Introducing Our Newest Guest Geek, Katherine Dubois!
Hello, loyal readers, I would love to introduce myself as the new girl on the block! I’m Katherine, and I’ll be writing about dentistry from a student perspective. I’m currently in my third year, and have been seeing patients since last May. My dental knowledge is cutting-edge, as we are big on keeping up to date and relevant at Tufts, but putting this knowledge into practice is quite a transition.
Where I am originally from is about an hour away from school, and I still have friends and family close by. So close, in fact, that I recruited my parents as patients in the school clinic. My first patient appointment turned out to be my Dad.
Dad has a dental phobia, and knew that he was my first appointment, so I approached the situation with caution. After walking him through the steps of the procedure while introducing dental health knowledge and showcasing instruments that I would be using, with explanations as to why, I noticed that his grip on the arm rests had relaxed, and his knuckles were no longer white. He was quite impressed with his little girl by the end of our initial scaling and root planing treatment. I am lucky to have had a family member for the transition into patient care, and was grateful to deal with the challenge of a patient with a severe dental phobia as one of my first experiences in an operatory.
I feel that there is now a new emphasis in schools on patient education and management, with my personal goal being to continually convert “dental-phobes,” as well as avoiding activities that could make a patient of my own become phobic. It feels good to have begun to work towards this goal from my first patient onward, and rewarding to alleviate issues for some patients who have suffered for years in the dental chair.
Thanks so much!