D1 Updates from the Pulpal Floor

“My hands were built for endo.” – Huong Tran

“One word sums it up: frustrating.” – Curtis Le

“It can get very frustrating at times in sim clinic but I’m really enjoying learning the skill sets that I’ll be using as a dentist in practice!” – Michelle P. Nguyen

“Sim clinic is DEMANDING! In the best possible way.” – Joe Jagers

“I’m definitely getting more accustomed to the millimeter world. An area that seemed so small and difficult to see in the beginning is starting to look much larger and clearer.” – Ayesha Ahmad

“Sim has been a great time of bonding with classmates by being humble, helpful, and understanding of one another, to ultimately guide each other to grow.” – Minjae Kim

We’re one week into sim and already we’re feeling the back pain, exhaustion and frustration. No matter how much mental preparation we give ourselves, sometimes our hands just don’t give us what we’ve asked. For some it comes naturally, for others it takes practice, and for some it just hasn’t come.. yet.

We’re proud when the first prep comes out right. We’re defeated after 10 borderline preps. We’re irritated after 2 failed attempts. We’re happy to finish in less than half an hour. We’re hopeful working on 1 prep forever. In this spectrum of emotional shades, what really matters? Is it a matter of manual dexterity or a matter of mind?

Regardless of skill, how does our response to new or stressful situations now reflect our response as future dentists? As upper classmates share their experiences, it becomes more and more real that we’re officially starting our profession as healthcare providers. It’s daunting to hear of the mistakes students have made, the unpredictable surprises, and the uncontrollable situations that are thrown our way. We work hard on molding the ideal prep so that this won’t ever happen to us. But in reality, there is hardly ever an ideal prep, much less an ideal day.

So maybe it’s how we perceive and adapt that determines the kind of dentist that we will be. With manikins laid back, do we see a manikin or a patient, do we see a struggling student or a student doctor? As torturous as sim clinic may be, it’s sim. It’s meant to challenge our confidence and competence. It’s meant to break and make us. So we need to not only trust in the system, but also in ourselves. We need to be kind to our manikins but also remember to be kind to ourselves.

Keep it up class of 2020!
– Chloe Tsang

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