May 4, 2020

Life of a Dental Student during the Pandemic

Author : Nishit Kawane

DENTAL STUDENT RACHEL HOEGER SHARES HER DAY-TO-DAY DURING THE PANDEMIC.

COVID-19 has officially taken over our world, and life is looking a little different these days. Everyone’s life has changed in some way over the last month, and I wanted to share how my life as a dental student has changed during this pandemic.

I am a second year dental student at The University of Iowa College of Dentistry. A typical day as a D2 looks something like this: patient clinics in the morning (Minor Operative, Preventative Dentistry, Radiology, and Oral Diagnosis) or Simulation Lab, with lectures in the afternoon. Unfortunately, none of these experiences are possible with social distancing in place, so we have resorted to a modified routine.

Most universities have switched to virtual learning using zoom or other online resources. This works for our lecture courses but is not a solution for missed clinical experiences. So, our current plan is to “speed up” our lecture courses, so then when we are allowed to be back at school, we can spend more time in the simulation clinic. For example: we normally have 2 hours of Prosthodontics lecture each week. Right now, we are doing 8 hours of virtual Prosthodontics lectures a week. This way, when we return, we can use the lecture time to make up clinic hours.

Sounds a little chaotic, right? It is. But life as a dental student during the pandemic is not all bad. My classmates and I agree there have been a lot of positive things that have resulted from this quarantine!

HERE ARE A FEW OF THE THINGS SOME OF MY FELLOW DENTAL STUDENTS SAY THEY ARE THANKFUL FOR:

“I have a new appreciation for my deans, professors, and the College of Dentistry staff. I feel so cared for. Whenever I start to panic about what this pandemic could bring, I think about the administration and know they will do whatever it takes to see that I graduate as competent dentist.”

“I have significantly cut down on eating out and I’m finally eating the things in my fridge! It’s been a good change. However, I long for the day when I can eat my favorite Iowa City burger on a patio with friends, instead of alone out of a white carry-out box.”

“I learned how to play pickleball. Who would have thought “baby tennis” could be so fun?”

“I have probably played 25 games of Settlers of Catan. Never heard of it? I suggest you order a game TODAY.”

“More sleep. I’m a second year dental student and I’m getting 8 hours a night… What could be better?”

“I’ve grown even closer to my already tight-knit class. Everyone has been so supportive. We also have a GroupMe chat to share stories and pictures. Some of my classmates are revealing sides of them I’ve never seen before.”

“I have really enjoyed spending time with my parents. Being home with family makes everything better.”

I’m sure we will have many more positives and negatives to thank COVID-19 for. For now, our spirits are high here at Iowa!

Sincerely and Socially Distanced,
Rachel Hoeger
University of Iowa College of Dentistry ‘22

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

The American Student Dental Association also continues to communicate with the regional testing agencies, state boards and all communities of interest to advocate for licensure reform and debt relief. You can visit their COVID -19 website for updates on their activities.

You can also find additional information about PPP’s student dental offerings and see how how we can grow with your career.