On Goal Setting and Stick-to-itiveness

Another semester has ended as well as another year. And as we await and welcome the new year, it is only natural that we reflect on the past year and begin to set goals for the future.
Over the years I have developed several strategies to plan, set goals and stick to them. The most efficient and basic of all has been to simply write it down!

Goal setting essentials:
  • Journal/Notepad
  • Planner

Begin by ask yourself a couple questions: What are my short-term and long-term goals? What goals have I accomplished that I had set for myself this year? What goals did I set that I did not fully accomplish this year? What new goals do I have for the upcoming year and what strategies am I going to put in place to ensure that I achieve them?
Reflect on those questions and their answers. Get a journal/notepad and write it down. Also write down ways in which you have grown in different aspects of your life. Write down ways in which you wish to improve yourself.  Make a timeline for your goals.
Now get your planner, and after filling in the important dates, deadlines, and goals for school and/or work, start filling in dates for accomplishing your intended personal goals. The planner is very helpful as it is a strategy to help keep you on task and serves as a reminder to stick to your goal.

This year, be a goal-digger!

I do wish for you all a safe, happy, enriching, productive and prosperous New Year!! 

Match Day Reflections

Today is Orthodontics residency Match Day!!

My, how time flies! Just a few short minutes ago match results were released and I have been hearing (from my friends and those who interviewed at my program) via text messaging, emails, social media, etc of the good news! I remember being in that position not so long ago. My match results were released on December 4, 2013 for a start date at my program in July 1, 2014. 
Today, as I listen to people sharing their news I can't help but reflect on the time when that was me:
I recall the nervous/anxious energy while I awaited the results. I could barely sleep the night before. I awoke at 6am ( even though results weren't slated to be released until around 8am). I remember sitting in front of my lap top, refreshing my email over and over until finally, at 8:25am the email came through:

I remember how ecstatic I was when I opened the email with the words Congratulations! 

I commend all who matched! Congratulations! Orthodontics is a very competitive program to get into. You are embarking on a very rewarding career. If any of my readers got matched today, See you on the other side!

Minnesota Dentist Walter Palmer, in Hot Water

By now I am sure we all have heard the news of the killing of one of Zimbabwe's major tourist attraction, Cecil the Lion. And if you have been made aware of his killing, you certainly have been made aware of his killer - a dentist from Minnesota, Walter Palmer.

To Palmer's defense, he claimed he wasn't aware that the lion he hunted was Cecil, a major tourist attraction of Zimbabwe, collared and tracked via GPS by Oxford University. He claims he thought he was participating in a legal hunt.

What is surprising to me is the amount of money paid by Mr. Palmer for this hunt, a whopping $50,000USD!! (insert super surprised face). It is sad that people are legally allowed to hunt and kill these wonderful creatures, and I am saddened that it was by the hands of a dentist - one who's hands are supposed to be used for healing.

Social media is definitely not too fond of him right now as seen here:

His practice though? YIKES!
Source: CNN

Stu-Dent Diaries In the Neighborhood

I recently came across an article on the world wide web featuring my little corner on the internet: my blog. It hales all the way from Austin, Texas entitled How to Experience Dental School Vicariously, you can read article here. It's a blog for a dental practice and intended to ease patient's nervousness about getting dental procedures done. It points to my blog as an example to show the training that us dentists go through in an attempt to further one's knowledge and appreciation for dental care.

When I started my blog some six years ago, my only intention was to help individuals that faced similar challenges in applying to dental school. I was the first in my family to attend dental school, or any field in healthcare for that matter. Because of this, I had to do and research everything about going to dental school on my own - with no help or advice from anyone. It was quite a task. I thought that surely if I was in that situation then others may be in it too - and the stu-dentdiaries blog was born.

Throughout the years I chronicled the steps I took in preparing to apply and applying to dental school, getting accepted to dental school, my journey through dental school, and now Orthodontics residency.

I did it because writing (my thoughts down) is a hobby and I genuinely wanted to help those who were as confused and flustered as I was. I believe I have accomplished (and still accomplishing) my task.

I get a little embarrassed when people I go to school or attend conferences or different networking events with, recognize me and ask if i'm "that girl from the stu-dentdiaries blog." Most times they tell me that it helped them, and for that I am exceedingly glad.

I will continue to do what I do in my little corner on the www. And, as usual don't hesitate to email me with questions or concerns.

Because Freakin' Awesome Isn't an official Job Title

My first year of Orthodontics residency is officially over! I have just one more year left before I become an Orthodontist, put on my big girl pants and step out into the working world.
The thought of it is very exciting, and at the same time a bit terrifying. No  longer will I have the shelter and cushion of school and my many professors and teachers there to guide me. It is all so bitter-sweet.

Needless to say, my first year was a bit challenging. Rest assured friends, that Orthodontics is not simply moving teeth around, neither are Orthodontists teeth technicians - as some people like to refer to us as. On the contrary, an Orthodontist's job can be quite arduous - we not only have the job of dealing with various malocclusions and fixing mis-aligned teeth, but we are the thinkers of the profession, the problem solvers, the mystery busters, the wire benders, the craniofiacial or denotofacial orthopedic specialists, the gate keeper to the oral surgeon, the smile perfecters, the confidence boosters, etc etc.

Shortly put, we're "freakin' awesome!"
Through the challenges, I've been enjoying every minute of Orthodontics residency life. I am truly looking forward to being one of the very best Orthodontists around.

Don't forget my referrals! :)
Happy New Year!!

Dropping in for a little update. I am no longer a dental student. I graduated from dental school in May 2014, as stated in this post. Also in said post I mentioned that I was matched to the Orthodontics Program at my school (yay). 
I started my new journey as an Orthodontics resident in July of 2014. Needless to say, it was quite different from anything I encountered in dental school. I've had many moments when I wasn't sure what was going on or understood what was being said/taught, and to be completely honest, there were times when I asked myself "what the h*** were you thinking coming into this specialty?!"
Needless to say, as the weeks and months went on things became a lot more clear and I became a lot more comfortable with the new things that I was being exposed to. Concepts began to make sense and soon I no longer felt like I was drowning in information.

In writing this post, it made me reflect, realize and certainly serves a reminder about change. Changes was what I was going through. Sure dental school was no cake walk, and in the beginning it was a total shock (as change took place) but I got comfortable in the same place with the same people and that comfort made me feel safe. Now that safety net was not there anymore. I was in a new environment (though not totally new - I was at my alma mater, which helped a lot), with new people (co-residents) and totally new ways of thinking. But one thing is certain, and that is that change is never easy - you fight to hold on, and you fight to let go. This is funny, I remember in dental school, the goal was to be done! to let go, but when it was over I fought to hold on. I missed my classmates and the friendships we built over the years, and I missed the familiarity of the daily routine or at least the familiarity in the way I studied. Now, everything is pretty different, but good.

I am enormously blessed, and there is not a day that passes that I don't give thanks for its abundance!
I remember graduating high school in my home country Jamaica and wanting to become a dental hygienist. I became a hygienist but during that process I knew I wanted more and so I put all my efforts into becoming a dentist. I could have stopped there but I yearned for something more and had a very ...towards orthodontics and so I put all my efforts there, and here I am living my dream of becoming an Orthodontist :)

Very much overdue, but this was my very first patient in July 2014 (lol). Not perfect but I'm getting there!

Before                                                              After

And here's a video I saw online tracking an 11 year old girls' Orthodontic treatment over an 18 month period.

Orthodontics is awesome!!

As usual, feel free to email me with any questions you may have. Use the contact me tab above or just click here and fill in the form.

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