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D3 Reflection: First Day of Clinic Scaries



After a weekend’s worth of over preparation, chart reviews, and nervous insomnia, I spent my first morning in clinic waiting nearly an hour for a patient who would never arrive. I would go on to have a total of three failed appointments by the end of that week - my first lesson in patient management. Other critical lessons to be learned in the first week as a student dentist included unlearning proper anatomical terms when speaking to patients (it has been surprisingly difficult to start using the word “gums” again) and the painful inconvenience of dropping an instrument on the ground.

Although the transition into clinic has come with a number of growing pains, they have all been welcome challenges and valuable experiences in building clinical judgment. We can all let out a sigh of relief knowing that the worst of our didactic education is behind us, and we can finally start digging our fingers into what we all have been working towards for years – actual dentistry. I now feel more at ease knowing for certain that, after all of the studying, exams, and endless hours in the preclinic, I do actually enjoy dentistry. Working with patients has added a motivational sense of fulfillment that wasn’t there before. Though still finding my footing, I am, as I hope my peers are as well, excited for everything I will learn in these next two years, and equally looking forward to watching my friends and classmates grow into outstanding clinicians.

Blog Contributor: May Siu, Columbia, 2020

SPEA Representative, CDM 2020 Student Council.

Founding Member, CDM Student Diversity Committee

Junior Class Representative for the Chinese Association of Dental Students at Columbia

#maysiu #firstday #transition #clinic #columbia #d3

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