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Welcome to the University of Michigan School of Dentistry's Blog!

Here you will find blogs from our students about various issues facing our prospective dental professionals, from a day in the life to dealing with frigid Michigan winters. Please email umdentalmedia@gmail.com to suggest a topic you would be interested in learning about. Enjoy!

A Dental Student’s Guide to Getting Fed in a Hurry

July 20, 2016

by Melissa Chime

wolvgiphy

Hope you washed those claws, Wolverine.

When it comes to food for hungry UMSOD students, the most important factors are proximity to the school and how quickly they can get it in their mouths. So sandwiches are a convenient and tasty way for dental students to satisfy their hunger during study breaks or between patients. Here are 5 places UMSOD students like to get their sandwiches when they’re a Wolverine without the time or claws to slice up salami and make their own.

Zingerman’s Deli

D-$ Cuban

D-$’s Cuban Conundrum- Spicy!

When most people hear the words “sandwich” and “Ann Arbor” in the same sentence, Zingerman’s Deli is usually the first place to come to mind- and rightfully so. Zingerman’s is known for their sandwiches, but they also specialize in artisan cheeses, meats, and breads. Although on the pricier side, Zingerman’s Deli is so good even President Obama had to stop by for a bite back in 2014. The delicatessen offers huge sandwiches that are sure to fill you up and leave you with enough leftover for a second meal, and because of this it’s a popular spot for UMSOD students when they’ve got a taste for a high quality sandwich. If you want to eat like a dental student, try ordering the “D-$’s Cuban Conundrum” or a classic favorite- “The Zingerman’s Reuben”. (They deliver for a $5 fee: http://www.zingermansdeli.com/menus)

Panera

panera- turkey kate

The kale means it’s healthy, right?

This chain restaurant is known for their variety of soups, fresh salads, great bagels, and tasty sandwiches. They are also committed to making all of their ingredients free of artificial coloring, preservatives, and sweeteners by 2018. Too much sugar is not good for your teeth, so this commitment to ridding excess sugar in food is one of the many reasons why UMSOD students love Panera.  If you stop by and want to eat like a dental student, try ordering the roasted turkey and caramelized kale Panini with a cup of broccoli and cheddar soup on the side. (Order ahead for pick-up, or if you’re really tired, order from your table and have it delivered to you there at https://delivery.panerabread.com)

Piada

diavolo piada

It looks like a burrito, but tastes like Italian love.

Piada, a thin Italian flatbread, is not only a very popular type of Italian sandwich that UMSOD students love to order, but it is also the name of the restaurant where they order it from. The casual chain restaurant serves pastas, salads, and of course- sandwiches. However, this type of sandwich is not served on your average hoagie roll, but instead on a flatbread. The restaurant is especially popular among dental students because when they’re craving Italian food but don’t have the budget for it, Piada offers great tasting pastas and sandwiches (sometimes combined together!) for half the price of your average Italian restaurant, and it can be made to-go, which is perfect for dental students who don’t have time to sit and eat in. There is one location on South State Street, about a 5-minute walk from the school of dentistry. If you’re looking to eat like a dental student, consider ordering the Diavolo Piada with steak, and a side of garlic dough to go with it. (order online to avoid those lines at https://mypiada.com/order/)

Potbelly

wreck potbelly

The prettiest Wreck. photo courtesy John S. via Yelp

One of the most popular sandwich shops for UMSOD students to flock to is Potbelly’s. Located on the corner of south State Street and East Liberty, this sub-shop chain is known for their delicious and warm sandwiches that are often accompanied by live music! They have sandwiches served in a variety of sizes (for those who want to indulge but not go overboard), and every sandwich is sent through an oven and toasted to a warm perfection. Even better, Potbelly’s also serves soups, salads, ice cream sandwiches, and even milkshakes! This is great for dental students who want a sandwich but are also craving something a little sweet on the side and don’t have the time to travel to another location to get it. If you’re looking to eat like a dental student, try ordering “A Wreck” and finish it off with an Oreo shake right after.(Order for pickup at: http://www.potbelly.com/)

Subway

chick-bacon-ranch subway

Does it even matter what sandwich this is? Yum.

