I am a 2nd year student of Bachelors in Dental Surgery from India.
The road for me so far has had its fair share of bumps and ditches.
First off, the selection process into a Dental school (or a Dental College, as we call it here) was itself a test of both patience and judgement.
By the end of September, I had got selected in College of Dental Sciences, Manipal which ranks 1 all over Asia in terms of its library and other aspects of infrastructure which also makes it one of the costliest universities of Asia.
Some part of me told me that I didn’t belong there, partly because I couldn’t see myself spending all my parents’ savings in getting myself just a bachelor’s degree.
The only entrance exam that I was still eligible to give was HCAT (Haryana Cumulative Assessment Test) for which I studied with all I had in me and achieved ranked 2.
I was the happiest person on earth that day, I’m sure! And so, I got into Manav Rachna Dental College.
Now, my average day consisted of carving wax, trimming plaster, sharpening H and E pencils, washing the stench of formalin off my hands, pricking myself and analyzing Urine.
To my surprise, I was quite skillful at sculpting wax with Lacron’s Carver.
Life was good. Until prof. exams came by and I messed up in Anatomy, even after studying day in and day out.
I became apprehensive of getting it through, but to my surprise, I managed to clear it that too with a good score while about half my class had flunked in it.
Finally, I entered 2nd year. Now, being a sophomore, my average day circles around cold cures, heat cures, forming cavities in typhodont teeth, articulating wax rims, taking lip prints and making toothpaste.
Of all these, the one thing I find myself to be good at is cavity formation.
This is also the time that I’ve found some of the most helpful mentors in my teachers and colleagues.
Although, at treating a real patient, I’m still a virgin, but it feels great when my father (who is also a dentist) talks to his fellow dental surgeons about a complicated case and I can understand almost all of it.
Alongside, I am also preparing for NBDE part 1 examination which I intend to take next year. I wish to clear it in first attempt and practice in the US after completing BDS from India.
Senior colleagues tell me that it gets tougher and tougher as time passes, and that student life is the easiest; the real battle begins after you’re out of Dental College, all by yourself.
But there’s one thing that I’ve learned in two decades of being alive, that is whatever you do, do it with passion.
The rest shall follow. Where the road ahead takes me, I do not know. But I will work hard to make my ride smooth.