Guide to SDN Resources

SDN Resources

Updated October 21, 2021. When most people think of the Student Doctor Network, they think … Read more

From Engineering to Army Dentistry: An Interview With Army Captain Pamela Cotton, DDS

Army Pledge

Some people know what they want to do with their lives from an early age. Others, like Army general dentist Captain Pamela Cotton, DDS., take a rather twisty path to get there.
Cotton majored in engineering in college, a far cry from her current profession of dentistry. But the real-life experience of her first career quickly fell short. “I worked for a few years as an engineer, and it was nice, I liked it, but it was still the same as sitting behind a desk. I didn’t get to work with a lot of people,” she explained to SDN last fall at the University of California Davis Pre-Health Conference (UCDPHC). “So I decided to go back to school.”

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My Top 5 DAT Study Tips

DAT study tips

This article originally ran on ASDA’s blog, Mouthing Off, on Feb. 3, 2016. ASDA encourages all predentals to join us in celebrating DAT Week 2016 and becoming a member of the association. 

Remember studying for the SATs? Or maybe you don’t because you didn’t need to. Now we’re older and smarter, and have made the decision to pursue dentistry as a career. With that though comes its own set of preparation, most notably the Dental Admission Test (DAT). This past summer, I prepped and took the DAT. This exam is certainly no SAT, and anyone who’s set on taking it has to prepare. In my preparations for the DAT, I acquired some helpful strategies and tips that I have compiled into five simple steps to help you succeed on the DAT.

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Junior Doctor Stress and What Can be Done about It

junior doctor stress

Junior doctors [and residents in the US] do a valuable and sometimes life-saving job for patients. They are the future in medicine and can bring enthusiasm and fresh ideas into the profession. Despite the importance of their role to society, junior doctors have sky rocketing stress levels and many have an appalling state of mental health.
The Shocking Suicide Rate Among Doctors
It is totally shocking that in the 21st century, so many bright young doctors fall prey to depression and around 400 US physicians intentionally end their own lives annually. This means that every year in America, a million patients lose their doctor to suicide. The chance of dying by suicide is greatly increased for those in the medical profession compared with ‘lay’ people. For instance, male doctors have a 70% increased risk of dying as a result of suicide, when comparing the death rates with men from the general population. One of the reasons there are more completed suicides – ironically – may be as a result of doctor training. Doctors know the human body intimately. They know about drug dosages, they know more about the effects of drugs on the body. They know how to save a life and because of this, how to take one. A determined doctor can calculate a fatal drug dose expertly or know where to cut that would be catastrophic. They also have access to powerful, death dealing drugs that are only available on prescription to the rest of the population. This may be why there are so many successful doctor suicides each year.

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Dental school the second time around: An IDP student perspective

This article is reprinted with permission from the American Student Dental Association. It originally appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Mouth.
Each year, dental schools across the United States graduate students who were already dentists. Coming from different backgrounds and nations, we are termed IDP, or International Dentist Program, graduates. ID Programs in the U.S. are one of the most incorporating and intensive dental programs around the globe. However, the realization of second graduation involves a different set of struggles that the traditional dental student might not be aware of.

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Making a first impression on your patients

This article is reprinted with permission from the American Student Dental Association. It originally appeared in February 2015 issue of ASDA News.
Many are quick to judge those they meet, including dentists, based solely on what they see. These initial opinions can be hard to change. Non-verbal aspects like hairstyle, clothing, posture and jewelry are often used when developing these early judgments. Some studies show that people trust appearance cues more than actual information about a person. As dentists, it is important to recognize that patients may draw conclusions about us based solely on that first interaction. What we wear to the office that day could help or hurt our patient-doctor relationships.
Dentists’ office-wear in the United States can range from conventional to casual. If a dentist is employed by another, the owner of the practice will likely dictate acceptable attire. But when self-employed, you make the decision. Some dentists prefer the relaxed ease of scrubs. Others prefer a coat and tie. Most traditional for dentists is the time-honored white coat over classic business wear, while dental assistants and dental hygienists typically wear scrubs. Over time, American dress has become more casual, however, patients can still hold onto their own expectations of professionalism when it comes to their doctors.

