New Perspective on Dentistry
My name is Katie Sowa and today was the worst day of dental school ever.
Who am I kidding? I say this statement once a week. This is usually after patients do not show after confirming their appointments or when I can’t separate hard rock from a custom tray Aquasil impression. Days like this I ask myself why I’m increasing my debt load to have a bad day once a week.
This particular day, I soon realize my “why” after speaking with a dentist mentor of mine in the middle of his workday. He told me a story about his mock WREB exam and how stressed he was during that time. He made me realize that even the most hectic days in dental school are good learning experiences. My bad days are nothing compared to the community of patients we serve in Houston. My “requirements” are not as important as the people I treat.
As my colleague and friend Carolyn moves past the dog days of dental school and into life as a New Dentist, I’m excited to continue with Part 2 of the Student Perspective on The Dental Geek. I’m looking forward to continuing her legacy in discussing hot topics in dentistry from the angle of an overworked, caffeine-loaded dental student.
My third year of dental school was full of excitement and adversity. In the past year, I led a group of five incredible dental students on the American Student Dental Association Editorial Board as Editor-in-Chief. I sat on the ASDA Board of Trustees with some of the best and the brightest dental students across the country. I met some of the best dentist mentors as the student liaison to the Greater Houston Dental Society Board. I performed my first root canal, crown prep and extraction. I ran for ASDA Executive Committee at the Annual Session in Anaheim and was not elected. I experienced a few months of illness that caused me to miss out on my biggest hobby outside of dental school – CrossFit. I attended my first-ever National Dental Student Lobby Day and met Senator Ted Cruz. I lost a friend. I made big changes in my personal life. I learned what type of person and dentist I really want to be.
It was a year to remember, both the good and the ugly. In the next year, I’ll take NBDE Part 2, attend my first State Lobby Day, bug my school’s dean about issues pertaining to our ASDA chapter, learn how to do molar endo on a real patient and complete my licensure exam. Along the way, I hope to inspire other dental students to be involved, seek out networking opportunities to meet great mentors and care about our profession outside the confines of a school.
I’m looking forward to my last year in dental school and sharing these experiences and more with The Dental Geek community. In the next few months, I’ll cover topics such as eco-friendly and digital dentistry, as well as other student-focused information. My goal is to engage more students to become a part of The Dental Geek community and to provide information to help bridge the gap with more seasoned dentists.
I hope to place my stamp on the profession, even when the going gets tough.