and 9am. and 10am...11...12.......yeah, until 5pm. Like them or not, your classmates will be like your family. We should be able to interview our future classmates (take notes at your interview).

You can't imagine how much fun dental school can be if you match the school to the individual.

I've been reading this board for years. I can't tell you how many times i've seen "I hated the city, but I just have to graduate from XYZ university" or "gosh, their facilities suck and they arent very nice to their students, but their board scores are so darn high!" Etc. Etc. Etc.

Likewise, there are a ton of posts on dental town about how dental school is the worst experience on earth, comparable to torture. It's the general consensus. "Get in, get out, ASAP."

Screw it. Forget all of that mumbojumbo.

4 years is a long time for a twenty-something. Enjoy it. Ask the questions that are important to you. Discover who you are. Don't pick the best school you can get into. Pick the one that you FIT into.

I'm sure my formula isn't perfect, but here's to hoping everyone can enjoy dental school as much as I have.
 
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Tennisgirl

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hey ehop24

very inspirational! a lot of the time people pick schools for the 'wrong' reason. it's awesome that you're having a great time and learning a lot. how did you know you fit so well after spending 1 day on the campus??
 

FutrDDS

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ehop24... all i can say is wow. i interviewed yesterday at UCLA, and what you said hit home.

i'm happy you are at such a good place in your life. hopefully, i will achieve the same level of satisfaction.

best of luck.
 

ehop24

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Originally posted by Tennisgirl
hey ehop24

how did you know you fit so well after spending 1 day on the campus??
i spent much more than one day. i turned my interview into a weekend affair. when i received acceptances from the schools i was deciding between, i revisited several of the places for a second look.
 

Zurich5

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Ten to one says ehop goes to Nova. I mean, the weather alone?damn, I'm still kickcing my ass for not applying.
 

ecdoesit

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nice. hope that we will be classmate.
dont forget to let us know about your good news.
and please come to the other thread about ucla and know more incoming students =)

ehop24,
it must be great where you are now =)
i m curious about where you are at too.
please let us know, thanks.
 

UBTom

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Most of the guys in my class during our freshman year felt pretty much the same way Ehop did-- It was new, it was exciting, it was fun.

That's exactly how it should be for freshmen, I agree!

BUT!

By the time you are a fourth year, dental school will have succeeded in making most of you impatient, cranky, and cursing the school's bureaucratic hoops they make you jump through to graduate. Trust me. :D
 

ehop24

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I hope youre wrong tom, but it's certainly plausable. Doh. Nonetheless, I'll take a few years of enjoyment over 4 years of pain.
 
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busupshot83

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Originally posted by UBTom
Most of the guys in my class during our freshman year felt pretty much the same way Ehop did-- It was new, it was exciting, it was fun.

That's exactly how it should be for freshmen, I agree!

BUT!

By the time you are a fourth year, dental school will have succeeded in making most of you impatient, cranky, and cursing the school's bureaucratic hoops they make you jump through to graduate. Trust me. :D
According to the dentists over at Dental Town forums, Tom is correct. They describe dental school as boot camp, even worse. You just have to make it through alive, at all costs.
 

Dr.BadVibes

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Sorry Ehop.......Tom is right. From the Temple students Ive talked to, 1st year is a cakewalk, which means a lot time for social fun. But 2nd year is apparently killer.

You're just a freshmen........Tom is graduating......Dentaltown has dentists........I'd listen to Tom and Dentaltown. But honestly, your post is a good sign for us predents, because Im sure many of us are getting nervous about what to expect in the fall, so honestly, thanks for the post.....Im sure many people are at ease because of it. (no sarcasm)
 

gryffindor

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ehop:

To what Tom said, I have to say "ditto." And Tom & I are at the same school.

Glad you loved your first year. It's important not to burnout early b/c when you're 4 weeks from graduation, you'll hate it no matter how much love and praise you had back in first year. I truly empathize with what the guys on DentalTown say. However, unlike some of those dentists, I still like my school enough to probably donate back to it in the future.

As Tom said, "Impatient, cranky, and cursing the bureaucracy" - that's exactly how I've felt every moment spent inside the school building every single day this week.

But you make some very good points about choosing your dental school wisely and not getting hung up on board scores & location & prestige. Thank you for your great post.
 

Stanford Fencer

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I like the title of the thread..

dental school: the best time of your life awaits

indeed, the best time of your life begins AFTER dental school, when you're officially in recovery.
 

ecdoesit

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Cmon, people.
You are making me nervous. I thought the best time of our life will just be postponing, aint it? After graduation, we will have tons of debt. After paying off, the family and worry about retirement. When exactly is the best time of our life? The importance is to enjoy every bit whenever there is a chance. Cos then everyday, even in dental sch, could be the best time in your life :)
 

UBTom

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Nah, don't be nervous. You can certainly enjoy the first couple years of dental school when things are pretty straightforward, i.e. study hard and you are guaranteed to get good grades.

