Monday, December 29, 2014

Part-time Teaching

Two years ago, at the recommendation of one of my friends, I started teaching one half-day a week at the dental school in the department of endodontics. I work in the clinic overseeing up to nine students all doing root canal therapy at the same time. When I started teaching, I was hoping to learn from the specialists, who also oversee the students, and to improve my own clinical skills through the sheer volume of cases that I would see. Over the past two years, I did accomplish my initial goals, but I also gained so much more. 

It is funny to see the other side of dental school. I am only out of school about four years and it’s interesting to get the professor’s prospective. I always pictured myself as a patient, understanding person, but the students can drive me crazy! I realize that I am far less understanding when someone just plain doesn’t know what they are doing or doesn’t listen when I tell them exactly what I would like them to do.

The social aspect of the school is one of my favorite things about working there. I can discuss my own cases with specialists from all departments and just catch up with people who I knew in school, other dentists, and staff. It is fun to have a little social break. Most days I work more or less solo, and so it’s nice to be able to talk to other dentists about our jobs and lives in general.

Spending time at the school also opened doors that I never would have known about otherwise. One on the periodontists invited me to participate in an implant study, placing implants in cadavers. I have been invited to more CE events because of the school than I ever would have been otherwise.

If anyone has ever considered working at a school part-time, I give it my full endorsement. It won’t make you wealthy, but it might bring new opportunities, both social and professional. It is a great way to network and to learn about what is going on in your town. I have learned a great deal about endodontics and I feel that I am a better dentist because of it.

Happy New Year!

Sarah Meyer, DDS

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