Dental school is prime time to get organized and learn to manage time between class, lab, and personal relationships – I don’t think students survive without some resemblance of a schedule or understanding of what they’re supposed to be doing and when. Eventually, you’ll make the transition from didactic student to student clinician, but even then, lack of organization is grounds for a total mess in clinic!
At CU, we elect class secretaries that are responsible for creating a master class iCal, a link that is shared amongst the members of the class. As a new DS2, I’m quickly learning that my 8 am-5 pm days of lecture are arduous and draining, but having a good idea of what my day looks like in advance absolutely aids in planning in workouts, grocery shopping, etc.
I put everything in my calendar. I type out to-do lists and plan my days to a T – therefore, I know exactly where I’m supposed to be at all times, certainly a type A trait that I retain. I have found it to be lessen my stress significantly if I can simply type out what needs to be done and tier my priorities throughout the day. My calendar (see below) is color-coded for School, Exams, Home, Etc., and I’ve since trained myself to “scan” my calendar to get an idea of the day’s work and errands. You definitely don’t need to organize yourself in the same way I did, this is just what works for me.
Even before dental school, I always gravitated toward iCal as my main planner of choice. I personally like the interface and color coding options, but that’s not saying that other programs (i.e. Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar) cannot perform the same tasks. iCal works for me since I concurrently use my iPhone, Macbook Air, and iPad Pro and can sync everything across the three platforms without issue. I also love that iCal allows you to attach PDF, Word docs, etc. to particular events, so if I get a schedule of an event, I take a screenshot and attach it to the calendar event, saving me the time of having to type everything out separately.
However, I’ve since been recommended multiple times to begin transitioning to a paper planner for patient care and clinic experiences. Physically penciling in your patients in a hard-copy planner helps practitioners keep their many patients and respective procedures straight and in one piece. Additionally, a paper planner can follow you into clinic, where often times, your iPhone or iPad cannot.
What my calendar looks like next week. Not too bad, actually!
I see my first perio patient on October 31st (Halloween! The holiday that keeps us dentists in business!) and the lead-up to that very first patient interaction is driving many of us DS2s to get our act together. T-Clinic with Drs. Delapp, Wilson, and Mediavilla is reigniting the spark for dentistry, something that might have waned in our time since getting our CU acceptance and completing the mostly-didactic DS1 year.
When you’re a DS1 (and I guess a DS2), all you can really think about whilst sitting through hours of lecture is the prospect of clinic and getting to know your patients. A few classmates and I have tried getting into clinic to assist our DS3 and DS4 friends, sometimes with the expense of lecture and the type of stress encountered as an upperclassman is totally different than that of a beginning dental student. Patient cancellations, grouchy patients, and failed lab projects are abound. Watching our older peers frantically call patients, leaving pleading voicemails to get bodies in chairs is certainly a novel experience, but one that we’ll all be forced into soon enough!
I first learned of Lilac Paper through an Instagram giveaway they did back when I first started dental school. Their characters and dental-focus drove several of my classmates (and myself!) to purchase adorable planners and badge reels for our shiny new student IDs. I’m all for supporting small businesses, and I’m even more thrilled to support Lilac Paper, which was started by two dental students, FOR us dental students. Rachel and Charlene have designed every piece and are both incredibly involved with their company, in spite of now being fully practicing dental graduates!
I have so much respect for Rachel and Charlene’s company and their work and am thrilled that they have agreed to sponsor my blog and Colorado ASDA predental – use coupon code COLORADOASDA (until October 12th, 2017) for 10% off your Lilac Paper purchase. Any purchases over $50 on their online shop will receive free shipping within the USA.
Their planners are fully personalized with your name, degree, and cover design of choice. They’re all made-to-order and include 12 months available for all of your future DDS plans. Yet, my favorite part about Lilac Paper’s planners (and what’s finally convincing me to try my hand at paper planners) are the stickers and dental notes woven throughout the planner – it’s the little details that count!
Currently, they’re running a Kickstarter campaign to bring Princess Prophy (um, only my favorite Lilac Paper character) to life as a plush children’s toy. Point of detail appreciation: Princess Prophy even has a little money pocket on her back to prepare for that tooth fairy loot. They’re over halfway to reaching their goal of $7,000 with 20 days to go. If their Kickstarter goal is reached, you’ll receive your selected tiered gift by mid-November, perfect for the holidays. Princess Prophy is truly the cutest gift for any predental, dental hygienist, student, etc. – I really hope you’ll consider sponsoring them!
*This post is sponsored by Lilac Paper, but all opinions expressed in this blog post are my own
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