Although most sandwiches are neither $5 nor approximately 12-inches anymore, the chain is known for making sandwiches that let customers pick from a wide range of meats, cheeses, and toppings to customize to their liking. The sandwiches are also relatively healthy, with 6-inches starting as low as 167 calories (veggie delight) which is great for dental students who want to stay in shape. There are 3 locations close to the dental school- two on South State Street and one on South University. 2 of the locations are also open until midnight, and it’s very convenient for dental students who are looking for a quick bite to eat during their midnight study sessions. If you’re looking to eat like a dental student, try ordering the chicken and bacon ranch melt- or you can make your own!

Melissa Chime, guest blogger, is a 3rd year student at THE Ohio State University, but we like her anyway. She is majoring in international relations and double minoring in Mandarin Chinese and business. 

Three Years of Hope

June 30, 2016

Last month the School of Dentistry had our annual Commencement ceremony, celebrating our DDS, Hygiene, Masters and Doctoral program graduates.  Here is DH4 Class President Hope Wooley’s speech from the ceremony.- Editor

hope grad pic

Welcome distinguished guests, professors, friends, family, and most importantly graduates. My name is Hope Woolley and I am honored to represent the Dental Hygiene Graduating Class of 2016.

About three years ago the dental hygiene students arrived on campus for the first time for transfer student orientation. The end of the campus tour brought us to the fountain located between the Bell Tower and the League. The fountain is titled “Sunday Morning in Deep Waters” and it’s tradition at orientation that incoming students walk through the fountain. This symbolizes their arrival on campus. When we reached the fountain we were asked to remove our shoes and socks and line up in a single file. As we walked through the knee deep water, our tour guide yelled over the pouring rain, “You may have been taught that your blood is red, but I assure you, as of this moment YOU BLEED BLUE.”

sundaymorning

Now, at this moment not only was I concerned about being soaking wet from the rain and fountain, I was also worried about the fact that I had just joined a football loving, maize and blue wearing, Hail to the Victors-cult. I would soon be casually incorporating the phrases bleeding blue, leaders and best, and the Michigan difference in my everyday conversations.

About a month later we gathered on campus again and began to see what “the Michigan difference” was all about as we began our journey of becoming prevention specialists. Over the past 3 years we’ve practiced gagging patients with x rays, drowning them with the ultrasonic, and perfecting the phrase,  “sir, if you would just floss this wouldn’t hurt.”

We made it through histology by filling in every blank space on a test with the answer “neural crest cell.” We survived our first day of clinic quite honestly sweating through our scrubs, and we literally had our hands held by instructors as we practiced giving and receiving local anesthetic injections.

We’ve been able to participate in many community outreach programs including: Give Kids a Smile day, Taft Clinic, Donated Dental Days, and fluoride varnish programs. We’ve completed projects with Headstart and various elementary, middle schools, and high schools. We made an online continuing education course for certified nursing assistants in nursing homes and served a variety of underserved populations. We researched fluoride retention, salivary diagnostics, side effects of oral and maxillofacial piercings, the perception of the dental hygiene profession amongst other health care professionals, and the knowledge of oral health care professions among under-represented minorities such as African Americans and Arab-Americans and we’ve researched so much more. We are not an unaccomplished group.

I asked my classmates what their definition of  “The Michigan Difference” was, their responses: Tests that are harder than necessary. Never ending homework and research assignments. Community outreach. The dreaded motivational interviewing. Watching students enjoy fall break from the bleak, soulless confines of the commons and secretly wishing they would trip on the sidewalk and fall flat on their faces because the dental school does not observe fall break. Seemingly unreachable goals. Free lunches and candy during class. Still having clinic on the only snow day that the University of Michigan has had in about 70 years and on said snow day having your patient drive more than 3 hours in the -30 degree blizzard for you to clean all 4 of his teeth. True story- it happened and I lived to tell the tale. And lastly, people said, “Not being told the answers. Having to figure things out on our own.” This last point is one I want to focus on for a moment. Michigan has not taught us WHAT to think, but HOW to think- to think bigger- and that, my friends, is the Michigan difference.

We are heading into the unknown of clinical practice, and sometimes our lack of experience or insecurities may lead us to embrace other people’s expectations, standards, or values. May I propose that this doesn’t have to be the case. We have our own minds and we’ve been taught to think, not blindly follow. In these situations we have the opportunity to truly be the leaders and best.

