Dental schools don’t officially teach students how to find a mentor. They place students in guided clinics and classes under direct mentorship from expert dentists, but it’s up to each person to reach out and forge a connection.
If you had mentioned evidence based dentistry (EBD) to me during my time at dental school, I most likely would have rolled my eyes. Caught up in learning specific studies and statistics, it was easy to forget the importance of having scientific evidence behind every treatment and decision. However, evidence is key to delivering good patient outcomes in dentistry.
Donating your time and expertise to a volunteer dental clinic can be one of the most rewarding aspects of dentistry. It can also be intimidating at times. I have had opportunities to volunteer at a variety of different clinics and schools, and it has given me the chance to meet some selfless dental professionals, to treat some extremely grateful patients and to help underserved people in my community.