Coming back to dental school & what sets CU apart: An ISP's perspective
Hi, my name is Zhou Joyce, currently an ISP1 student at CU School of Dental Medicine. The day I got Dr. Towne’s phone call of acceptance was my happiest day of the year. I’m still new here, but I want to share some personal experiences since I started school here. My husband, who was my classmate during college, graduated from another dental school in MA six years ago. And with a husband in the same career path, there were definitely going to be some pros and cons.
When I started, I mentally prepared myself to study hard because I haven’t practiced as a dentist for a long time and I learned dentistry in my native language. Therefore, I read slides, listened to recorded lectures, read recommended books if I have difficulty in understanding. My husband noticed this and said slides are good enough and the proof is he had a good GPA upon graduation. I seriously doubted my intelligence at this point. Luckily for me, one of his coworkers, who also graduated from ISP program at CU, told him it’s very true at CU you have to study beyond slides. Thank you for saying this, my dear alumni, you saved my sanity.
I also realized that the two things that impressed my husband the most, are the biggest advantages we have at CU. The first one is from the very beginning of first semester, we are taught and tested according to board exams standards in restorative preclinic lab sessions. For each procedure, it’s easy for us to know the optimum or satisfactory standards, because that’s your goal to pass board exams. On the other hand, we are well aware of critical errors, so you will try to avoid them. In this way, the training we have from the beginning works for board exams. Another is positive guest speaker experience. We recently had a guest speaker for endodontics course. This guest speaker is an endodontist practicing in New Mexico and also a board member of Journal of endodontics. It’s a very good experience to have him here because he combined his practical experience and literature review and put the basic science into use. I had worked in basic science field for almost nine years after I came to USA. Thus, I really appreciated this one-hour lecture which was actually based on well trained clinical skills and up-to-date research knowledge.
A few days ago, one upperclassman was talking with another on the hallway. I didn’t pay attention to what they were talking about, but I overheard one sentence, “God gave you two years to study again, talk less and listen more.” Yes, listen and learn, that’s most important thing to do here at CU. You’ll be well prepared for your future.
Zhou Joyce Chen is a mom of two beautiful kids: Cody, 9 and Emma, 4. She enjoys playing with her kiddos and reading in her spare time. She holds a Ph.D and was a research scientist for 7 years at NYU College of Dentistry.