Clinic in COVID
Beginning clinic marked a rite of passage I had been waiting for since I was the ripe age of 13 (and I'm not talking about my Batmitzvah) when I realized I wanted to be a dentist. But beginning clinic also meant leaving the safe quarters of my apartment and venturing out into a COVID world. The transition has certainly been different, especially because of the recent changes to the clinic model. Every day feels like Big Brother where we have to “Expect the unexpected.” New challenges arise every day, each one different from the next. This initially was really difficult to adapt to and navigate. I would run around clinic not knowing what I was looking for, lapping the same fourth years who would raise their eyebrow at this very lost third year. Having just purchased an Apple Watch, it would occasionally buzz, notifying me to “Breathe,” because clearly I was not doing an adequate job, lost to the hustle and bustle of clinic. Adapting was fast, but it still took a bit of time before I was comfortable going into clinic. This came with the first filling I did. It was a class IV, DIFL. I struggled with the prep and at the halfway mark, I wanted to give up. But I couldn’t. And I wouldn’t. I pushed to finish the restoration and the best feeling I’ve felt yet here was when I handed the patient the hand mirror and they exclaimed how happy they were. That day changed me and the way I saw clinic. It’s not a scary place. It’s a place to learn and to push ourselves. It’s a place to try new things and venture out of our comfort zone. When I came to terms with this, clinic felt much less like a monster and much more like a friend. After this, I turned off the “Breathe” reminders on my watch; I knew I’d be just fine without them.
Leave a Reply.