Growing up I was taught that it is not enough to be good; you must be good for something. Today you are graduating from the number 1 dental school in the nation– you will hold a piece of paper in your hand that tells the world you are capable, and demand the best care. That you are the best in your field, that you are more than good, but are great. I am here to tell you that none of that matters. You can be the best clinician and still be good for nothing. What has to happen? What do we do to be good for something? Be caring, be genuine, be thorough and understanding, be thoughtful and wise, be encouraging, and above all be kind.

We’re all here today because of someone- or someones- who inspired and encouraged us. I would like for you to take some time today to think about and thank the people who helped get to where you are sitting now. I would be incredibly ungrateful if I did not thank our faculty and clinical instructors- thank you for the time and dedication to the profession and to each one of us. Thank you for teaching us the skills to be good.

Thank you to our friends and family, to those who were encouraging, caring, wise, understanding and kind- you helped make us good for something.

Thank you to my classmates- my time here was great because of you. I am better because of you.

And lastly, thank you to my sweet husband, who I’m sure is mortified right now. He tried so diligently to learn dental hygiene terminology so he could carry on intelligent conversations with my classmates and me. Thank you for loving me through the stress, wiping away my tears, and always seeing the bigger picture. I love you more everyday.

hope grad pic 2

As I said before, many of us will soon enter clinical practice, some will attend graduate school and become educators and researchers. A few will join the dark side and attend dental school. Many will stay here in Michigan; others will travel across the United States, and a few around the world. But no matter where we go, we’re taking Michigan with us, because whether you believed it three years ago or not, I promise you, that as of THIS very moment, you do and will ALWAYS bleed blue.

 

Forever Go Blue

May 16, 2016

grillogradpic

Good afternoon.

It is my honor to be representing our graduating dental class of 2016 on this very special day. It seems like just yesterday we were right down the road at Rackham Auditorium receiving our white coats. Over these four years, some of us have changed a little bit, some of us a lot-­‐ whether that be a few gray hairs coming in here or there; or in my case 6mm of a receded hairline. Speaking of recession though, I’m sure our graduates will surely miss saying to their assistants: 3, 2, 3; 4 2 3; BOP mesial…You gotta love those perio charts!

June 25, 2012-­‐ That was our first day of orientation at Palmer Commons. Quite a bit has happened since. Intellectually, we have grown and developed immensely. Thanks to the record keeping of our classmate Spencer Crouch, I have some impressive stats to share with you: throughout our four years of dental school-­‐ we completed 138 exams, 230 quizzes, 110 practicals and test cases, and 111 papers/projects.

Outside the classroom and clinic, we also had some great times and personal achievements. There were 26 engagements, 14 weddings, 19 babies born with a few more on the way, occasional tears, and countless laughs and countless memories together.

Now look at us. Doctors of Dental Surgery! We earned it. We sweated through Form 1 box preps, waxing, and setting denture teeth in sim lab. Now we can effectively and confidently treat complex cases from disease to health.

I’d also like to highlight the quality of education that we received from the school of dentistry. According to the QS World University Rankings, Michigan is ranked as the #1 dental school in the entire nation and get this, the #2 dental school in the entire world! That is very impressive! They weren’t kidding about that whole ‘leaders and best’ thing.
The ranking speaks volumes to the type of administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, and of course phenomenal students that we have in this program.

We have a lot to be thankful for. On behalf of the graduating classes, we thank the wonderful faculty and staff for their mentorship. Another important group to be thankful for is our own personal support systems. Having all of you here and those who are here in spirit, celebrating this commencement and our official entry into the dental community is greatly appreciated. Whether that be parents, siblings, significant others, friends, mentors– thank you for your love and support!

Now for some final words I’d like to pass onto the class:

Jokes aside, the first piece of advice I would like to share: Never forget your “why.” You all have a passion for dentistry that led you to this career.  Whether your path is general dentistry, a specialty, solo or group practice, military, community, research or academics- don’t forget your passion.  Five years ago, in your personal statement when applying to dental school you outlined your reasons and motivation to be a dental professional. Don’t forget those!

Second, don’t settle.  Be confident in your abilities.  You have the skills and resources to succeed.  You are all bright and intelligent professionals.  But don’t be ordinary- be extraordinary.

