• Leah Abrams

Saying Bi(cuspid) to Summer

And just like that, D1 year has begun. On the first interview of the season, Jerrell “StuDoc @H₂O” Atwater checks in with three aspiring dentists as they wrap up their summers and prepare for the struggles of starting dental school in the midst of a global pandemic.

This week’s guests are Student Dr. Jibri Muhammad, a Howard 2020 grad attending UNC’s Adams School of Dentistry, Student Dr. Candice Hodge, an ECU 2019 grad also attending UNC’s Adams School of Dentistry, and Student-Dr. Brianna Smith, a UNC 2018 grad attending ECU’s School of Dental Medicine.

Like Jerrell, all three guests are enjoying their final days of summer, spending time relaxing before the workload gets intense. As they start their dental school journey, they reflect on what brought them to dentistry in the first place: for some, a love of community, for others, a commitment to health and healing, and for all four, a belief in the need for more minority-focused medical professionals. They also spend some time breaking down their decisions when it came to pick a dental program.


Student Dr. Candice Hodge says that the insurmountable network, support, and resources, along with seeing patients her D1 year, is what drew her to UNC Adam’s School of Dentistry. She believes that getting into clinical settings early in her professional education will play a significant role in helping student doctors adjust to caring for patients.


The student doctors get “troothful” about the immense debt dental students are forced to take on, and they give some thoughts about which dental programs allow for the most experiential learning and early access to clinics.


Finally, Jerrell and company dish “The Ugly T(r)ooth” about their fears for the online status of the upcoming semester. With all of their courses meeting remotely, all four aspiring dentists are worried about how they’ll be able to forge community with their peers, when they’ll be able to come in for lab, and how they’ll learn to interact with patients if they can’t even leave their apartments. Much of the point of the typical D1 year is to create bonds with classmates and study in solidarity. Without that environment, what will this look like for them? Catch up with them on future episodes to hear how it goes.


**Oh, and one exciting update from me: I finally started flossing this week. Who knows how long this will last, but for now, pretty proud of my pearly whites.

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