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Refuse To Take No For An Answer: How I Got Into Dental School After 6 Tries

reapply to dental school

By Travis Barr, DDS

This article is reprinted with permission from the American Student Dental Association. It originally appeared in December 2014 issue of ASDA News.
For me, the road to dentistry has been more like a grueling endurance race. The ride consisted of three DAT tests, 19 drafts of personal essays and six application cycles in a row—not to mention three-and-a-half years of chair-side experience as a dental assistant, umpteen semesters of graduate courses and some intensive on-the-job training in the roles of husband and father.
I was not what you’d call an ideal candidate. I started college on a football scholarship as a defensive end in Peru, Nebraska, and I was more concerned with making weight, winning games and having a good time than I was with books and grades. Even after I transferred to the University of Northern Colorado, it wasn’t until my junior year that I started thinking seriously about my future and my academic performance. By the time I graduated the following year, I was proud of how far I’d come. I’d turned my performance around, raising my GPA from 2.0 to 3.2 and earning a biochemistry degree while holding down a full-time job and a tutoring position on campus. I had met the girl of my dreams, and I had set my sights on what seemed to be a perfect career for me: dentistry.

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5 Golden Nuggets of Advice From a 3rd Year Dental Student

 This article is reprinted with permission from the American Student Dental Association. It originally appeared on ASDA’s blog, Mouthing Off.
School is back in session! You know what that means? Another year of late night studying, junk food binges, red-eye lab sessions and caffeine runs to Starbucks. Each year of dental school presents its own challenges, and it never gets easier. But that doesn’t mean you should be discouraged or stressed over it. Just starting my D3 year, I do not consider myself to be a seasoned dental student. However, I do feel there are a few nuggets of wisdom I’ve acquired over the past two years of dental school that are worth sharing. They have proven to be of benefit not only to me, but also to a majority of my classmates. Here are Jay’s keys to success in dental school:

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Partner Blog Spotlight: 5 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Becoming a Dentist

Mouthing Off is the official blog of the American Student Dental Association. ASDA members post three times each week on topics such as dental licensure, personal finance and student debt, dental school life and dentistry in pop culture. Mouthing Off is almost entirely student written with the occasional post by a dentist or financial expert. Whether you’re a predental trying to get into dental school or you’re a dental student looking for some career advice, Mouthing Off is a great resource to visit again and again. Here’s a taste of what you’ll find on Mouthing Off:

5 things I wish I had known before becoming a dentist

For fourth year dental students, graduation is just around the corner. In this post, the dentists who wrote “So You Want to be a Dentist?” offer some advice they wish they’d had before graduating dental school.

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20 Questions: Andrew Read-Fuller, DDS, MS, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Dr. Andrew Read-Fuller is a dentist and resident with the Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital/UT Southwestern Medical Center, with a focus on the broad scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery, including dentoalveolar, orthognathic, cleft and craniofacial, and cosmetic surgery, as well as facial trauma and head and neck cancer. Read-Fuller received his bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University (2005), and, most recently, he is a graduate of the UCLA School of Dentistry, where he received his doctor of dental surgery (DDS) magna cum laude (2011) and his master’s degree in oral biology (2011). He is currently active in the Resident Organization of the American Association of Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons.
Dr. Read-Fuller was active with the American Student Dental Association during his time at UCLA, serving as vice president, executive committee member and president of the UCLA chapter. He has earned numerous honors and awards, including the Dr. William S. Kramer Award of Excellence –Omicron Kappa Upsilon (2010), Pierre Fauchard Academy Scholarship (2010), California Dental Association Foundation Scholarship (2010), Webb Family Scholarship –Outstanding Leadership (2009 – 2011), UCLA Affiliates Academic & Leadership Scholarship (2008 – 2010), and ADA Foundation Academic Scholarship (2008).

