I believe social media can really help student dentists and newly-graduated dentists - there are so many interesting accounts for dental students and dentists online.
I'm a big fan of using social media because gives you the ability to connect with people that you otherwise would never have crossed paths with. So, I was delighted to be chosen as one of the BDA's new social media representatives, helping to share information and support for student dentists across the UK.
I use social media because it is a great platform for networking, sharing ideas and being inspired by others' creativity. Plus, memes are a bonus :)
Accounts where you can share your ideas, get feedback on your work, keep up-to-date with the latest changes and be motivated by your colleagues.
And, if you use it well, social media can also be a great learning tool.
My journey into dentistry
I am a 5th year dental student at Plymouth University and I got into dentistry the hard way; reapplying, reapplying and reapplying again!
I chose to study dentistry because it is one of the only careers that revolves around patient interaction, working in a team and using hands-on skills to directly improve someone's quality of life. Every patient, scenario and therefore working day is unique and stimulating.
The thing I most love about dentistry is the fact that I get to help people, whether that is getting them out of pain, helping them eat and speak properly or giving them a confidence boost by addressing their aesthetic needs. Sometimes I have to sit back and take it all in because it is so rewarding!
The most challenging part is staying on top of all of the work. With the pressure of passing final year and DFT around the corner, there is so much to do and so little time.
I haven't yet decided what my future career holds in dentistry. Although I have had some exposure to different specialities such as maxfax, orthodontics and paediatrics, most of what I have learnt has been to do with general dentistry.
Hopefully working in the real world will give me a better idea of what I want to do in the future.
Five top tips for dentists using social media
Here are some of my top tips for using social media as a student:
Do not post any information that can identify a patient on social media.
|Do not post anything that will make you look unprofessional, if in doubt – just don't post it! There's a fine line between humour and your professional standing – think about how other people might perceive your post, especially if it's taken out of context.|
|Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Remember to take regular breaks from the world of social media.|
Don't be afraid to approach colleagues on social media, most dental professionals that post actively on their social media profiles are happy to help.
|If you have any ideas share them with the world! Never before in history has it been so easy to spread thoughts and information, use these platforms to build yourself up. |
When I'm not a dentist, I'm…
Dentistry has already taken over my life! Sometimes I have dreams about it. Scary, I know. To stay sane, I do the following things: read (non-dentistry related) books, work out at the gym, listen to podcasts, and yoga. My favourite distraction last year was joining a British sign language course and gaining a qualification out of it!
It is important to ensure you have a balance of studying, working and time off, to ensure you stay healthy. Dentistry can sometimes be an isolating field to work in, but you really aren't alone – take opportunities to connect with others and create your own support network!
Komal Chopra, 5th year dental student
YouTube Channel - /thedentlyf
Komal Chopra is a BDA social media representative, helping to share information and support for student dentists across the UK, using the power of social media. Search for our tag #ukdentalstudent and follow our Instagram @britishdentalassociation for regular updates.
Dental students: supporting youBDA student membership
offers you advice and support to help you succeed in your training as a dentist. You get access to the world's leading dental journals, including our dedicated student magazine, BDJ Student, and our eLibrary, featuring over 300 eBooks.
Membership also gives you discounts on textbooks and events, and a free copy of our Career guide and Getting your first job guide. You'll also get extensive support as you prepare for the world of work, with our DFT interview skills lectures and workshop.
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represents the opinions and concerns of dental students across the UK. It ensures students' voices are included in our policy and campaigning work. With each new member, our voice and our influence grows.Add your voice, join today.