My name is Emma. I am a 4th year dental student at the University of Leeds. My main motivation to study dentistry derived from the impact that dentistry can have on a patient’s life, allowing them to function free of pain and improve their appearance; these can have a massive positive psychological impact on patients. Dentistry challenges both my intellectual capabilities, practical and patient skills which encompasses all the elements of my dream career. I chose to study at the University of Leeds because it was the only Dental School at the time which integrated a Masters qualification as part of the course. Additionally, it was the Dental School that had the earliest patient contact, allowing for early development of patient communication skills, an essential skill required of dentists. Also, when I went to the open day all the dental students were friendly, informative and inspiring; I could see myself enjoying studying there. My greatest achievement at Dental School to date was coming top of my year in the Periodontal Disease Case Presentation Examination last November.  

I am an E-mentor for the University of Leeds Open Wide Society. This role involves sharing my own experiences of: the application process, interview processes, writing a personal statement and the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) system, with a mentee who is a sixth form student through an online platform. As well, I share my experience of dental student life and what the students can expect if they get into Dental School. In addition, I am a Dental School Ambassador. This is a similar role to the previous one just mentioned, however this involves sharing my experiences face to face with potential applicants at the University of Leeds Dental School open days.

At University, I run Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) for students in lower years. This involves giving students advice on study strategies, time management, organizational skills, guidance on assignments they might have etc. Additionally, I have represented the University of Leeds Dental school by presenting a poster at a PASS conference in Cork, Ireland. Furthermore, I have given a presentation on the University of Leeds Dental school PASS at a ‘Transition and Student Support in Medicine, Dentistry, Healthcare and Veterinary Medicine’ conference in December 2018 at Hinsley Hall, Leeds.

During my 2nd and 3rd year at University, I decided I wanted to develop my teaching and communication skills with young children and, as a result, I became a primary school Maths tutor. In my 4th year I tutored a GCSE student in Maths and an A-level student in Biology. Coupled with this, I am a RYA dinghy instructor and I teach children from the age of 8 years old and adults of any age to sail. Over the years, I have adapted my teaching style to suit the individual needs of each student and, as a result, improved my ability to communicate effectively with people of all age groups. I will utilise and develop these skills for the rest of my career as a dentist.

It is important when doing such a demanding and challenging course such as dentistry to look after your mental and physical well-being. In my spare time I go to the gym, run and practise yoga which allows me to switch off from the demands involved with a dental course. In the holidays, I enjoy going back to my home sailing club to sail and race.

When I graduate and finish my Dental Foundation Training, I want to become a General Dental Practitioner initially. Following that, I will either specialise if I feel I am passionate for a particular area of dentistry, or aim to own my own dental practice.

I first got involved with Medic Mentor through applying to be a Medic Mentor Summer School Scholar. I was successful in this application and I have been a Dental Scholar on two Summer Schools. This consisted of mentoring my own group of students with writing personal statements, selecting universities to apply to, interview practice and wider reading, through guidance, advice and feedback. Over the past year, I have taken an active role in contributing to the Dental Study Guides and I have written the problem based scenarios for these. I am currently involved with the Student Ambassadors Programme which requires helping to organise events, writing documents for the events and reviewing Student Ambassador applications.

The Medic Mentor Scholarship Programme is a unique opportunity that has challenged me and put me out of my comfort zone thereby developing key skills essential to my future professional career. In my final year as a Medic Mentor Scholar, I hope to become more involved in the shaping and development of the Medic Mentor Dental website and resources.

If you would like to post Emma a question, please comment below and she will get back to you!