New Year, New Perspective on Dentistry
My name is Carolyn Norton, and I am a fourth year dental student at the University of Florida, College of Dentistry (UFCD). Only four months, the NERB live patient exam, and a few final requirements separate me from graduation day. I have spent the past two years as a contributing editor for the American Student Dental Association (ASDA), which makes me a huge proponent of organized dentistry or anything that brings dentists together, like The Dental Geek.
Other than graduation day, I am looking forward to the ASDA Annual Session in Anaheim, California, moving to Evanston, Illinois and squeezing every ounce of knowledge out of dental school while I still can.
The ASDA Annual Session is the premier event for dental student leaders. This is where we learn how the real world works outside of dental school, including how to pay off our student loans, how to purchase a practice and how to communicate with employees. The list of valuable skills and knowledge we gain from this event is unending. The connections we make are even stronger. As a national leader, I have spent the past two years forwarding the goals of our organization with 44 student leaders across the country. I am so grateful for this opportunity because now these people are also lifelong friends and colleagues. Our similar passions and goals in dentistry are what brought us together. Don’t skim over the ASDA line on any resume. These are students who truly care about their profession.
After graduation I will be moving to Evanston, Illinois. I have accepted a general practice residency position at Evanston Hospital in the NorthShore University Health System. This is my chance to exercise my own judgment as a dentist, grow and develop my own dental philosophy, and gain more clinical experience before entering the real world. I am at the step in-between.
I plan on attending as many graduate prosthodontics lectures and literature reviews as possible during my final semester at UFCD. Yes, I can diagnose and treat caries. Yes, I can do the same for periodontal disease. But the creativity and success involved with complex prosthodontics only comes with experience and knowledge. This occurs not only on a case-by-case basis, but also through dental materials and technology education.
If you are a dentist seeking to bring on a young associate, fresh out of dental school, then please realize that many employers may also serve the role of mentor. Be willing to answer our questions and go through complex treatment plans with us. The time investment will be well worth it.
Until I graduate, I will be sharing my student perspective on a number of topics with you and The Dental Geek. I hope to guide you in current trends being taught in dental school, the recent grad mindset and how to connect with a new generation of dentists.
Congrats on your residency in Evanston, Carolyn. Doing dentistry in Chicagoland is truly great, you’ll love it. My practice is in the NW suburbs and I have been here for over 20 years.