Midwestern Dental School Orientation: Day One

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Empty Auditorium

Today I took my first steps towards becoming a dentist. It was pretty par for the course as orientations go. The dental school orientation starts tomorrow. Today was mostly general information about Midwestern University.

If you made it this far in your education then you should probably know this stuff cold by now. But hey we made it to dental school so who’s complaining? How about a round of applause for everyone else who also gave up a normal life to be here together!

As of today I am officially a dental student at the College of Dental Medicine-Arizona. The years of hard work, countless hours of study, and seemingly endless stress have finally paid off. I wish that I could say that orientation was a magical moment where all of the sweat and toil immediately paid off, but it isn’t.

Our first day of orientation mostly acquainted us with campus security, school policies, IT information, student loans, etc. You know, the whole shebang. There are lots of things they expect us to know a little bit about. Midwestern has automated most of the important reminders and alerts to keep us informed about important details.

It begins…

Midwestern’s dental school orientation begins at 8:00 AM. Most of us got there early to avoid long lines waiting to get our picture taken for our ID badges. I arrived at about 7:30 AM and met a few of my fellow classmates in the dining hall. A bit of small talk and then we headed to the auditorium around 9:15 AM.

Faculty and staff from the various departments at Midwestern University spoke to us for several hours. It was pretty dry and not just because this is Arizona. Every presentation featured a Powerpoint slideshow. Pretty much everything we saw today is also available on our student portal.

Midwestern has really worked hard to ensure that students have every available resource to succeed. Things that may be easy to forget about or overlook are located in multiple places. We ate lunch at around noon, and then continued with orientation until 3:30 when the day finally ended. Afterward, I tried on and bought my first sets of scrubs.

A professional atmosphere

I really like the way that the faculty and staff treat students here. Every speaker made themselves available to students between sessions and they have seemingly endless patience.

Over the last few months I have made numerous phone calls to at least a dozen separate faculty and staff members here. I had questions about student loans, immunizations, background checks, academic information, etc. You will never fail to get a person on the phone when calling anyone at this school. I have even spoken to the academic dean twice by phone after calling his office directly! How many other deans are that accessible I wonder?

My admissions counselor, the admissions office, financial aid, and everyone else has been very easy to work with. My experience with other dental schools during the application cycle last year wasn’t nearly as friendly as it has been so far with Midwestern.

So anyway, our first day of orientation covered the basics. Basically, use common sense and you will be A-OK! Everyone involved, staff and students alike wish that we were anywhere else. But everyone behaved like professionals which is good obviously. Tomorrow is the dental school orientation, so hopefully I will have more to write about relevant to dentistry. I know that I will be yearning for these easy days in a few weeks when we start hitting the basic sciences!

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