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D3 Life- A Day in The Sweet Life

March 4, 2015

Hola. It’s me again. Welcome to the latest installment of True Life: I’m a D3. Can you believe I’m nearly two shorts months away from being a D4? Me either. How did I get here? Where am I going? Let me tell you about D3 life; the sweet life. One thing is true- I did not choose the D3 life, the D3 life chose me. It is a magical oasis of semi-relaxation snuggled like a warm hug between year 1-the countless hours spent in the cave of knowledge and year 4-“I have to find a real job”.  Trust me, you need that warm hug after year 2 boards are done. I am also delighted to be done with Dexter requirements. Sorry bro, it’s nothing personal.

On any particular day of the school week I wake up gingerly, drink copious amounts of coffee while doing my morning Pinteresting (this routine never gets old) before I leave the house and make the trek to campus for an always seemingly unique and interesting day.  A typical day in any given week of D3 year consists of two lectures and two clinic sessions. Exams have grown fewer and far between since moving out of pre-clinic and finishing “the systems”.  At the end of my typical Tuesday I am able to spend time with my beloved dog Nuggie, make a nice dinner, work on my fitness, socialize with family and friends, watch TV or read a book, craft, bake, get a good nights sleep, or anything else my little heart desires. It’s pretty great. We D3s stay plenty busy now with a different kind of self directed work; reviewing radiographs for treatment plans, managing a patient pool, making a mess in the wet lab for prostho cases, preparing perio records, and making that production happen. If there is a catch phrase for my class it might sound something like “Can I get a CEU (1200 required to graduate!) for that?” We are a motivated and ambitious bunch. Never to worry if you need an OS (oral surgery) assistant; a posting on the Facepage will leave you with four eager volunteers. Why yes I will be the backup, to the understudy, to the on-deck assistant thank you very much. Just in case.

By now most of have cycled through the year 3 rotations: oral surgery, hospital dentistry, pediatrics, and orthodontics. This means that we have almost all experienced our “firsts”: extraction, suturing, root canal, implant case, surgical experience, and the list goes on. I find that days go by quickly when I’m busy hustling and moving around the school.  Hoofing it up to the third floor clinic multiple times per day, because I have most certainly forgotten anything sacred in the land of dentistry in my locker by the time I have reached my cubicle, has helped me achieve my 20,000 daily steps and for that I am thankful. Some days in clinic you might feel like you’re the cats pajamas… and then you are brought back down to earth by the sticking sound of your clinical instructors explorer tine not detecting a clean DEJ. I am still perplexed with the enigma that is single handedly placing a rubber dam. The struggle is real people. But luckily your best friend always shows up in the nick of time with some handy dandy dental floss. It has crossed my mind many times when things are stressful of how nice it would be if Nuggie could be my designated dental therapy dog. I think this is a genius idea: four-legged furry friend>nitrous oxide. Just kidding, but really. At the end of the day, I get by with a little help from my friends, dispensing staff, PCC office staff, dental assistants, faculty, front desk ladies- I couldn’t do it without them… and a good sense of humor of course. And if that’s not enough there’s always someone to joke around with and show you their latest weekend Instagram shenanigans whilst waiting in line for faculty checks to make your day all the better.

As this year comes to a close we can look forward to finding out where we’ll spend time on outreach rotations next year, many will start to embark on externships, and begin applying for specialty programs and jobs.  A fresh, new batch of bright-eyed D1s will be joining the mix and I look forward to seeing familiar faces from the interview experience.

Cheers and Go Blue!



Chelsea Pinozek is a lover of fitness and froyo, enjoys cooking for friends, tending to the needs of the worlds cutest poodle, and continues to convince people that she is in fact, not from Canada.  

Want more Chelsea? Check out her recap of her D1 year:

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