Category Archives: After Dental School

If I could go back in time, what would I tell my dental school self about what to expect after graduation?

Let me start by giving a little background on my dental school experience. My father was diagnosed with stage IV renal cell carcinoma two months into me starting dental school at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.  He was initially given four months to live, but fortunately he lived about two-and-one-half years more before he passed away three… Read More »

‘Get out there and live’: Lessons from dental school and early career

Time, our most valuable commodity — along with our good health, of course. It’s hard to believe how many years have passed since my last first day of school: the day I started my fourth year of dental school. My D3 and D4 years seemed like they would never end, and I distinctly remember doing my clinic orientation as a… Read More »

Pursuits of happiness: Do you need a rewrite?

“Dr. Vaughn, I wanted to ask you . . . do you enjoy dentistry?” “Interesting,” I thought. “What a simple, straightforward yet completely complicated and intricately loaded question I have just been asked by this bright-eyed, good-intentioned college student.” “Y-Yeah. . . I do.” I paused. I could feel the perspiration gathering on my forehead. Could he sense… Read More »

My journey into full-time academia: Why so soon?

“Did you always know that you wanted to teach?” This is a question that I’m asked very frequently, and my answer is probably like many of my colleagues: “Absolutely, not!” When I entered dental school, my goal was to return home to Memphis, Tennessee, after graduation and practice general dentistry. Little did I know, my career would take… Read More »

Still the new dentist

Each year in general dentistry has taught me something about myself and this profession. As I prepare to go into a yearlong special-care residency program in June, I am looking back on everything I have learned in the last four years as a general dentist. The first year of dentistry taught me about treatment planning…that I could no… Read More »

The demand for knowledge and the dentist’s responsibility to constantly improve

In the 1980s, it was said by an inventor, R. Buckminster Fuller, that human knowledge had been doubling every century. As of the year 2020, researchers have estimated that our knowledge is now doubling at a rate of once every 12 hours. With an exponential increase in knowledge over a 40-year period, and with a constant rise in… Read More »