Dental school is stressful. At times, it can feel overwhelming, but it is so important to reach out to friends, classmates, or family members when you’re going through a tough time. Resources like the UAB Student Counseling Services is available to all students and offers a safe place to discuss and resolve issues interfering with personal or professional goals.
Please join the ASDA Wellness Committee TOMORROW, May 24th in welcoming April Coleman from Student Counseling Services. April will be discussing how to maintain good mental health throughout our dental school careers. The Mental Health Lunch and Learn will take place in room 501 at 12pm! Pub Subs and fruit will be served. We hope to see you all there! Be sure to check out the May Month In Review for a full recap of this event if you cannot attend.
Good health is an essential aspect of overall wellbeing. ASDA’s Wellness Initiative recognizes five key dimensions for wellness: emotional, physical, intellectual, occupational, and environmental. This initiative encourages you to make well-being a priority.
For more information, visit: https://www.asdanet.org/index/dental-student-resources/health-and-wellness
Author: Olivia Sorrell, Class of 2021
Painting has become a great stress reliever for Tanya. She says that her favorite part of painting is how relaxing it is. “Whenever I start a project, I put all my attention to it and that allows me to get my mind off school and all the stress associated with life,” says Tanya. “If I’m crafting alone, I tend to put my headphones on and listen to music. If someone joins me, I turn the evening into a social time!”
Not only are Tanya’s crafts beautiful to look at but they are useful too! Tanya says her favorite memory of making art is being able to use the items she has made. “I have two mugs that I’m constantly using for coffee or tea and whenever I use them, it brings back great memories of college and making them.”
It can be difficult to make time for fun things like arts and crafts in dental school but Tanya feels it is worth it to set aside time for stress relievers like painting. “I try to make time for arts and crafts whenever possible,” says Tanya. “Much of what I’ve done lately has been through painting canvases, because it’s easy to complete at home and I can always get a good stopping point. I try to divide my free time evenly between crafting, cooking/baking, working out, and studying. So if I use my time to bake, I try to bake something that I can decorate to get that ‘arts and crats’ feeling.”
As we’ve said in the past, making time for activities outside of school is incredibly important for maintaining proper mental health. Dental school can be daunting and if we do not set aside time to do things that make us happy we may start to burn out very early in our studies. If you are interested in getting started with arts and crafts, Tanya says do it! “Dentistry allows us to add our own personal artistic style to our work so now is the time to master anything, and everything, related to art. Art allows us to pay closer attention to the small details and I think this is very important when it comes to all restorative procedures we do in this field.” As dentists, we are also artists, so don’t be afraid to bring out your artistic side!
Author: Kelsey Gwin, Class of 2021
April showers bring May flowers! May is finally here, which means it’s time for another Month in Review.
In April, ASDA members took part in many fun social events including the annual Crawfish Boil. Despite being rained out, our social chairs handled the situation wonderfully and the event was moved to be a week later. The weather was gorgeous this day and students from all classes and residency programs turned out for a day full of fun and food. Special thanks to Jody Glover ('19) for graciously hosting the event in his beautiful backyard and Robby Spruiell ('20) for his amazing crawfish boiling skills!
The annual ASDA Golf Tournament took place just a week later! Needless to say, our social chairs were busy during the month of April. Fifty golfers came out to the Highlands Golf Course to show off their golfing skills and the lucky winning team included Tyler Smith, Jody Glover, Thomas Glover, and Ethan Sadowski. Thank you to our spring social chairs Cassidy Alwan ('21) and Holton Deatherage ('21) for planning such great events! “It was definitely a busy week,” says Cassidy, “but I’m really happy with how both of the events turned out!”
Thanks to the Wellness Committee, our students had plenty of opportunities to rest their minds and focus on fitness during the month of April by attending fun exercise classes. Each week, students were encouraged to go to a free class either at Railroad Park or at the UAB Rec Center. For each class they attended, their name was entered into a drawing for a Taco Mama gift card! ASDA member Jackie Bates was the lucky winner of the gift card. Hopefully, students will continue practicing these healthy habits throughout the rest of the year.
