SPEA hosts annual “Surviving First Year” event for Dental Students

The Student Professionalism and Ethics Association (SPEA) at Schulich Dentistry kicked off the new year with “Surviving First Year” on October 30th, 2019. The event was tailored to give first year dental students insight into the academic challenges of first year and how to overcome them.

The event began with a presentation from SPEA vice president Caitlin Loo (DDS Class of 2022). She provided her advice on how to excel during first year, including course-specific advice and explaining that many topics taught in class become especially relevant in clinical practice. Caitlin also emphasized the importance of wellbeing and taking time for yourself to do things you enjoy outside of school.

Following the presentation, there was a Q&A panel which included Greg Sigel (DDS Class of 2022), Cindy Xiao (DDS Class of 2022), John Servinis (DDS Class of 2021) and Cassie Merrill (DDS Class of 2020). Each speaker touched on their general advice for current first years and how they find a good balance between school and life.

Some specific topics covered during the Q&A included how to study during first year and how upper year students have spent their summers. Panelists advised that first years should start studying for exams early and pace themselves, while also prioritizing physical and mental health during exam time. Members of the panel also spoke about how they spent their summer in different ways, such as mission trips, research, travel, writing US board exams, or taking online continuing education courses while also attending seminars on starting practices.

Overall, first years and upper years alike found the event to be helpful as an opportunity to share their experiences and meet new colleagues.

Conference Picture