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The latest news on COVID-19:

During the COVID-19 crisis, get updates and information at ADA and your state’s website. Please follow the official guidance, stay safe and help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Contact Us if you have more questions and thank you for your cooperation.

Fears & Challenges of Graduating Dental School

Author: Dental Geek
05.28.14 / 8:32 am

Every year my grandmother asks me if I still live in the dorms. I use every ounce of self-control to prevent myself from rolling my eyes. Because I have spent the past twenty-seven years as a student it is sometimes difficult to make people believe that I am actually an adult, let alone a doctor. The most difficult challenge I see post-graduation is gaining and establishing respect in my new role. I have spent the past eight years paying bills, fixing my own flat tires and taking names. Life is not new to me, but Dr. Carolyn Norton is a different story.

Many people think the largest challenge facing new dental grads is finding a job or figuring out how to pay off our loans. This is not true. We already have our own financial planners and we knew our next steps months ago. We have a plan. These problems have easy solutions. Establishing respect is a much greater task.

I’m not exactly sure what the road to respect entails at this level. Remaining professional at all times, treating every patient as if they were family and giving 100 percent every day are goals that will set me on the right path.

As new grads, we are definitely ready to leave school and begin practice. Our hand skills have been rigorously put to the test, as well as our dental knowledge. This does not mean we will have all of the answers, but we are beyond willing to find them for the beneficence of our patients. Our dental schools have trained us to be lifelong learners, and have conferred the title of DMD, or DDS, on us for a reason, because we are ready. I congratulate all new dentists out there. The next challenge in our journey is ready for us.

Dental Geeks, please share with new grads in the comment section below. What are the best ways to gain and establish respect in our new roles as young dentists? Respect from our patients, coworkers, and fellow dentists?

Dental Geek

Dental Geek

One response to “Fears & Challenges of Graduating Dental School”

  1. Hi…so as a recent grad (graduated in 2012, and completed an AGD in 2013), I would say the biggest help for getting respect from patients has been being confident, and I would say the best thing for me was doing a 1 year residency.The amount I grew from after graduating dental school, to after the residency was exponential. I highly recommend it.
    That being said, the biggest issue I’ve had since school has been finding the right job. I’ve been out of residency for almost a year now, and I’ve had three different jobs, and two of those were horrendous experiences (daily production goals, equipment being sub-par, clinical staff that doesn’t know anything…)..While I recognize that the “outside world” is not dental school, and I was slightly spoiled by having very high tech equipment in school (U of Maryland), practicing in the outside world is very different, and sometimes very annoying

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