As summer quarter comes to an end, we would like to congratulate all the newly elected student leaders from the incoming IDS 2017 & DDS 2018 classes! All student leaders at the Dugoni School of Dentistry are wonderful representatives of the school and they enrich the Dugoni family atmosphere on campus.
Associated Study Body Mission
Enrich the lives of students through programs and events.
Promote collaboration between faculty, staff, and students to enhance the humanistic model.
Provide a unified framework of communication to advance the educational interests of present and future classes.
Support leaders that represent diverse student needs
Enhance and encourage student involvement in organized dentistry.
Over the spring break this year, I had the unique opportunity to travel to Nadi, Fiji with 21 other dental students and 13 faculty chaperones to provide free dental care and preventive resources to the people of Moala Village. I was thrilled to be carrying on the legacy that my sister, Ariana, started when she founded this mission as a Pacific dental student in 2007 with fellow classmate Lexie Lyons and alumnus Dr. Karl Brose '72.
What made this trip especially meaningful was being able to share this experience with my family. After working as a dental assistant to both my father and sister in our family’s practice, I imagined the day when I could join them as a fellow doctor. This mission trip was my first experience actually practicing dentistry with my family, and it was a very special moment to me. I was very grateful to have their support, encouragement, and advice throughout the week, and enjoyed sharing in a new cultural experience with them.
As a whole group, we accomplished a great deal of dentistry. Of the 379 patients treated, we completed 628 extractions, 751 operative surfaces, and seven root canals. Everyone worked together as a team and brought a positive attitude, which made all the difference.
One of the things that had the greatest impact on me occurred on our last day in Moala when one of the female leaders of the village described the impact we had on them, how their government recognized and appreciated the services we provided, how they saw an improvement in the health and lives of their people, and how grateful they were for our service to them. It made me realize the true magnitude of our work and how our mission trip really encompassed the seven core values of Pacific Dugoni: humanism, innovation, leadership, reflection, stewardship, collaboration and philanthropy. I feel so fortunate to have my family be a part of the larger Pacific Dugoni family, and I can’t wait to return to Moala next year as a third year trip leader to continue this tradition of service to others.
On February, 18-21, 29 Pacific Dugoni ASDA members traveled to Boston for the Annual ASDA Session. The weekend brings together student leaders from all 65 U.S. dental schools and includes highlights such as an exhibit fair, prominent speakers, an awards ceremony, House of Delegates meeting and elections of ASDA's national leaders.
Pacific’s ASDA chapter president, Steve Truman ‘16, reported back on the session:
It was a pleasure to represent you at the end of February at this year's ASDA's Annual Session that took place this year at the historic (and snow-covered) city of Boston! This conference is the time where ASDA chapters from around the nation gather to vote on ASDA policy that aims to enhance the dental school experience and your future career in this profession. It was an exciting conference for us, and I am happy to be able to report back some of the highlights.
The most important portion of Annual Session is the House of Delegates meeting where the chapter president and vice president of each respective school comes together and votes on resolutions in a variety of areas. Here is an outline of the more important resolutions:
Education and Licensure: Needlestick Policy: It was brought to the attention that it may be necessary for schools to provide increased protection for students potentially exposed to infectious diseases during the course of treatment both in school and at volunteer events.
Oral Health Literacy & Evidenced-Based Dentistry Resolved, that ASDA encourages incorporating the term “oral health literacy” into CODA accreditation standards, particularly in the standards related to prevention and public health; and be it further Resolved, that ASDA encourages a multi-disciplinary approach to student education about oral health literacy and usage of communication techniques that are appropriate based on patient level of oral health literacy. Resolved, that the American Student Dental Association supports dental schools’ incorporation of Evidence-Based Dentistry
Membership & Professional Issues: Resolved, that the American Student Dental Association encourages Congress to introduce and pass legislation that includes adult dental services in the federal Medicaid program.
Governance: The American Student Dental Association supports opportunities for interprofessional education within the dental school clinical and didactic curriculum.
Thank you all for your time. It is amazing to be part of a school that already practices and teaches so many of these resolutions. If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything further, I encourage you to email me or find me in the halls or study room. If you disagree with something that was voted on please remember that this represents the collective voice and not necessarily my own beliefs. However, I would be happy to discuss the merits and or the reasoning behind of each resolutions to the best of my ability.
