Monday, January 20, 2014

A Recap of my First Two Semesters of Dental School Part I (Summer 2013)

So dental school officially started for me in the beginning of June 2013.

The first couple of days was orientation where we were introduced to the awesome faculty of the dental school, the many resources of on our campus, and a few student organizations (including my dental fraternity Psi Omega).

Starting on the third day, Wednesday, was Gross Anatomy, and my God what a beast it was being worth 8 whopping credit hours! The only other class I had during the Summer 2013 semester was Intro to Dentistry which was a nice break from Gross. We had Intro twice a week (T/TH) and it was a welcome break from Gross which we had every single day of the week. Intro was always nice as we had guest speakers that talked to us about the many different aspects and specialties of

I was always good about maintaining good grades in undergrad, but a big problem I had (and still kinda have) is PROCRASTINATING for tests. Compound the senioritis I was still recovering from (C'mon, school in the summer, really? :) ) with that and well, you got a nice little recipe for disaster GPA wise. There is just so much material in Gross, including: needing to know the blood supply (arteries/veins), innervation, attachment/insertion and function for muscles; needing to know all the bones from the hip up, needing to know the blood supply and function of organs and most importantly(and most difficult for me) being able to identify these things when they are pinned in a practical!

Cramming a few days before the test made it a little difficult to recall which was which and what was what in the practical for the first test.

I soon learned to make Netters Atlas of Human Anatomy my Bible, my Quran, my whatever it is atheists devoutly read.

 Netter's Atlas 5th edition

Netter's Flash Cards were also VERY helpful for reviewing structures.
 Netters Flashcards

Combining these two resources and many hours in the gross lab studying and dissecting the cadavers led to a successful completion of the course.

There were several other textbooks which our professor required (all of which I got) like Thiemes Neuroanatomy, but in hindsight all I really needed was Netter's resources. Thankfully I managed to recoup most of my money back by selling those other books back on Amazon and

I thought dental school would be different from undergrad in terms of "required" textbooks, but after two semesters I now know to wait (or ask D2s and D3s) to find out if I need to buy a textbook for a class. Thankfully studying just the notes suffices for most classes saving lots of money (nothing compared to the grand scheme of things and student loans though : <  ).

It's getting pretty late now, so I'll have to chronicle the recap my second semester in another post, but to summarize it... 26.5 credit hours... -.- Yup, it was a busy semester.

But take home points that I'd like to impart with you:

  1. Time management is freakin' crucial to success. Procrastination will really bone ya here.
  2. If you know that you will be attending dental school 100%, do yourself a favor and buy Netters to get a head start. Netter's Atlast of Human Anatomy is pretty much the Bible (or Quran) of Human Anatomy and you will most likely use it regardless of dental school. Our program only requires us to know the hip up, but you can't go wrong studying "Head and Neck" as this is the region where dentists operate. KNOW the Trigeminal Nerve (CN V), it will be on your tests, it WILL be on boards part I. I'm recommending all my friends who will be a future D1 to study in advance to get ahead of the game and help the transition in D1 go more smoothly. But yes, yes... I know, easier said than done. You can thank me later though when you take the proactive approach and you ace Gross ;)