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Time management in Dental School (typical week)

Discussion in 'Dental' started by toothhornet88, Apr 19, 2012.

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  1. toothhornet88

    toothhornet88 7+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2010
    I will be going to dental school this year and I wanted as much advice on time management as possible. Do you usually keep a daily schedule where you write out almost everything that you will be doing that day (including wake up time, breakfast, any breaks, and leisure activities)? Or do you just write the main things only (exam days, class times, appointments)? I will be getting married in the near future so I wanted to know if keeping a very precise schedule a good idea, so I can have time to spend with my future wife. Thank you so much in advance.
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  3. DrDDSman

    DrDDSman 2+ Year Member

    Jul 19, 2007
    For your first 2 years you'll likely be in school form 8ish-5ish and M-F so its pretty easy to have a set scheule (wake up, breakfast, etc). When you have exams, its probably going to be a different story.
  4. bucknut2009

    bucknut2009 2+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    It really depends on the school you are attending. It looks like you are going to USC and I cannot speak to that school in particular but generally classes run from 9-4 with an hour lunch. Most classes at our school were not mandatory and after a few weeks, attendance really falls off. Most places have capturing of the lecture available for viewing at a later time. In the second semester, you will probably start a simulation lab and that will probably take up half of your day a few days a week when it starts. In our case, exams started to pick up around late October and go pretty hard through spring break.

    Time management was a big part of my success (and probably most people's) through dental school. I used a google calendar for my schedule. With the various lunch meetings and after school events going on, an online syncable calendar that you can access on your phone, ipad, multiple laptops, etc really makes things easier to organize. As you get into clinic, using the google platform allows you to keep patient contacts stored, have the calendar send you and your patients text or email reminders of appointments, and the google voice app gives you a nice second line dedicated to your patients come clinic time.

    Depending on your personality, scheduling your day down to the last minute might not be a good idea. I did that initially and I often found myself trying to cram too much in one day and getting burned out quickly. If you are not a big procrastinator, try to get as much done as you can from say, 9-5 or up until dinner time and give yourself some freedom in the evening. No doubt, there are going to be late study nights but staying busy during the day will go a long way in giving you some time with your wife and other interests most evenings and weekends.

    If you don't have to attend class and you are not someone who learns a lot from listening to someone talk, you may find that you can get a lot of studying done during the day. Also, find a group of a few reliable, equally determined people to start an outlining group for the lectures. Only having to be responsible for taking notes for 1 out of every 3 or 4 lectures really helps to break up the schedule and the various classes. In my case, it got to the point, midway through the first D1 semester, that our group's outlines were formatted the same and always contained the information needed to get an A in the class if that was the goal.

    Good luck next year!
  5. toothhornet88

    toothhornet88 7+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2010
    Wow thank you so much. I do use google calendar but I didn't think about utilizing it for patients as well. Great advice!!:)
  6. dentalprodigy

    dentalprodigy Mr. Awesome 7+ Year Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    South Jersey, NJ
    Really like your tips...can u please expound on hour u utilize the sms reminder feature for adhering patients?

    Ate u sending the sms to yourself automatically OR does google Callender automatically sms your patients contacts in your google voice "groups"

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I997 using Tapatalk

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