On Saturday, Feb. 7, Pacific Dugoni volunteers held a “Give Kids a Smile” Dental Health Fair at the school’s Hutto Patterson Pediatric Dentistry Clinic in San Francisco. Nearly 100 children received free dental check-ups and cleanings, oral health education, orthodontic evaluations and more.
We caught up with Cristina Markiewicz, DDS '16, who helped organize this year’s “Give Kids a Smile” event along with Grace Lan, DDS '16. Cristina talks about the importance of pediatric oral health and shares some memorable moments from her experiences as a SCOPE leader. She currently serves as special events coordinator for SCOPE (Student Community Outreach for Public Education).
What did you learn from organizing this year’s Give Kids a Smile event?
All parents want the best for their children, but so many are unaware of early and preventative treatment that their children need. Events like ours not only educate kids on the importance of oral health, but also make parents aware that clinics like ours are available and allow them to bring their children in for care before it’s too late. One of my worst experiences in my pediatric rotation was when a child came in with painful rampant decay and had to undergo treatment during their first visit to the dentist.
Why did you choose to be a SCOPE leader?
I chose to be a SCOPE leader because I truly enjoy helping others. One of the reasons I chose dentistry as a career was so I could provide a service that can profoundly change the lives of others in a positive way. As the special events coordinator, I facilitate large events that help patient populations that routinely are not receiving care and refer them to resources that are appropriate and affordable for the treatment they need. The experiences I am most proud of while I have been in dental school have been at each of these events. I have been a part of CDA Cares, Project Homeless Connect, Give Kids A Smile as well as our smaller SCOPE Health Fairs. These events and experiences have had a huge impact on the way I view the world and have solidified my choice of dentistry as a career.
Can you share some memorable moments from the Give Kids a Smile event?
As an organizer of the event, I was constantly moving around performing different jobs. One of those jobs was to relieve some of the volunteers so they could grab lunch and take a break. While I was sitting at the main clinic registration table, I was close to the music we were playing outside the pediatric dentistry clinic. We thought one of the most popular soundtracks for kids would be the new Frozen soundtrack. During “Let It Go,” there was this shy and anxious little girl waiting to go in for her check-up. I had seen her earlier clutching the side of her mother. As soon as she heard the music she started mouthing the words and as the song went on she started to get more comfortable. By halfway into the song, she was out of the chair in the reception area and twirling as she was singing. One of the ortho residents started singing with her and she seemed to be more comfortable around the students.
This year we had a balloon artist and face painter at our school for clients after they have had their exam. One little boy came down wearing Spiderman shoes. When asked who his favorite superhero he said, “Spiderman.” I looked at the balloon artist knowing this was going to be challenging because I knew Spiderman’s only accessory was webbing, which is difficult to display with balloons – the balloon artist looked at me and said, “But it’s not impossible.” For the next few minutes he created what looked like webbing on an arm wrap just for the tiny Spiderman fan.
One of my favorite events was at the end of the day when I got the chance to look and get a 360 view of the entire event. I was brimming with pride as I saw all of my classmates educating kids and parents as they were decked out in face paint and balloons. Many of them were still in costumes as sugarbugs, toothbrushes, toothpaste and tooth fairies. As nerdy dental students, many of them were dressed in dentistry-themed costumes. As I looked around at all the volunteers, I was so happy that so many of them participated in the fun and had either gotten their face painted or had balloons from the balloon artists.
Why is volunteering an important part of dental education?
I feel that volunteering and helping others is a valuable and rewarding experience while we are in dental school. I think most of the students who choose dentistry as a career fall in love with dentistry the moment they visually see the positive impact they make in their patients lives. Many of the patients we see in some of our largest SCOPE events (like Project Homeless Connect) are from populations who have the least access to dentistry. Their dentition is often in dire straights, which presents us with complex cases. These events give dental students the perspective of the different patient populations, and we often are able to make the largest impact on a person by taking them from their hopeless dentition into something that is esthetic and functional so they can improve other aspects of their lives. All of these experiences are extremely rewarding and make us feel that we are making a positive impact on the world.
