Is dental school all work? Of course, it’s not! Yes, there is endless amounts of studying and occasionally an all-nighter but there is also plenty of time for fun. So, what does my schedule look like in a typical week at dental school? Here it is!
I wake up at about 6:50 a.m. which gives me enough time to throw on my scrubs, make a lunch and grab a breakfast. By 7:25 a.m. I am out the door and on my way to school. I live about 15-20 minutes away from school. I carpool with some of the other D1 students that live in my neighborhood which means I only drive 1-2 times a week. The official school day starts out at 8 a.m. with a Biology module such as cardiovascular system, or respiratory system. This only lasts 50 minutes which is just enough time for me to start waking up.
At 9 we have what is called PBL (Problem Based Learning) where we are in groups of 6-7 students and we read over cases and essentially learn things. This is supposed to be scheduled until noon. Does it last that long? NO. The current group I am in only takes about an hour (there are groups that take the entire time). That means I can hit the library by 10 or 10:30 a.m., allowing me 30 minutes for SDN (studentdoctor.net), Facebook, blogging, or whatever else I can think of, and another 2 hours for studying and lunch.
By the time 1 p.m. rolls around I am ready for my lab classes to begin. Luckily there is only about an hour or so of lecture and then the remaining time is used to work on projects. I usually get done around 4 p.m. or so but it is scheduled until 5 p.m.
Time to go home! Or if you are a real stickler you can stay at the library and get some more studying done but 9 times out of 10, I choose to go home. If I get out of lab early (around 3 or 3:30) I will go to the boxing gym for a couple hours and if not I will go home eat some dinner and enjoy my time with the family. If I don’t get too tired I might sit down and do some studying.
That is my typical Monday.
Tuesdays class will not start until 2 p.m. I know, I know, how can they give us the half a day off every Tuesday? It is supposed to be reserved for independent research, a.k.a, studying things we talked about in PBL. How many of us are at school by 8a.m.? Maybe one. Otherwise, we start trickling into the library around 10 a.m. or 12 a.m. Personally, I go in around 9 or 10 because this is the best time for me to get studying done.
The class then begins at 2 p.m. and is supposed to last until 5 p.m. Depending on who is giving the lecture will determine whether we get out early or not. I usually count on getting out around 4p.m. but every once in a while we get out later.
Once again if I get out early I go to the gym, if not, I go home. I usually get good quality studying in earlier in the day so I can relax a little Tuesday nights. I still may pick up the books for an hour or two.
Instead of rewriting everything, I am going to refer you back to Monday because it is pretty much the same schedule. However, our morning class that started at 8 a.m. actually lasts until 11:50 a.m. which means we do not have PBL. Otherwise, everything else is the same. Biology in the morning and lab in the afternoon.
Exactly the same as Monday.
Exactly the same as Tuesday.
That is pretty much my school week. Test weeks differ in the fact that I actually spend more time studying and less time playing. Here at IUSD we have our exams for all our classes compiled into one exam every 2 or 3 weeks. The tests cover a wide scope because they include all the current classes and modules we are taking. It may seem painful but makes for a relaxing week after the test. Some of you may be wondering if I really go to the gym every day. No, I make it to the gym 2 to 3 times per week for about 1 to 2 hours each time.
The weekend starts the second I get out of class on Friday. Usually, Fridays are reserved for spending time with my wife and kids or with friends. Rarely will I do any homework on Friday unless I am swamped.
Saturday is also pretty laid back. Wake up around 8 a.m. and do some chores around the apartment (sometimes) and get a little studying in. Go to the gym at 1 p.m. and get home at 3 p.m. Spend the rest of the day with my wife and kids unless it is the week before a test, then I utilize the time for studying.
Sunday I reserve for church and family. This means I do not have to think about school at all. This is definitely a nice break for me and allows me to get rejuvenated for the next week.
I made it sound like I don’t study very much, but trust me, there is plenty of studying happening. Every other week it seems to be pretty intense. I just want to let you know that dental school is not all about work but there is some time for fun. Check out the DentalDat forum to see some of the fun things I have done while in dental school!
The school work can be fun sometimes too! Check out this class presentation made by some of my classmates. We were doing presentations on diseases and they were assigned bio-terrorism. The first video shows the entire story (watch it the first time). The second video is just the music video they made. hope it makes sense. ENJOY!
FULL Length Video (Includes introduction to music video)
Not currently available… sorry =(
MUSIC VIDEO ONLY
Disclaimer: Remember if you are wanting to specialize you will have to put in all the time you can to studying. Everyone is different and every school will be different. I am not at the top of my class but I am not at the bottom either. Pretty average!