My University Experience: Dentistry


Attending university has helped me shape my career in many ways. Firstly, my course was vocational as I studied dentistry. After graduation, I was immediately registered with the Dental Board of Australia, so finishing university lead me straight into a practice. Without this degree, I would not have had as much job security.


University also taught me a lot of skills. From my course, I learnt many practical skills needed to become a dentist. I developed my fine motor skills, by practising dental treatments on plastic teeth and phantom heads. I would not have been able to develop these skills without the resources provided to me by the university. I also developed my interpersonal skills, as my course was not only lecture based. I experienced going to dental clinics and interacting with patients. I also developed these skills as going to university means meeting a diverse group of people and learning how to interact with different individuals, a key attribute for many careers.


I also learnt conflict resolution, not only through dealing with patients but through living in student accommodation. Student accommodation is a one of a kind situation, unique to university. As you are put in a situation where you are spending a significant amount of time with people you have not previously known, there are bound to be conflicts, especially as you must share a lot of common areas, such as kitchens. In order to live in harmony with your flatmates, you must learn how to discuss difficult topics without escalating any situations. This prepared me very well for dentistry, as you encounter a lot of difficult patients, and whilst you may not agree with them, you have to keep your cool and be respectful as part of the profession.


University also helped my career pathway, as my course enabled a lot of flexibility within my future career. Like most university courses, there are many possible jobs you can attain after graduating. Throughout my course, I got to experience many of the different specialities within dentistry and it definitely affected my career now. Before my course, I was sure I wanted to work in general practice, however after getting to observe implant specialists, I am now pursuing this. The placements available at my university gave me an insight to the wide variety of careers I could enter, which I was previously unaware of. Also, due to the challenging nature of a dentistry course, even if you don’t wish to become a practising dentist, employers are receptive to hiring you, as they know in order to have completed such a degree, you must be hard working.


Without my university experience, I would not be working in the field I am today, a field in which I am very committed to and love working in. University also affected me on a more personal level, improving my social abilities and helping me explore more of my likes and dislikes through societies. All of this have bled into my professional life as well, and I truly believe has made me a better dentist.


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