Before i begin, let me clarify that i am only in the process of becoming a dentist and that i study in a government college. My views are mine only and i shall talk about the profession, not the college.
17th July is the date for the counselling of the next batch of aspirants..for MBBS and BDS. I, being a senior, am anticipating an exciting batch with a mix of good bad and ugly people. The foremost truth these poor lost souls need to know is that we dentists pride in calling ourselves Dental Surgeons. So be it. Dental surgeons it is.
I am a dental surgeon in the making. You see we are all trained to be cockroaches. We have to build for ourselves a thick exoskeleton to protect ourselves from the constant hand burning and skin shearing. There is blood wound and tetanus involved too. Girls will shout and scream and boys need to be strong enough to rotate the bench press.
Yes i am still talking about my course. The practical lab work involves taking a hot brass flask out of boiling hot water and then beating it open with a modified hammer called a mallate (to name one process)..
There is a story behind this mallate as well..you see, since we have to beat open a metal container with a flimsy wooden hammer, it breaks the minute it makes contact. So all of us have atleast 9670377 mallates in our lockers. This process is called Dewaxing or Curing, depends in the step you are doing. A lot of things can go wrong. I have had hot boiling water spill on me, have struck the mallate directly on my pinky finger, have had the flask fall on my shoe etc.
Anyway. If you are taking up this course be ready to suffer 4 years of hand bruising and keep some Burnol handy. Your skin shall definitely be more keratinised than the non-dentists of the world. Smile.
Next. We are all ultimately pseudo- doctors in the eyes of the rest of the world. Remember, every professor you have will tell you that BDS is a far superior course than its counterpart MBBS. Believe them.
When i said pseudo-doctors, i meant it. What happens is, since we know that we don’t have to deal with the rest of the ailments of the body, our brain begins to categorise information (read: things to mug) into two folders- non-essential and somewhat essential. The end result is that we don’t really know much in the end cuz all the data ultimately gets stored in the non-essential folder!
Oh don’t get me wrong..everything is important for examinations. I topped. Haha.
So when you old uncle Sharma asks you to prescribe for his disease look confident and hand him an antibiotic. Tell yourself that you know stuff even though you actually don’t. Or you may actually know it. Ha.
The only time will wear that sacred stethoscope is in your physiology prac class. And Medicine or Surgery classes. The first time you put it around your neck, your heart will pound and your chest will inflate.. remember that feeling cuz that probably is the last time you will feel that. Also, everyone clicks pictures that day. Do it. Keep it as a memory.
In all honesty, the need for checking respiratory sounds is pretty remote in our field of expertise. Existent, but remote.
The same thing will happen on the day of your first anatomy prac. You will click pictures of yourself beside a cadaver (dead body) and then go home to show off to your folks friends and grandparents. I did too..there is no shame. But when you will have to remember the names of every artery nerve and muscle and bone and crevice and hole in the body, you will curse yourself for being proud of that picture..
Also. When someone says ‘oh you will perform tooth extractions’, correct them and tell them that this field is far far faaaar more advanced than that. Ask him to change his consulting dental surgeon. Tell aunty that conservative treatment is the way we sway now. Spread awareness.
No, vampire teeth cannot be cultivated on a medium. Twilight is not true. Ugh.
When you pass out of 2nd year, which i will be doing in a months time, be sure of the fact that what you learn the lab and pre clinical classes will all be proved incorrect after you step in to the clinics. Remember how, when we were in school we used to learn one theorem in a class and then when we reached a higher class that theorem was proved wrong? College is no different. Smile again.
Now now. All those who have stumbled into this profession because of a low rank..it is probably for the best. MBBS is a suck-your-soul profession. No offense to them, but i am thrilled to have not chosen that course. Dentistry is far better. Lesser studying and more time. And more money if you care, and if you do things properly.
All the hand burning, picture clicking and remorse over not getting to be a ‘doctor’ will go away. You will make some friends who are irreplacable..though this is true for any course. The things that you did not learn in college will be taught during your MDS or in your clinic.
Be a cockroach. Be proud.
-stay tangled. 😉