Educating Future Educators

At Harvard School of Dental Medicine, a small cohort of students study dental academia with the interest of possibly pursing dental education in their future careers. I am honored to be among those students, studying with the close mentorship of my academic deans. Even more so, I am excited to share the details of this program with YOU so that we can spread this innovative mentorship program to other dental and higher education programs! It’s time to educate the future educators (and offer exposure to a field many of us simply don’t know enough about :)).

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CLICK HERE to read the article  in the Journal of the Massachusetts Dental Society.

© 2019 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

 

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Where the time has gone…

Hi there!

It’s been so long that I posted, that I can’t even remember where we left off. And that’s a good thing, because SO MUCH has happened in this wonderful year!

To start, I currently ‘work’ (as a dental student extern) at the most AMAZING community health center providing dental care. You can read about my experience in cultural barriers and cultural competence at Kevin MD.

CLICK HERE to read the article on KevinMD!

I adopted the sweetest morkie puppy, named Joey. 

And he is coming with me to Tucson to meet his big brother – another morkie – named Sammy! You can follow the fun of this little pup growing older on Instagram. In fact, most of the social media for this website has switched gears from Twitter to Instagram in the recent discovery of this website that everyone else seems to have been using for years :p joey photo.png

I also recently passed my dental licensing examination!!!

With the incredible help of classmates, colleagues, and patients, and the wonderful support of my family and faculty, my entire class passed our licensing credentials. There were some hiccups in the licensing exam day, and we really pulled together as a team to see everyone through. My patient later texted me in utmost gratitude, and I truly feel heartwarmed by the opportunity to provide my three patients with their care. As I told them on licensing day, this is the best FILLING/SIX-TOOTH-CLEANING you will EVER receive. We’re pulling out ALL the stops! #raisingthestandardofcare

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I began posting my ‘Grateful 5’ on facebook every day. 

This is a list of all the little moments and amazing people who made an impact in the past 24 hours. I love sharing this with friends, reflecting on these moments myself, and looking back at all the great days that fill a week! And I encourage each of you to start a gratitude practice of your own. Even if you prefer to keep your lists to yourselves, remember now and then to give that special thanks aloud to someone who impacted your day. Letting them know can truly bring joy to their days, too ♥

As an example, here’s a day when I posted a Grateful *you read that right* TEN!

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And if that weren’t enough …

I found my new apartment to start Pediatric Dental Residency in July, scheduled a graduation/birthday gift trip to Nashville (I turn 27 on May 27! The numerical pattern is oddly titillating), and GRADUATE from Comedy School at ImprovBoston on Monday. You Can Purchase Tickets HERE. 

2019 is a challenging, rewarding, and all-together amazing year.

Here’s to many more exciting moments! (And an attempt to get back to the blogging world :))

What moments have you been grateful for this year? Let’s celebrate them!

© 2019 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

The face behind the blog

This week was Match Day for dental students in the United States.

I am so honored and grateful to be training in pediatric dentistry at Boston Children’s Hospital – Harvard! My class at Harvard School of Dental Medicine is filled with 34 shining examples of hard work, compassion, and determination, and I am honored to be standing by their side through this journey. In five months, this group of dental students will become dentists!!!! I couldn’t be more proud of this dental family.

Do you have questions about dental school or residency? Reach out. I’m happy to be of assistance in any way I can.

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© 2019 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Match Day – A Behind The Scenes View

Today was Match Day,

a day when I found out I would be training as a pediatric dental resident at Harvard-Boston Children’s Hospital.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes view, and the words that simply could not be enough to humbly, and overwhelmingly say ‘Thank You.’

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CLICK HERE to read the latest article on Medium.

© 2019 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

A published article on the Journal of Dental Education

Can Noncognitive Components of Admissions Data Predict Dental Student Performance and Postdoctoral Program Placement?

I am incredibly thankful to my mentors in dental academia and for the opportunity to explore dentistry from the clinical, academic, and research perspectives.

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CLICK HERE to read the published article on the latest issue of the Journal of Dental Education.

© 2018 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Welcome!

Congratulations

to the Class of 2022 on starting their first week at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine. And little known fact, this congratulations applies to each and every one of you, too, wherever you are; whatever it is you are doing today. You made it there; you made it through something to get there. And I am so excited for you, and to see your continued growth.

At every step of the journey, remember:

  • You are here because you can do this (and you can do great things)!
  • We – everyone in the Harvard community, even beyond Boston – are here for you.
  • Now is the time to get involved. Connect as dentists with doctors, pharmacists, and social workers; connect as doctors with dentists … You have an opportunity to change the future of health care by choosing to be active and involved.
  • Maintain balance. Find what brings you joy and hold onto it. That is a special part of who you are that will resonate with your patients at a level a prescription pad and dental drill never will.

