D2 year at University of Buffalo means early mornings and long nights in our pre-clinic. From endodontics to indirect restorations and even implants, we are learning it all! Needless to say, I’m stressed! Even though the lab work may be tedious and never ending, it is the first time I feel like a “real” dentist! I am not going to lie, D1 year is tough, but like all great challenges there is a light at the end of the tunnel. For me, D2 year was the beginning of that light! It is the time to harness hands skills and learn information that we will use every day for the rest of our lives. Above all, the most important thing I learned during D2 is that you will not be the best at everything! It’s humbling to watch your classmates’ success and struggle in all different aspects on dentistry; making a complete denture is very different from performing a crown preparation! Before dental school, I thought hand skills were hand skills; that you would either be good in pre-clinic lab or not, but the truth is that everyone is great at something and has something to work on. It was easy to get caught up and discouraged in certain classes, but this is why we are here! If we came in having all these skills there would be nothing to learn! Our spring semester started only a month ago, and I have already seen myself and others make leaps and bounces in new classes like endodontics. In a lot of ways this is the beauty of dentistry; we are taught the skills to perform a wide variety of procedures that can lead us to becoming a general dentist or we can find our passion in a specialty like orthodontics or pediatrics.
It is easy to get caught up before dental school and wonder where your skills will lie. I recently surprised myself and found a new skill and interest in removable dentistry, the class I thought I would dread and have little passion for. Try to stay open minded to what dental school will bring! It will bring challenges and excitement, disappointment and accomplishments, but every day we push forward towards that light at the end of the tunnel, a DDS!