A few student leaders from the Pacific Dentists Exercising Towards Overall Xcellence (DETOX) Club shared their top tips and personal New Year's resolutions to stay happy and healthy in 2015. Read on to see how they’re working towards personal health and well-being while in dental school.
Nisa Goshtasbi, DDS 2016, Pacific Detox Co-President Even though dental school may appear as the busiest, most chaotic time in our lives, I know that as we graduate and settle into our careers, our responsibilities will only grow. That’s why I force myself to adopt a balance in my life, educationally, socially, and physically. For me, I work hard during the school week to be efficient and effective in my learning. Once Friday evening comes around, I give myself a break. No studying for me on a Friday night -- that is my time to unwind. Saturday and Sunday mornings, I eat a light breakfast like a banana and head to the gym. Since these are the only days we are off, I find it essential to fit in gym time on the weekends. Saturday, I work out the stresses of the previous week, and Sunday, I set myself up for success for the upcoming week. The hardest thing about working out is getting started, but push yourself to get there, and you will thank yourself later. So my message to you, is to find YOUR balance, figure out what works best for YOU, and set reasonable expectations to achieve your goals. I know that the last place I want to be after a 10-hour school day is the gym. That’s why on school nights, I opt for 10-15 minutes of either pilates or yoga in my apartment. By setting realistic goals, and always having the big picture in mind, I am confident that we can all find our personal balance and create a positive environment to thrive in.
Trevor Fujinaka, DDS 2016, Pacific Detox Chair of Activities
My New Year’s resolution is to find time to be active everyday, whether it be at the gym for a workout, walk around the neighborhood, or stretching. Although it seems like there isn’t time to take a break from the grind of dental school, it is important to take the time to get out and get moving and not put it off until “tomorrow.” A little bit of exercise is enough to clear the mind and be in touch with your body, which occasionally gets sacrificed both mentally and physically. So, this year I am going to set a time each day dedicated to being active. No matter how important a test is the next day, it’s more important to take care of yourself first.
Daniel Hoffman, DDS 2016, Pacific Detox Treasurer Every year during the first few days or week of the new year, people bombard each other with a question regarding their New Year’s resolution. Most of the time these resolutions are fulfilled relentlessly for the first couple of weeks or optimistically for a couple months. Then, when life becomes busy, free time disappears and stresses of life take over, our resolutions drift out of our head without us even noticing. This happens to me too. Instead of trying to instill a New Year’s resolution, I try embody habits that will last me a lifetime. I recently read a book called “The Compound Effect,” in short it explains that everything we do in life is a choice, and no matter how small they seem, after a decade or two they compound to have profound effects – effects you couldn’t imagine if you looked at the simple choices individually. This year my goal is to be mindful throughout each day in the choices I make and interactions I encounter. When we slow down and contribute even an extra 5 seconds of thought to a decision, our logic can be utilized and impulses retracted. I want to apply this specifically to diet and time management. When I see a bag of chips out of the corner of my eye and start to salivate, am I actually hungry? Do I need these chips? Or are my senses promoting a craving that will dissipate with the next sensory impulse I receive? This crosses all borders of life, like watching TV or going on Facebook because it is a habit, not something I actually desire or care about. I believe that by making mindfulness a priority in my life as a “New Year’s resolution,” I can make my life healthier physically, mentally and emotionally.
Courtney Sutherland, DDS 2017, Pacific Detox Fundraising Chair My number one tip for staying healthy: SLEEP! I know, I know, old news. But now that I’m forcing myself to sleep at least 7 hours at night, I feel so much more alert during the day, and positive about life in general. My boyfriend recommended that I listen to a podcast on the importance of sleep, and halfway through, I swear, I took a nap … not because it was boring! Seriously, guys, sleep is so awesome for you. Try it. Another “must” in my life is yoga. I start every day with at least half an hour. It allows me to begin my morning with clarity and intention. I truly believe that everyone who tries yoga will discover just how wonderful it is. And lastly—green smoothies! There’s no better way to nourish your body than with some amazingly delicious nutrients in the form of fruit and veggies. When given the option of a salad or a green smoothie, I will always rock a smoothie.