And reach out to me, family, someone near at any time. You are never alone on this journey. 

© 2018 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

 

 

In Support of Healthy Smiles

Harvard School of Dental Medicine Gives Kids A Smile

Every day, a child in the United States goes to school, camp, or simply the playground with a chronic infection. The child may not be sneezing or sniffling, but his/her teeth certainly are. Today, however, was a day for change. At Give Kids A Smile 2018, the students and staff at Harvard School of Dental Medicine decided to take a stand in support of healthy smiles and against those cavity bugs the dental world calls caries.

To read more about Give Kids A Smile and this Boston event, CLICK HERE, and be sure to visit your dentist to talk about mouth-healthy habits for your house.

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© 2018 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

 

#HumansofASDA

With a simple smile, we can all make a difference. I am so honored to be considered for this #HumansofASDA series, and to learn of all that inspires my incredible dental colleagues to contribute in so many unique ways.

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Do you have a unique inspiration for contributing to the community? Do you aspire to “be the change”? Let us know how in the comments below! Your story can inspire others.

© 2018 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

This One Story Will Transform Your Day, if not your life

Hey there!

Whatever you are doing right now, stop. Pull up a chair; put on those reading glasses. Maybe grab a cup of tea. Let’s just have a chat, friend-to-friend.

I know; I know. We barely know one another. I’m a dental student typing from Boston, Massachusetts, you’re a blogger off on the other side of the country, if not the world. But trust me. This moment matters.

Because I want to tell you a story from not too long ago; in fact, this was just a few days over a week ago. Iarrived in clinic ready to meet a new patient; we’ll call her Lailah. She was 5’7 and calm, and really just wanting relief from her pain. When she sat down beside me, so much was going wrong – in her medical condition, in her dental health – but she was just so optimistic.

 

“I’m getting ready for Thanksgiving,” she told me, describing her large family. “I don’t want to be in pain on the holiday.”

 

“I don’t want you in pain, either,” I answered, reading her radiographs. “Let’s see what we can do together before then.”

 

Lailah let me know about a few of her medical conditions, the cancer for which she was receiving treatment, the congenital heart disease that didn’t seem to worry her cardiologist any longer, the hypothyroidism that seemed to be under control. Through her full story, she was radiating with the warmth of a smile.

 

“I promise,” I told Lailah, “to do what I can to move your treatment forward in time for the holidays. We can’t do everything by then, but we’ll work together here.”

 

The minute Lailah left my office, the work began.

 

I called every doctor she named, spoke to every dental advisor I could reach. I carefully, and with haste, developed her treatment plan, and prepared for the next stages of her care. And when I spoke with her oncologist, my heart sank.

 

“Lailah has 6 months to live,” her oncologist boldly introduced. “One year at most. Unless we find the cure for her type of cancer in the next year, I want you to understand, we are not doing normal dentistry here. Extract the infected teeth. We start chemo on the first.”

Now take a deep breath for me, perhaps a moment pause. I’m not telling you this story to catch your breath. And my intention is certainly not educational, though I can’t help but notice just how impactfully this story demonstrates the intersection of medicine and dentistry.

But I am sharing this story with a goal.

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When Lailah and I met, I knew her care was important. I knew her healthy smile mattered. It’s the same approach I have with each and every patient in my chair. Even if my job is to simply guide the patient to a specialist or someone who can offer the needed attention, I give my time, heart, and growing knowledge and experience to that patient. Every patient matters.

Knowing Lailah was going to die didn’t make her matter any more or any less. She was still a patient. She was always important.

And, in so many ways, she reminded me of what really matters:

  • The opportunity to share the warmth of your smile with everyone around you, even the dental student you just met.
  • The gift of spending the holidays out of pain and in the embrace of family.
  • The hope that our actions today will make for a better world tomorrow.
  • The faith that everything will be okay.
  • The courage to move forward no matter what weight follows us from our pasts.
  • And the joy of knowing we have made an impact in this world, whether within our own families and communities or on a larger scale. We have mattered.

In Kabbalah, in Jewish tradition, Lailahel is an angel, one who comes to the world with a message to share. My patent, Lailah, is just that, sharing with us, each day, her beautiful messages of hope, faith, and gratitude. This holiday season, let us all try to have a touch of an angel – a touch of gratitude and optimism – in our hearts and minds. No matter what has happened today or this year, all that matters is now, and how, even with a simple smile, we can choose to make a true difference,

All names, characters, business, places, events, and incidents have been changed for privacy. As a compilation of many patient experiences, any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.  

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.