Third.  Pay it forward.  Be a leader.  Be an advocate.  Be a mentor, be a difference in someone’s life.  Get involved, and do things in your community.  Put others first and give back.  As Winston Churchill once said- “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Lastly and most importantly: Don’t forget.  Don’t forget where you have come from and where you have been.  We all got here differently, we all have our own story.  Some have a strong family tradition of dentists, some will be the first health professional in their whole family.  Many of us are from here in Michigan.  Quite a few from California, others from Canada, Cuba, Alaska, India, Afghanistan, you name it.  Some of us are only 24 years old- while others have families and have had other careers before this. But whatever your story, we all have one common destination along our route- The University of Michigan School of Dentistry.  Never forget that, never lose that bond with your classmates.  Yes, there will be some challenging times ahead.  But we have eachother.  Stay in touch, support each other, be that someone to talk to.

And one final quote from Maya Angelou to sum everything up:  “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Congratulations Class of 2016!  Enjoy and celebrate.  You’ve earned it.  And remember- wherever you go, forever Go Blue!

Commencement 2016-125

Andrew Grillo was the president of his D4 class.  Before being voted as class president his senior year, Andrew devoted his time to serving the American Student Dental Association (ASDA). He served as a representative his D1 year, vice president his D2 year and President his D3 year.  Andrew was also voted by his class as the recipient of the Ryan E. Turner Award.  

Give Kids A Smile-From The Kids

April 7, 2016

Our annual Give Kids a Smile event took place last weekend, and a few of our patients chipped in to let us know all about smiles.. Whether teeth are made of snow, milk or teeth bones, the Smile Experts have you covered.

GKAS

Give Kids A Smile To Think About- click for Video

Video Produced by students Joseph Eusebio, Ji Won Gwak, Hussain Haider and Nicole Pentis

Ida Gray Award Winner- Guneet Kohli

March 2, 2016
DEI Day 2016-15

My Yang and Guneet Kohli

 

Nomination for the Ida Gray Award
Nominee: Guneet Kohli
Nominator: My Yang

Guneet Kohli exemplifies the very essence of the definition and meaning of diversity. Her charisma, leadership, and collaboration skills have certainly highlighted the University of Michigan School of Dentistry’s efforts to push the boundaries of breaking down barriers to inclusion and understanding.

Born and raised in San Jose, California, Guneet is a first-generation Sikh American from a very diverse family. Her mother is from New Delhi, India, and her father, Tehran, Iran. She has an older and younger sister, and will be the very first in her family to earn a professional degree. With such a diverse family background, Guneet has always viewed diversity as an important extension of her identity. Even before arriving in Michigan to attend dental school, she has dedicated most of her early college career to diversity initiatives. Since her time at UCLA, she has been active in the Sikh community, easily dedicating over 1000 hours volunteering, counseling, and inspiring other first-generation Sikh Americans to pursue higher education. Furthermore, in the practice of what it means to be inclusive, she has also dedicated her time to individuals with disabilities at the Muscular Dystrophy Association Camp in San Francisco, and the YMCA Easter Seals Camps in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Since her first year as a dental student, Guneet has been an active member of the Multicultural Affairs Committee (MAC) as a student representative of her class. She has participated in efforts to encourage collaboration between the many diverse groups within the school by being a core member in MAC sub-committees, in events such as the Women’s Tea event. As a member of the Hispanic Student Dental Association she has participated in the oral health education and screening of migrants workers in Blissfield, MI, as well as the Latino Connection, a Latino Undergraduate Recruitment Fair at the University of Michigan. As a member of other organizations here at the dental school, Guneet has been active in other dimensions of diversity. She has participated in the Mens’ Health Fair at Washtenaw Community College, the Special Smiles Special Olympics in Mt. Pleasant, MI, and the American Medical Association’s Women’s Health & Fitness Day in Ann Arbor, to name a few. Her Health Care Delivery (HCD) Project with Dr. Wilhelm Piskorowski has lead to promising efforts towards a student led dental clinic for girls age 11-18 who are residents at Vista Maria or neighboring foster care centers. These girls are unfortunate victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, physical trauma, abuse, or neglect. Through her creativity and perseverance, her HCD project has produced a powerful movement in encouraging open discussions of other groups of diversity that are often forgotten in the dental community, and therefore often lack access to oral health education and care.

