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D4- 2 Months to Go till New Chapters

March 16, 2015
(Not Stephanie's Socks)

(Not Stephanie’s Socks)

7:30am- I pop out of bed and start my daily bustle. I am a morning person. I like having time in the morning to get ready for patients (how do I adjust an all-zirconia crown again?) and drink enough coffee that my hands start wobbling. No crown preps planned for today!

8:15am- I walk to school to finish lab work for my 9am patient. It’s so cold that I wonder if the feeling I have is frostbite and imagine my lips freezing off. I daydream about an upcoming scuba diving trip I have planned in the Florida Keys in a few weeks. Whew!

8:30am- My friend from undergrad calls to let me know that she is in town for work and would like to get xrays taken to see if she is a good candidate for my Board exam coming up. Yes and yes and yes please.

9:30am- My patient arrives late because of traffic and icy roads. I don’t mind waiting because she is my favorite patient. I have told at least 10 patients that they are my favorite but she is ACTUALLY my favorite. In addition to being a very amiable person who is rarely late, she has needed multiple restorations, a crown, an extraction, an implant, and a root canal. This is a full-spectrum patient. The appointment goes so smoothly that I wait for something sticky to arise but it doesn’t. Hooray!

10:30am- Dr. Gonzalez chides me for not keeping up my weekly running routine. I ponder that and decide to run after school. Throughout dental school, exercise has been the one thing that I consider non-negotiable. I always feel better after my heart is pumping.

12:00pm- I schedule an appointment for my friend in the emergency clinic and drop off a stone model of my morning patient for my favorite (and left-handed like me) periodontal resident, Dr. Steve Davis. One of the aspects that I enjoy most about being in school at U of M is that if you want an expert opinion in any of the various specialties about a patient you explain your patient’s signs and symptoms in person. Periapical radiolucency? Skip over to endo. Implant consult? Stroll over to perio. Soft tissue abnormality? Head down to oral medicine.

1:00pm- I eat lunch with my roommate Michelle, who is also a D4. We talk about her potential job opportunities and my potential apartments for next year. She’s staying in Michigan to join a private practice or outreach clinic and I’m staying in Ann Arbor to do a General Practice Residency at the Veteran’s Hospital. I’ve spent eight years in this amazing town, and I am grateful to spend a ninth completing a residency. Go Blue!

2:30pm- I get fingerprinted in preparation to get my dental license in a few months. I immediately get an email with the title “FBI Criminal History Report”. I hope that I’m not a criminal without ever knowing it. I scan the report. Appears clear.

3:30pm- My friend gets screened as a potential patient. I take a bad xray. Then I take another bad xray. The faculty looks at me sideways. It’s times like these that I realize that my education won’t end when I graduate. It’s times like these that I remember why graduation is called “commencement” (beginning) instead of “completion”.  I cheer (silently) when I see that she has a cavity that I can fill during my NERB exam.

6:00pm- I eat dinner and walk to the gym. It’s so cold but once I get there I start to run and feel the endorphins. The best.

7:00pm- I love this time of day because I feel like I can relax and do anything. During D1 and D2 year this was the time I spent studying but now I actually read books for fun and cook and organize my sock drawer. If that doesn’t sound exciting I also mountain bike, ice climb, and rock climb so sometimes I also do interesting things. Today I read.

9:00pm- I talk with my friends from high school and plan trips to visit them in Arizona, Seattle, and New York during the time between graduation and residency. We have a few months off before licensing kicks in so it’s a mandatory vacation.

11:30- Rest up for another cushy day as a D4!

Stephanie Johnson is an allllllmost graduated D4

One Comment
  1. Randy Roberts permalink
    March 16, 2015 4:18 pm

    Wonderful article, from Key West!

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