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Building Bridges Beyond the Classroom: Networking in Dental School

October Pulp Exposure

Abe Hammond


Building Bridges Beyond the Classroom: Networking in Dental School

In the journey towards becoming a skilled dental professional, it is easy to get lost in the hours of PowerPoint slides, classwork, books, and clinic. However, your time in dental school while vitally important is not just about gaining knowledge and perfecting your clinical skills. It is important to remember the significance of networking through clubs, extracurricular activities, and engaging with dentists in the community, as well as getting to know your professors and doctors better.

Joining Clubs and Extracurricular Activities:

Dental school is not just about coursework and clinical competencies, it is also about personal growth and networking. Joining clubs and participating in extracurricular activities can change your dental school experience entirely. These activities not only offer a break from our stressful day to day activities but also provide an excellent platform for networking. Through clubs and extracurriculars, you will have the chance to meet likeminded individuals, collaborate on projects, and develop leadership skills that will serve you throughout your dental career as a whole.

Connecting with Dentists in the Community:

Dentistry as most of us know is not just restricted to the walls of our dental school classrooms and labs. It is an imporant part of our communities no matter where we are all from. Take the opportunity to reach out to local dentists and even specialists in your area. Shadowing experienced practicing dentists, volunteering at dental clinics, or even attending any of the numerous dental association events can provide irreplaceable understandings of what the real-world of practice dentistry is like. Building these connections while in dental school will not only deepen your dental education but may even open doors to mentorships, internships, and potential job opportunities in the future.

Getting to Know Your Professors and Doctors:

Your professors and clinical instructors are not just educators, they are valuable resources and mentors. Do not be shy about approaching them, asking questions, and seeking guidance even if you feel it is unnecessary. By building strong relationships with your professors and doctors, you will gain a deeper insight into the profession, get recommendations, and even potentially obtain research or clinical opportunities. Your instructors are also very well-connected in the dental community, and their guidance as a whole can prove to be a fundamental benefit as you progress in your career as a dentist.

Dental school is more than just lectures and clinical practice as much as we love to practice our hand skills. It is a time of growth and development in your life where you have the remarkable opportunity to build lasting relationships and connections that can and will shape your future as a dentist. Make the most of your time in dental school by actively participating in clubs, connecting with dentists in the community, and getting to know your professors and doctors on a more personal level. These experiences will not only enhance your dental education but will also stay with you once you have left the very walls of ASDOH!

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