Concepcion10

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Nov 10, 2008
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Pre-Dental
Which programs (if any) are open to first or second year students doing externships? I am aware I probably will not be able to touch a patient now nor participate in surgeries but I would love to start going on some during my breaks to get an idea of the field.
Thanks!
 
Mar 9, 2010
190
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Resident [Any Field]
Which programs (if any) are open to first or second year students doing externships? I am aware I probably will not be able to touch a patient now nor participate in surgeries but I would love to start going on some during my breaks to get an idea of the field.
Thanks!
You should do a search as this has been asked several times. I know people who have gone to OHSU, Carle, Jax, USC, LSU-NO and UW after their first year. And most could participate in surgeries/ED stuff. I'd be willing to bet most if not all would let you come to their program (dispite what their websites say).
 

drhobie7

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Jun 9, 2005
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A 1st year dental student is as useful in the OR as a 4th year dental student. You will be able to assist just as well. As for taking out teeth in clinic...you can really learn this at any point in dental school. No reason why a first year couldn't learn to take out teeth as long as they know how to anesthetize a pt.
 

drhobie7

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Jun 9, 2005
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I got an email from a student about this and it occurred to me that just spending time with the OMS department at your school might be the best thing to do as a 1st and 2nd year. Just grab Peterson's OMS book and read a few chapters like pathology and trauma. This will make your time in the OR more meaningful. Often as a student it sucks to be in the OR because you can't see anything. Not much advice for that. Get on the step stool I guess. Plus, if you spend time with your home program they will know you well by the time you need a letter of rec, which will be good for some and bad for others. :)
 
Jun 26, 2009
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Great discussion. But in your experience, can 1st year students get any hands on action in the OR (extractions, retractions, etc)? I have to admit, I have done my fair share of shadowing, and I really wouldn't have the time to follow a resident around and do nothing. Wouldn't be better to learn how to do extractions from an OMFS resident rather than wating for your school's curriculum to introduce it?
 

caffeinehigh

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Sep 18, 2007
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I externed after my second year. Pulled my first teeth on an externship. Going after your first year might be a waste. Sometimes if you don't know what is going on, its hard to learn.
 

TJNova2011

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Dec 8, 2008
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I externed after my second year. Pulled my first teeth on an externship. Going after your first year might be a waste. Sometimes if you don't know what is going on, its hard to learn.
Where did you go first?
 

drhobie7

10+ Year Member
Jun 9, 2005
1,367
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Los Angeles, CA
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Resident [Any Field]
Great discussion. But in your experience, can 1st year students get any hands on action in the OR (extractions, retractions, etc)? I have to admit, I have done my fair share of shadowing, and I really wouldn't have the time to follow a resident around and do nothing. Wouldn't be better to learn how to do extractions from an OMFS resident rather than wating for your school's curriculum to introduce it?
For a dental student (any year), the opportunity to suction and retract in the OR is uncommon. That's because usually for every OR case there's an intern, senior resident, and attending. It's usually tough for the dental student to see anything. I remember being an extern and standing in a freezing cold OR, after a few nights of very minimal sleep, for a fricking 10 hour cancer resection, and being unable to see anything. It was miserable. But sometimes that's how it goes when you're trying to establish an OMS application.

I think if you're a 1st or 2nd year dental student you could learn a lot by offering to assist in a resident clinic. You'll get to see how to do surgical extractions, third molar incisions, how to trough and section a wisdom tooth, so you don't make as many mistakes when you try these for the first time on a patient. Much of surgical education is based on watching. When I was on general surgery as a med student I saw so many gall bladder removals that I bet I could do one now.

Regarding learning to extract teeth, if you want hands-on exodontia practice before 3rd year that may be tough. If your school has a county dental clinic associated with it you may want to see if you can go help out. Usually the resident has a ton of patients to see. You could offer to do the quick consult prior to the extraction (pmh, meds, allergies, vitals, and consent) to make things run quickly for the resident. This would be helpful. Every few patients you could ask if there's an easy tooth for you to take out. However, if your dental school is anything like mine, you probably don't have much free time 1st or 2nd year to do this. Another option is to get involved in a travel clinic to a country with extremely limited resources. You'd probably have a good shot at doing a bunch of extractions and having an amazing experience.
 
Jul 6, 2010
329
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Non-Student
It's usually tough for the dental student to see anything. I remember being an extern and standing in a freezing cold OR, after a few nights of very minimal sleep, for a fricking 10 hour cancer resection, and being unable to see anything. It was miserable.
I too had those experiences!! Standing far away, can't see anything, pondering the pros and cons of oms and your future. Cursing the patient for smoking and drinking there whole life and the damn SCA they grew and thus giving you the gift of 12 hrs of standing time.

It's good thinking time.