Guneet’s talents and commitment to diversity has not gone unnoticed. She has attended many ADEA annual regional and national meetings to broaden her own knowledge and understanding of dental education/academia as a whole. In 2015, she was nominated to attend the ADEA Student Diversity Leadership Program in Boston, MA, and just recently, she attended the U-M Diversity Summit here in Ann Arbor, MI.  These events have provided her with the education and training required to not only encourage dialog among different groups/organizations but also raise awareness among her peers regarding the meaning of diversity and inclusion. In the summer of 2015, she became a mentor to the School of Dentistry’s Profile for Success Program, an enrichment summer program for students with diverse and underrepresented minority backgrounds.

As I think about the meaning of diversity and inclusion, and how it impacts the environment of our school, the students that we teach, the teachers that we learn from, and the patients that we treat, I can not think of another individual more deserving of the Ida Gray Award. She has demonstrated a life-long commitment to diversity and continues to do so to this day, enriching the lives of individuals from all kinds of background. I nominate Guneet Kohli for the 2016 Ida Gray Award.

Nominator My Yang Bio:
I was born in Fresno, CA, and have since lived in Michigan since 1999. I grew up in a very diverse family, originating in Thailand and Laos.
I started my college career at a community college, before transferring to Michigan State University for my Bachelor’s Degree. As a result of my upbringing, I am very active in diversity and community health initiatives. Currently, I am a D4 with plans after graduation to begin a one year AEGD program at Detroit Mercy. I am passionate about working and serving in underserved communities, with hopes of increasing access to oral heath education and dental care.

 

I Hope She Knew

January 19, 2016

buchanon

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future

Proverbs 31:25

 

              I hope she knew.

As I sit in class my heartbeat races to the point that it aches
See most of the time my heart beat races because I’m in dental school and that’s kind of normal, but today is different
Today the topic in class is patients from different ethnic and racial backgrounds
On this particular day I feel like 204 eyes are painting my body one stroke at a time until
it is completely colored black.

On this particular day I am reminded of how different I am.
How I’m the only African American male in my class
and how it is important for me to not only make it for myself
but for me to make it for my family and for my friends,
for my future patients and for those who said I would never make it
and for the little black boy who thought that
he would never amount to anything
simply because no one told him that he could be more than just an athlete.

I slump deeper in my seat as I try to match the downward pull my stomach is doing to keep from regurgitating last nights dinner…but also quite frankly
I don’t want the acid to build up on the lingual surfaces of my teeth and cause dental erosion. But I digress

The pressure to speak
as well as the discomfort
paralyzes my cerebral cortex and the only thing I can think about is …

I wonder how Ida Gray felt? Excuse me, Dr. Ida Gray

She must have been aware of the fact that she was the ONLY African American in her class?
I’m sure someone must have passed a note to her during orientation and told her that she was the FIRST African American Female student in all of this great country’s history to embark on such a journey.
I assume she must have known that she was making history
She had to have been cognitively aware that she was laying the foundation for future people of color to continue to build the infrastructure of those to come. For me.
I wonder if she was able to discern that 129 years after her first day of dental school that her name would touch every single one of the fungiform papillae on my tongue and that I would try to swallow her name as much as possible trying to ingest just half of the significance that it possessed. IDA GRAY

I sometimes wonder if my feet have touched many of the same places her feet have. If my ears have
heard words that have bounced off of the same walls that once held the words of Dr. Gray’s
I wonder if she knows how much she has helped the little black boy who thought that
he could be nothing more than a jock.

It’s people like Dr. Gray and visionaries like this school
that in the midst of racial segregation and tension could start a catalytic chemical reaction
that eventually led to a plethora of African American dentists to date

 

As I sit in class, my heart no longer aches.

I sit up straight and think about the invisible crown on my head.

I come from the great lineage of those who have come before me.

I stand on the shoulders of record makers, trailblazers, and firsts.

My name is Carl. I’m the only African American male in my class and I am Ida Gray.

 

Carl Buchanon II is a D1 and shared this spoken word poetry before an incredibly moved audience at the 35th annual King’s Feast, celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr and his legacy.

ASDA Videos- The X Factor

January 12, 2016

What makes you a unique dental school applicant? UMich ASDA calls it the X-Factor, and is producing a series of videos highlighting the X-Factor of current students. Check out their intro video and a video on Keri Eberhardt, current D3 and former college diver.

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