Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Walls Are Closing IN

Two weeks away from the end of my first D-2 semester, and less than three weeks from my board exam..things are a bit hectic. Board review is beginning to get clumsy, massively unproductive, and mind-numbing. I almost feel like taking several days off to reboot. Unfortunately, I have already been fairly lazy this last week or so which means I really ought to be more focused. Once you go through the dental decks and most of the old exams, it just becomes hard to figure out HOW to study. I am zeroing in on problem areas (namely virology, bacteriology, and biochem as a whole). I am pretty satisfied with my current anatomy/histo and dental anatomy scores but am truly struggling with biochem/physio and micro/path. It is hard to master material while juggling finals and random projects. I luckily have about a week left after my last final to really iron out the crap.

But enough on that, I will do a good board post after I have finished. I have decided that this semester is almost too different from the first two to really even compare. I really have only studied for classes at two intervals (midterms and now for finals). Last semester I was studying almost daily for the barrage of exams. However, this statement leads one to believe that things were easy – they most certainly are not. I am actually IN the school a lot more than I was as a D-1. There is no free time or early dismissal and we do a TON of pre-clinic and lab work. The positive is that I actually enjoy this aspect. Granted, I usually suck at something the first few tries, but I gradually become decent enough to satisfy my own perfectionist attitude. The negative is that the school seems to have forgotten that we have a board exam to study for. So I come home drained from an entire day of cutting preps, making temps, or soldering wires to bands and am somehow expected to come home and master all of the material covered over an entire year. It is an impossible task but I am trying my best.

The only reason I get excited for weekends is because I know it gives me entire days of time to catch up on board review and not have class work to do. Perhaps the most annoying busy work we are doing this semester is getting teeth selected for endo. Let’s just say I need more…A LOT more. I am really not freaking out about it too much though because there is no reason at this point and really nothing I can do about it. The teeth I get are the teeth I get. I have already resigned to not doing well in the class either so I don’t really give a shit. It is a true pity that a lot of your grade is essentially decided by complete luck and not your work ethic.

But ranting aside, this is the first semester that I feel like a DENTAL student. Aside from pathology II, all of the coursework is relative to dentistry and mostly important to know. Last Friday was my first experience as the sole provider of anesthesia to a patient. Buccal infiltration on #1 and a mandibular block on the right side. I was nervous when the D-4 began drilling on the mandibular teeth, because I still haven’t really developed confidence in my ‘accuracy’ namely because this was my SECOND Inferior alveolar block. But I must have nailed it, because ½ a carp of lidocaine had the patient comfortable for the duration of the procedure. These types of experiences are fun and rewarding. Unfortunately, I sit through a lot of boring-time-wasted stuff as well. But you always need to find the positives in order to get yourself out of bed every morning.

These next two weeks are essentially finals and performance exams. I am not too stressed because I feel comfortable with most of the classes and am just relieved to get a break from the endless assault of lab assignments. Tests feel like a vacation at this point. I am getting antsy and freaked about the board exam looming ever nearer, yet quite glad I decided to take it early and be done with the whole mess.

I just wanted to squeeze this post in before taking another hiatus while I prepare for the biggest test of my existence.

Good luck to the incoming D-1’s. I could have volunteered to give you all a campus tour, but opted to drink copious amounts of alcohol instead. Please don’t take it personally.