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What You Should Know Before Your First Interview

This article is reprinted with permission from the American Student Dental Association. It originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of ASDA News.
Interviewing is a stressful experience. Knowing some typical interview formats and the expectations of your interviewer can help put your mind at ease while pursuing acceptance into dental school.

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20 Questions: Adam C. Shisler, DDS

Adam C. Shisler, DDS, is a dentist in private practice in Houston, Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences/zoology from the University of Oklahoma (2006) and a doctorate of dental surgery from the University of Texas School of Dentistry (2012). Dr. Shisler is currently completing a postgraduate pediatric dentistry residency, which he expects to complete in 2014. He has completed externships in pediatric dentistry with several graduate programs, including The University of Texas School of Dentistry (UTSD) at Houston, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, and Tufts in Boston.
Dr. Shisler was the president of the American Student Dental Assoc. at UTSD and was acknowledged with numerous awards in 2012, including Texas Dental Assoc. Outstanding Senior Award, International College of Dentists Student Leadership Award, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Predoctoral Student Award, American College of Dentists Student Leader Award, American Student Dental Assoc. Award of Excellence, and Dept. of Prosthodontics Heinz O. Beck Award of Excellence in Removables. Dr. Shisler is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Assoc., Academy of General Dentistry, Texas Dental Assoc., Texas Academy of General Dentistry, and Greater Houston Dental.

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20 Questions: Jessica A. Rickert, DDS

Jessica A. Rickert, DDS, is a general dentist with the Michigan Community Dental Clinics in Northern Michigan. She attended University of Michigan School of Dentistry, earning her doctor of dental surgery in 1975. She was a general dentist in private practice with Dr. Bruce Rosenblum in Allen Park, Michigan, from 1975 to 1980, and director of the dental clinic for the Children’s Aid Society in Grand River from 1975 to 1982. From 1980 to 1982, Dr. Rickert was a general dentistry associate in the private practice of Dr. James B. Phillips in Birmingham, Michigan. Dr. Rickert opened her own private practice in 1982, serving the Interlochen, Michigan, area from 1982 to 2012. She was also a contract dentist with National Health Resources, Inc. providing general dental services to the Department of Corrections for the State of Michigan from 2007 to 2010. Dr. Rickert is a member of the American Dental Association, Michigan Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Society of American Indian Dentists, American Association of Women Dentists, and National Association of Women Professionals. She has served on the Board of Directors for both the Michigan Urban Indian Health Council and Society of American Indian Dentists. She was the Chair of the Oakland County Dental Society’s Speakers’ Bureau, a member of the Michigan Dental Association’s Public Relations Committee, and president of the Resort District Dental Society. Dr. Rickert has been published in the Journal of the Michigan Dental Association, Association of American Indian Physicians Journal, American Association of Women Dentists Journal, Dentistry Today Journal, and University of Michigan Dental School Alumni Magazine. In 2009, Dr. Rickert was inducted in the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame for being the first female American Indian Dentist in the world.

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20 Questions: Gregory K. Inman, DMD

Gregory K. Inman, DMD, is currently in private practice in Campbellsville, Kentucky. Inman earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisville in 1990. He went on to attend University of Louisville School of Dentistry, where he earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) in 1994, a certificate in advanced education in general dentistry in 1995, and served a residency in orthodontics in 1997. He is currently licensed in both dentistry and orthodontics in Kentucky.
Dr. Inman served an associateship with his father, Dr. Gary O. Inman, in 1997 – 1998 before forming a partnership with him in 1999 at Inman Orthodontics; they now have practices in Elizabethtown, Campbellsville and Glasgow, Kentucky. Dr. Inman is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, Southern Association of Orthodontists, Kentucky Association of Orthodontists, University of Louisville Orthodontic Alumni, American Dental Association, Kentucky Dental Association, Pennyrile Dental Association, Hardin County Dental Association, Hardin County A.M. Rotary, and University of Louisville Alumni Association. He currently serves as board member of University of Louisville Alumni BOD and University of Louisville Orthodontic Alumni, and secretary-treasurer of Southern Association of Orthodontists.

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