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How to Survive D3 Year

Practicing on real patients, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, is quickly approaching. Transitioning from simulation to clinic is full of trials and triumphs. Trading plastic for enamel and dentin is not as easy as one might think. Here are some pointers from current D3s on how to make the most of your third year:

“Surviving third year comes down to planning ahead and staying on top of your schedule. Arriving to clinic knowing what you are doing that day so you are mentally prepared for the tasks at hand. It also requires helping the fourth years finish their competencies early so you can get started earlier as a third year student. This also means taking care of each other, as they say, teamwork makes the dream work. Tips for surviving third year: Get a planner, get into a routine, be nice to staff, be nice to classmates, be nice to faculty and get to know the lab processing schedules.” -Erik Klintmalm

“Understand that there are things you never learned, and that you will make 20x mistakes before you learn it. Learn from the mistakes of others through assisting, but also be sure to read ahead of time what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Watch Youtube videos of the procedures you’re about to do. Don’t let stress ruin your day. Know what you’re doing for the upcoming week ahead of time, like on Sunday. Realize that there are different rules and protocols for each CCU and don’t let the inconsistency of clinic bother you. Drink coffee in the morning. Call patients when you’re at home so you know if they’re coming ahead of time, so you can either a) not set up for that procedure or b) ask the front desk to put another patient for you or c) assist a classmate. Be on top of your “stuff”. Expect the unexpected. The unpredictability of clinic may or may not bother you. Once you achieve a sense of routine, everything will be fine.” -Pejman Moghbeli

“Many times during D3 year I found myself running around like a chicken with my head cut-off. Being a type A planner I initially found this frustrating and stressful. However, once I realized there are some things that are out of your control D3 year became much more enjoyable. Be sure to stay top of your schedule, plan ahead and learn to go-with-the-flow!” -Vanessa Kristensen

Tips for surviving clinic (from clinic faculty & staff)

“Be proactive in your scheduling with the front staff.” -Dr. Turner

“Come prepared. Be sure to do your homework ahead of time. Review the notes, know what procedure you’re doing, how to do it and the materials you’re using.” -Dr. Green

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