Early starts and late finishes, life as a dentistry student is undeniably tough. Anyone who sets out to complete a dentistry degree soon finds out that you won’t get anywhere without hard work, commitment and desire and Sophia Signorini is displaying these traits in abundance. She’s currently in her second year on the BDS Dentistry course at Manchester and is adjusting to the jump from the first year, here she details just how long and stressful a typical day can be on the course.
8:30am: Though it may seem early, Friday’s involve restorative clinic and so an early start is mandatory. I wake up especially early on Fridays as I see my patient and therefore need to arrive at the Dental Hospital with enough time to sort out what I need for the appointment, present my patient case to the rest of the class and collect the necessary armamentarium for the clinical visit.
9:30am: Morning patients are booked in for 9:30am and usually appointment slots shouldn’t last longer than 1.5-2 hours, though this depends on the treatment being carried out. In 2nd year we see our first patient and this will either be for complete or partial dentures. This involves 4-5 appointments on a fortnightly basis as we are each assigned one patient and so take it in turns to act as the dental practitioner and dental assistant for one another.
12:00pm: It’s now midday and restorative clinic is complete, I cleared up the unit and disinfected it, ready for use during afternoon clinics. I now have a one hour break before my next lecture so I’m going to meet up with a friend and have some lunch at the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons. This also gives me a chance to read over my notes before EBL session 3.
13:00pm: It’s now time for session 3 of EBL. In simple terms, EBL (enquiry based learning) is comprised of three lectures spread over two weeks, and after those two weeks, it resets. Session 1 introduces the case: this involves clues and we are to discuss as a group what the final diagnosis is, which areas we should research in more detail and which parts we should research due to lack of prior knowledge. Session 2 involves collating this information as a group and in session 3 we are tested on our knowledge of this topic by means of a group task.
14:00pm: Now that EBL is complete, I’m free to go home!
17:00pm: Hectic student buses can make the journey home crammed but once I’m back I go over any notes that need finishing for symposia on Monday. I also plan out my work schedule for the weekend, which includes answering questions in our clinical skills workbook and revising anatomy.
19:00pm: Back to university campus now to meet up with some course mates at the Students’ Union and hang out for a couple hours.
22:00pm: Time to get some sleep and recover from the week! Zzzz