Asma Patel is a fourth-year dental student at the Western University College of Dental Medicine. Her latest blog post, The Power of Service!, can be seen on the Student Ambassador blogs.
Asma shares in this interview what brought her to the field of dentistry and what she expects as a member of the graduating class of 2017. She explains the challenges she faces in school and how she thinks dentistry will change for her and her contemporaries.
THE NEXTDDS: What attracted you to the field of dentistry?
AP: Working with people in more of a team matter and actually being able to see the outcome of your own work in such an instant. A lot of other health professions have a longer waiting time to see improvement in health.
THE NEXTDDS: What clinical topics do you find most intriguing?
AP: I find being able to learn about dental materials the most interesting. Being able to know what each material is made out of and how that advances that certain material is great knowledge for ourselves and our patients.
THE NEXTDDS: What aspect of dental school has been most challenging for you?
AP: Being able to time manage everything that we have going on. From treating patients in the clinic, to doing lab work in the evenings, to studying and doing extra-circulars on the side. It’s always a lot to keep track of.
THE NEXTDDS: What aspect of dental school has been the most surprising?
AP: How different your first two years of dental school are compared to the second two years. It is like a whole different world when you enter clinic and start seeing patients.
THE NEXTDDS: What do you envision your next five years in dentistry to look like?
AP: After graduation I plan to work in a private office for a good amount of time and then slowly drift into dental academia.
THE NEXTDDS: What do you think will be the biggest material or procedural shift once you’re a few years into your career?
AP: My speed and confidence is something that I know will increase as time goes on in my career.
THE NEXTDDS: What’s one thing you know now that you wish you had known when you first started dental school?
AP: To try not to shortcut your way out of things. Being able to have all these professors around you, picking their brain about dentistry is something you will never get back. Take that time to learn about everything you can.
THE NEXTDDS: If you could give one piece of advice to any dental student, what would it be?
AP: Make the most of your dental school experience and do everything to its fullest extent.
THE NEXTDDS: What’s the one thing you’re most looking forward to in the dental profession?
AP: Being able to start my day at 9 instead of 8.
Thank you for participating in this interview. We greatly appreciate your thoughts and insight and we look forward to working with you for the rest of the year! Have a great final year!