Several students had the opportunity to attend the ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day in Washington D.C. on April 8th-10th. We had a record number of students attend, and they had a blast working with Alabama dentists Dr. Deborah Bishop, Dr. Gordon Isbell, Dr. Lew Mitchell, and Dr. Zack Studstill. This annual event is a great chance for students to voice their concerns about many important topics related to dentistry. The students advocating in D.C. focused on two bills concerning student loans, two bills concerning insurance practices, and a guideline for dentists on the opioid epidemic. They also attended two receptions to network with other students and dentists from across the country. Our legislative liaisons are planning several lunch-and-learns focusing on these topics and more! Anyone interested in policy in action should definitely make plans to attend.
April was also the month during which the school had several visiting dental students from Chung-Shan Medical University in Taiwan. The SOD has a very good connection with the country of Taiwan as several of the faculty members are from this country including Drs. Liu, Fu, Wu, and Hsu. This particular exchange program has taken place at the school for nearly 20 years now. Dr. Liu, who went to the same dental school in Taiwan, was responsible for setting up the exchange program. The four students visited the school for a month and were able to rotate through all the specialty clinics as well as shadow students working on the second floor. UAB students had the opportunity to meet the Taiwanese students at a lunch meeting, which was a great opportunity to learn how certain aspects of dental school differ between Taiwan and the US. It is so exciting to see all the international connections made through dentistry!
Authors: Kelsey Gwin ('21), Olivia Sorrell ('21), and Abbey Tadros ('19)
PA: Sounds like a great way to stay on top of your mental health and wellbeing. Thanks for participating in ASDA’s wellness initiative, and congrats on winning the gift card. How does it feel?
JB: It’s awesome! I feel like I enter five contests a day and never win anything—other than a dozen donuts once—so I’m pretty excited about it. We just had our Bay 4 party at Taco Mama, and it was super fun.
PA: It WAS really fun. I’m pretty stoked to be in Bay 4 too. So, we killed it at bootcamp, and I’m glad y’all convinced me to go. What got you to start going?
JB: Several of my friends have been going since D1 year, and they love it. At first I was scared to go since I figured it would be super hard, and I didn’t want to make a fool of myself, but I’m really glad I’ve started going. It’s definitely hard but not impossible, and I feel great after. That feeling of accomplishment is what keeps me going. Plus VJ is a great instructor.
PA: I’m pretty sure you and Paige smoked me the first time I went. I totally agree that it’s awesome to go with friends and you feel great afterwards. What kept you coming back?
JB: I think mostly the community, and ASDA has definitely brought out a great group. I’m glad that several people are sticking with it. It’s good to be there with friends and be healthy at the same time.
PA: Do you have any recommendations for staying on top of your personal wellness and school?
JB: Make times for things you love. That’s key and something I think a lot of us struggled with at first. Dental school isn’t your whole life. You have to take care of yourself in order to perform your best at school, so keeping things balanced and taking a little time off here and there is actually critical to keeping up grades too. Relaxing with Feta, hanging out with friends at the pool, and exercising are all ways that I recharge.
PA: So what else do you enjoy outside of school?
JB: I definitely love being with friends, whether just going for a walk or watching a new show together. I enjoy knitting and crafting too. I love cruising Pinterest for ideas and coming up with something creative from random things around the house. While it can be challenging with limited school schedules, I also really enjoy traveling.
PA: What are some of your favorite place you’ve been?
JB: Well my mom’s family is Greek, and my grandparents were born there, so it’s one of my favorite places to visit. Eastern Europe was also a highlight, particularly Budapest, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
PA: Are you excited about clinic starting in July?
JB: Very excited. I’m really looking forward to the patient interaction. That’s why I’m here in dental school. It’s not for the lectures and science classes, but for the chance to build great relationships with patients. That’s what it’s all about. Also I’m super excited about Bay 4.
PA: I think we can agree it’s pretty much the best. Thanks for the chat and enjoy the Taco Mama!