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Navigating the Dental School Journey: Insights from a Second-Year Dental Student

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

Embarking on the path to becoming a dental professional is both exciting and challenging. As a second-year dental student in Canada, I have had the privilege of delving deeper into the world of dentistry and acquiring valuable experiences that I would like to share with aspiring pre-dental students. In this blog post, I aim to shed light on some key dental school insights when it comes to dental mentoring from information I have gained during my journey thus far, providing you with guidance and inspiration as you pursue your dreams of becoming a dentist.


I will discuss unleashing your inner drive, the importance of time management, and surrounding yourself with inspiration.



Dental School Insights and Unleashing

Your Inner Drive

dental school insights

Unleashing your inner drive is the key to unlocking your true potential and achieving greatness. As a dental student, finding and nurturing your motivation is essential. It will be the driving force that propels you through late-night study sessions, demanding coursework, and challenging clinical experiences. This is why it is essential to discover your passion for dentistry. When you understand what fuels your motivation, you can channel that energy into continuous learning in dental school or your pre-dental journey.


Another important aspect of maintaining your passion and drive is taking time to slow down and reflect. We often get caught up in the “hustle” mindset, and we fail to take a step back and reflect on how far we have come. One of the mental frameworks I live by is to find a part of every day that makes you happy. I do not want to think in such a way that happiness comes after obtaining the next achievement. If this is the case, once the goal is reached, the finish line of this “dream life” moves ahead to the next achievement. It is beneficial to reflect weekly on growth, what instills joy, and how to fuel your drive each day.



Optimizing Time Management

dental school insights

Dental school demands a significant investment of time and effort. A typical day for a dental student requires balancing seemingly endless hours of didactic coursework and clinical experiences. Due to the fast paced nature of school, it is important to stay up to date or even ahead, to gain the most effective use of your time in scheduled activities. One of the most valuable lessons I've learned is the importance of effective time management. My experience as a second year student involved lots of time spent on simulation clinic activities. As simple as this sounds, it is critical to stay organized prior to the simulation clinic, so that you are prepared with knowing the necessary procedures, tools, and materials. This prevents you from wasting valuable time during these jam packed sessions.


I also found it extremely valuable to develop a structured schedule. Staying balanced and on top of coursework throughout the semester helps prevent the impossible cramming and subsequent “burning out”. Prioritize tasks, set realistic goals, and establish a routine that allows for ample study time, while also fostering a healthy work-life balance. For me, work-life balance includes scheduling in daily exercise, weekly phone calls with family and friends, and activities with friends when possible. Scheduling enjoyable activities permits you to have a mental break from school and recharge your energy and drive.


Surrounding yourself with Inspiration

dental school insights

Throughout my undergraduate degree and two years in dental school, I have come to see the truth in the saying, “You are who you surround yourself with.” The social circle that we surround ourselves with has a profound impact on our life journey. This may even be one of the initial factors that sparked your interest in dentistry.


Your inner circle is a reflection of your values, ambitions, and aspirations. This is why it is so important to cultivate a supportive network. Surrounding yourself with individuals who share your passion for dentistry and exhibit qualities that you admire can be a game-changer. Seek out mentors, peers, and friends who exude positivity, ambition, and dedication. When you are surrounded by driven individuals who constantly push themselves to excel, inspiration becomes contagious. Their stories of perseverance, and personal growth ignite a fire within you, motivating you to unleash your true potential. By witnessing the accomplishments of those around you, you'll realize that success is attainable, and it becomes easier to believe in your own abilities.



Collaboration and Success


Another important aspect of surrounding yourself with inspiration is that inspiration breeds success and strength. Success is rarely achieved in isolation. Collaboration with those in your inner circle can lead to remarkable achievements. Collaborative projects, study groups, and mentorship opportunities allow for the pooling of resources, expertise, and innovative ideas. One of my classmates and I have used this mindset to excel in school. By reviewing complex topics together, we expand our knowledge base and have a deeper and more thorough understanding of course material.


Many universities have pre-dental clubs that can act exactly like an inner circle of inspiration. This is also one of the goals of FutureDMD. Interacting with like-minded individuals in a pre-dental community can provide opportunities for shared experiences and valuable insights. FutureDMD has dentist and dental student mentors who are passionate about sharing their experiences. This community can help you engage in meaningful conversations, exchange knowledge, and learn from each other's successes and failures.



How We Can Help

dental school insights

Going to dental school is a huge commitment. It is essential that you discover your own personal reasons for wanting to embark on this journey.


At FutureDMD, we provide dental mentoring services to inspire the next generation of passionate dentists. Our goals are to provide you with mentorship to help find your WHY for dentistry and help you navigate your journey with more dental school insights like the ones provided. Get started HERE to learn about our complete membership package so we can help you find your inspiration.


If you have specific questions related to the life of a dental student or any of the insights in this blog, you can reach out to our FutureDMD Dental Student Mentor Stephanie at info@futuredmd.com.


CTA: Experience what it truly feels like to be a dentist with FutureDMD. We offer aspiring students mentorship programs, challenging them to “Think Like a Dentist” while avoiding the typical and uninspiring dentist shadowing experience. Our Dental Externship series will widen your perspective, encourage discussion and facilitate critical thinking while giving a true understanding of what it is like being and working as a dentist. We also help with dental school applications and offer dental school admissions consulting. Experience dental monitoring as it should be by contacting FutureDMD today.



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