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Bec and Call: ASDA Buffalo Pre-Dental Column

Dental school is a funny place, it’s almost like a time warp. I find myself referring to “last semester” until someone corrects me and reminds me that it was just Block 2 and only a month ago. Moreover, the lack of natural light in pre-clinic means that it is always day time in B30. Thus, when one exits after waxing at five in the evening, she can be surprised by how dark it is outside. To me, this was the part of dental school that took the largest adjustment: managing my time when it seems to be fleeting and everlasting. For this installment of *Bec* and Call, we are focusing on things that D1s found most surprising after matriculating through dental school.

First, we’ll start with Nicholas Sirotenko, a Rochester, NY native who attended the University of Rochester and completed a Masters degree at Rutgers University. UBSDM was always Nicholas’ first choice for dental school, but he did not know how the rigor of dental school is truly a full time job – 6-8 hours of lecture/lab per day, 5 days each week. It takes some students more time to adjust than others, but everyone gets through the first big chunk of exams just fine, and it is (usually) smooth sailing from there. Nicholas was very impressed with UBSDM’s tutoring services and extra help for students that need it. Professors want to help the students pass, but also do well. His words of advice to applicants is to remember that each day that goes by is one day closer to becoming the dentist you have always dreamt of becoming. You can do it!

Like Nicholas, Anisa Tocilla, a Bronx native, found the time constraints most surprising. In order to combat these time constraints, she has realized the best strategies she has found have been to be productive with the free-time she has. For instance, during a week when there are no exams, she makes time for a well-deserved break but also prepares for the next round of exams. Likewise, she finds studying with others a nice way to motivate herself and make work more manageable.

Lastly, we will venture out and ask an “out-of-stater” what she found most surprising about dental school. Shaina Chechang, a Chicago native, had worked with many dentists prior to attending dental school. She is grateful that UBSDM promotes development of hand skills early in our educational training. She says “We are very fortunate we get to pick up a high speed hand piece, bur, and digitally scan our preps with in our 1st semester of dental school. My friends at other dental schools focus more on didactics their first semester/year, so during their finals week, they will have 2-3 exams/day for 5 consecutive or week and half. I am very, very thankful we do not have to endure that.” Moreover, though Shaina knew that all 93 of us would be taking the same classes together, the speed at which such strong friendships formed was an unexpected but amazing surprise. She says that she cannot see herself at any other program!

This concludes, this installment of *Bec* and Call, please continue submitting questions to the Google Sheet!

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