Friday, June 7, 2013

Back from Europe

One of the perks of being in academia is a free trip here and there. And so, I return to you, my anxious reader, from the Tooth Development and Morphogenesis (TMD) meeting in Cote d'Azur, France.

I tried to come up with a list of the pro's of choosing an academic career, while on the airplane. Some are a bit tongue in cheek, so take them lightly. Here goes:

1. Science is cool! And yes, you get to do it for a living! I get to ask my own questions and use just about any known tools to my disposal.
2. Life of academics is constantly evolving, keeping them on the cutting edge. I study stem cells, and the relevance of my data depends directly on the latest methodology.
3. One is constantly surrounded with young minds and amazing people that enrich one's life immensly. Our lab shares the floor with a Nobel Prize laureate.
4. When in a bar, tell the girl you're working with stem cells...OK, you're right, this won't help you...
5. Free trips!

Friday, May 17, 2013

If my dashboard is correct, thanks for the 200 or so people visiting this place every day. Hope you like the new background.

I just realized that I had ever featured the best pre-dent website ever- SDN.You're welcome ;)

In other news, these videos are still popular...not sure why though...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Let's begin by answering some questions (yeah, a year ago...chill)

Francis said... Hi, I'm in my AS year studying biology, chemistry, psychology, English literature and citizenship A levels and REALLY WANT TO BE A DENTIST !!! I was wondering whether you could advise me of how to put my self at an advantage when it comes to applying to universities for this course. I don't have any work experience as of yet but i am getting it soon ... my GCSE's are not brilliant but they are good (3A*,4A, 5B) but i am so determined! How can i stand out from those with strings of A*'s ??? Please please please can you help in anyway possible! Much appreciated.

@Francis - those grades are pretty decent. You want to shoot for a 3.5+ GPA when applying to dental school. In addition, you'll need a solid DAT score (20+ was good some 8+years ago when I took it...). As for getting the "edge", if my memory serves me correctly, I have written a whole series on this in the previous posts :) Good luck!

 March 6, 2012 at 4:38 PM moosefish16 said... so what is the most common major for a dental student? biology with what emphasis? Also, I need an opinion. I'm torn between majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology or microbiology. I like them both for different reasons. Is microbiology too common a major for a dental student and will they think I'm dumb for picking ecology and evolutionary biology? thanks for your answer

@moosefish16 - in my class, the most common major were Bio and Chem. That said, we also had a Spanish Lit major and a few other odd ones. My PhD work is in Evo, so I'm gonna say do that one :) 

March 14, 2012 at 10:57 PM sam said... When you applied to UCSF's competitive DDS+PhD program knowing that if they reject you for the dual degre program, they would also reject you for the DDS program, wouldn't it have been more "safer" to apply only to the DDS program, do all the research you want in dental school, and possibly attend a postgraduate PhD program afterwards? When I say "safer" I mean more likely to gain interview and admission?

@sam - actually, you have to get in to DDS first, before being considered for the PhD. As to doing "all research you want in dental school"...good luck with that one - you'll have 30 hours of lecture a week and will live in preclinic lab the rest of the time in your first two years...You absolutelly can, however, get a PhD after you finish dental school. My program has 1-2 such students every year.

  August 23, 2012 at 11:31 PM Grace M. said... I read your entries and I am so inspired. If you apply for the DDS-PHD program , is the tuition funded for ? November 29, 2012 at 8:36 AM

@Grace  - if the school has a training program, like an NIH T32, then yes, most of the school will be funded. This should NOT, however, be a reason for starting the program. In a later post, I'll discuss why it is not economical to do so. Also, you can apply for an individual training grant, such as a F30 through the NIH.


For those of you who know me, it comes as no surprise that a post promising constant updates would be followed by a 2 year hiatus. In the world, where one has to balance several acts at once, as well as several subacts within an act (fleas upon infinitum), some things must go. In this case, however, they seem to have returned. This is, in part, due to a random stroll across the backbone of this blog, with a realization that it still gets views every month. So, I will do the following 1)Update you on what the hell happened since I was a 2nd year dental student in a 10 part mini-memoir (who would read that??!!) 2)Give you brief musings of a grad student, who ironically already has a Dr title 3)share cool science 4) offer advise at undergrad/predoc/postdoc level to anyone thinking/applying/in/out about/to//of Dental School.

Let the fun begin.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hello kids! In my deepest doubts of anyone still reading this, I extend an offer of simply answering questions regarding dental school life and admissions!

let the fun begin...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Been a long time since I've rock'n'roll'ed

Well, if it wasn't for a friendly card I got from Google a few days in my mailbox, I probably wouldn't remember about this....hopefully, I will update more these days...more to come later today...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Interview Etiquette

I might have misspelled that word - etiquette...But anyway. Here's a topic few people spend time on, but is nonetheless an important one. For me, it was one of those make or break scenarios during my first interview. Call it silly, but I had forgotten my shaving razor when I was at my very first interview, which I didn't realize until the morning of the interview. By the time I found a store that carried one (apparently, Boston encourages people to grow beards by clearly consciously limiting the number of personal hygiene stores) I was almost late for the interview. I arrived a bit late, hurried and long story short it affected my mood the entire day to the point where I wasn't 100%.

So, let's get back to theory. You have gotten your interview invite. You're stoked. Now what. Let's assume you've researched the types of questions you are asked and you have done EVERYTHING to the max. All you have to do now is show to the adcoms that you are not a gorilla (although they are very gracious creatures) and you are golden. Easy, right? WRONG. I've seen things, interviewing, that made me cringe. I'm not going to give examples. Rather I'll guide you through a day of the interview. Disclaimer: This is my opinion, as usual. You can take it or think I'm crazy.

Dressing up. For girls it's a bit difficult for me to say, because even after living in San Francisco for a couple of years, I'm still not sure as to the standards of women's fashion when it comes to business vs casual vs biz-cas. When it comes to guys, it's simple. Two piece suit and tie. No if's, but's, or anything else. and make sure your tie is the right length. Call me superficial, but when a guy who aspires to be a DDS, where precision of dimensions is everything, comes in a tie which is 5 inches away from the belt, something doesn't sit right with me.

Haircut - the only thing I will say on this matter is that I've sacrificed my pony tail a week before interviews to look professional.

Great...I just got paged. I'll finish this later...cheers