I'm tackling 7 classes, 3 labs and clinical rotations this semester - a total of 26 credits.

Classes Include:
Dental Pathology
Head & Neck Anatomy
Restorative Operative
Fixed Prosthodontics
Dental Practice Readiness Course
Behavioral Dentistry

Labs Include:
Fixed Prosthodontics
Restorative Operative
Removable Prosthodontics

Should be a fun semester! (insert sarcasm)

Back at it!

School is back in effect and already hectic - boo hoo! But on the bright side, if I don't go to school how will I become a dentist right? I will be posting as often as I can so look out for interesting pictures/procedures

Happy Thursday!

Mouthing Off...

I'm now a blogger on the American Student Dental Association's (ASDA) blog "Mouthing Off." As if I'm not busy enough! but I absolutely love blogging and having my voice heard's an excerpt from my first post:

Tattoos and the Dental Professional: 
 Tattoos have gone viral! It’s as though everyone has them, and in obvious places where the whole world is able to see. But, is it okay for the dental professional who is constantly interfacing with patients?
As the culture changes with this new generation we see an increase in the things that were once considered “taboo.”  According to a report on Millennials by the Pew Research Center, “Nearly four-in-ten have a tattoo (and for most who do, one is not enough: about half of those with tattoos have two to five and 18% have six or more.)” Our generation is more adventurous but do standards still apply?... See more

 Click on the link above to see entire article.

National Board Dental Examination moves to Pass/Fail

It's official! According to the revisions to examination regulation by the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (JCNDE), National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) Parts I and II as well as the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) will move to Pass/Fail effective January 1, 2012.

Why? Good news or bad?  First of all the purpose of the NBDE is to assist State boards in determining qualifications of dentists who seek licensure to practice. The changes were made upon the recognition that 1. the scores were not being used for their intended purpose (ex. ranking dental schools, faculty evaluations, etc) 2. the scores are not necessarily a good measure of one’s academic ability 3. worry over it's integrity due to overexposure from re-testing  and 4. some schools base acceptance to their residency programs heavily and many times solely on National Board scores – where they set a minimum score and everyone with scores below that minimum is basically “skimmed” off, not allowing all applicants a fair evaluation.

Research was conducted where residency program administrators were asked what they look for in an applicant and it was noted that the top 5 criteria were non-cognitive/non-academic, with the exception of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery programs which base their acceptance heavily on academic ability. With that said, the intention of the pass/fail system will allow the highlight of the other areas of the individuals’ abilities. But what does that mean for those who want to specialize? If there are no scores to compare candidates how do they select them? Will specialty programs implement a system where those seeking to specialize take another standardized exam? Those are questions that are still unanswered and quite frankly is not looking good for that group of people; but one thing is for certain, GPA, volunteer/extracurricular activities, Letter of recommendations and Personal Statements will be looked at with more scrutiny and carry a lot more weight than they currently do.

If the good intentions of the ADEA are met with those of the administrators of these 
residency programs, I say this endeavor can be a good thing. Passing still stands at 75% and there will be no changes to the exam.

Also, effective April 2012  the endodontics diagnostic terminology adopted by the American Association of Endodontists will be incorporated in the NBDE Part II. I don't know what this is but, phew! all these changes.

See here for Examination Info from the JCNDE


What To Do With Your Summer Break-ish

RELAX!! need I say more? Unfortunately this will only temporarily help you get over the very hectic semester that just ended but may not necessarily do you any good in the long run if the time off is not used wisely.
Dental schools usually run right through the summer with the exception of a few weeks off which gets shorter and more hectic each year.

Some things you'll find us Dental Students doing during summer breaks are:

  • Research - Summer research is a good way to pursue your interests and learn something new outside of the classroom. They pay decent money, create mentor relationships, potential to publish, opportunities for (paid) travel to research meetings/symposiums and they look good on your CV  
  • Study for the National Boards  - Bah, Humbug! Most 2nd year dental students spend their summer studying for the boards. It's sort of like the rites of passage to clinic.
  • Externships - There are externship opportunities that may be affiliated with your school, or you can go to hospitals or clinics. It's a good way to continue to build on what you've learned in school and learn a few new things as well - step out and see how dentistry is in the real world.
  • Mission Trips - These can be fun! You get an opportunity to go out in the community and offer dental care. Mission trips can be both local (in the US) or international. 
  • Work - $$ chi-ching! By this time in the year most of us are severely strapped for cash or have totally run out. Summer is a good time for temporary positions and a lot of places hire. 
  • Vacation - Or we can simply opt to really get out and relax. If you have the money, this is a good way to get away, not think about anything school related for a while and come back refreshed.        
Whatever you decide to do, use your time wisely!
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