It's only after 2nd year when you start working in the clinics that things get more complicated.. And most dental students are capable of handling the additional pressures (patient management, stupid graduation requirements and unforgiving, super-subjective licensing board exams). Of course, just because we can handle it doesn't mean we aren't allowed to bitch about it.. :laugh:

So by all means enjoy dental school as you start out-- There is nothing better than starting off on the right foot!
 

Dentalist

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The best time of my life is today for yesterday is only a dream and tomorrow is only a vision.

Enjoy the moment, cherish your memories.
 

aphistis

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Stanford Fencer said:
I like the title of the thread..

dental school: the best time of your life awaits

indeed, the best time of your life begins AFTER dental school, when you're officially in recovery.
Word to that. :D Dental school is hardly some sort of gulag, but it's certainly not something I'd describe as fun most of the time.
 

anamod

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I love dentistry and will enjoy practicing it the rest of my life, but I can honestly think of nothing worse than dental school. More power to EHOP24 for enjoying it but, sitting in class for 5 hrs a day listening to a prof read notes to me is not my idea of fun. It's not that I hate because it's hard (which it is not) it's I really can't stand seeing the same 80 some people each day grub for grades and points all day. The only day I will enjoy of dental school is my last.

It really comes down to what type of person you are, I personally can't stand the people who are in my class that love just being apart of dental school and all these clubs and committees and hanging around dental students all day. Other than my group of friends and my wife I try to spend as little time at school and with dental students possible.

Don't take this the wrong way I love dentistry and what it has to offer and really don't mind the most of the faculty it's more or less the students that suck.
 

flat4

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Just curious but do most of you guys get patients after 1 year? We start treating patients after we take NBDE I our sophmore year and I thought this was the standard. Do you go to a three year program?
 

UBTom

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At my school (4-year program), we get assigned a prophy/recall patient during the Fall semester of sophomore year, then move up to treating comp care patients in Spring. We take our NBDE Pt.I in the summer after sophomore year.

Most dental schools seem to transition to patient care sometime in sophomore year yep..
 

gryffindor

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anamod said:
It really comes down to what type of person you are, I personally can't stand the people who are in my class that love just being apart of dental school and all these clubs and committees and hanging around dental students all day. Other than my group of friends and my wife I try to spend as little time at school and with dental students possible.
I guess I would be one of those people anamod doesn't like. I don't know why the students in your class "suck." I know there are some lousy ones in each group - there are some in my class that make me clench my teeth everytime they pass me. However, dental school is the first time I've ever felt that "school spirit" and wanted to be involved where I make a difference. I know some dental students can be annoying, but really, if some of us weren't so involved in the club and committees, stuff wouldn't get done. Believe me, those of us who are involved and genuinely care (not the ones who pretend to care and are just there to pad resumes) are the first ones to get yelled at and blamed by the nonchalant and passive students when something doesn't go right or sounds unfair...

But it works both ways, b/c the dental students that irritate me the most are the ones who spend the least amount of time with the class, refuse to socialize with their classmates/future colleagues, run home to their significant others ASAP, and then constantly complain and harass me when things don't go their way - "Can you switch this yearbook picture on my page for me?" or "My yearbook portrait looks awful and I MUST have a retake" and "I wanted to order those Whitestrips, when is the money due? Oh sorry, it was due last week? Can I still get them?"

I'm just ranting b/c I want school to end so badly (4 more weeks!). I'm not picking on anamod. I love dental school, yet hate it at the same time. Bittersweet.
 

gatorfan99

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JRogoff said:
I hope its Nova that eshop is talking about!

Sorry to burst your NOVA bubble, but I think he goes to Boston U.

Lets face it, Boston beats Fort Lauderdale (south Florida, yuck) by a million to one!!

:)

Gatorfan.
A gator thats ready to leave Florida.
 

UBTom

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gatorfan99 said:
Sorry to burst your NOVA bubble, but I think he goes to Boston U.

Lets face it, Boston beats Fort Lauderdale (south Florida, yuck) by a million to one!!

:)

Gatorfan.
A gator thats ready to leave Florida.
I think the novelty will wear off for you after you live through just one Boston winter.. :laugh: j/k
 

Westside22

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when i was reading that first post, i thought it was full of sarcasm, i was like, haha, so funny... then i was like ....woaaaa the person is actually isn't being sarcastic, which i have to say, is great...

i thought the post was intent as a joke to say how straining the first year can be...
anyway, more power to ya...

and that is a great attitude....

about Boston in the wintuh....

well all i gotta say is, snow is lots of fun if you dont have to drive and make sure you bring extra socks to school cuz u never know when your shoes will get wet while u are running to class..

well, dont run or you will trip and .....break or crack your central incisors, :laugh:
 
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