“Hey Ali, why did you start a dental blog?”

Let me use this post as an opportunity to discuss why I decided to go ahead and start a blog, and why I am focussing it around dentistry.

Just because I want to be totally transparent with you all 🙂

I started studying dentistry at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry here in London, UK, back in September 2015 and am currently about half way through my first year (of five). That means, if all goes to plan – I will finally earn the qualification: Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and be able to start working as a dentist and saving smiles 😀

I realise it would have been much better if I started this blog a lot sooner so I’d be able to keep it updated in a sort of ‘real time’ way but unfortunately it didn’t work out that way…

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A few years ago, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life but I had a good idea that it needed to involve science somehow and I wanted to do something meaningful that allowed me to help others in some way.

I made a mental list of everything that was important to me in terms of the path I wanted to take with my life and from that list I then tried to identify what I could do that would allow me to satisfy all or at least most of my criteria.

My mind narrowed the options down to a few real contenders and I then began to seriously consider a just a few routes: medicine, dentistry and PhDs (something cancer research related – a clinical research project).

When doing my own research into dentistry, I came across a number of blogs online which I found through Google searches initially – and I found them to be really helpful. It was really nice to read about dentistry from people who were passionate about it and blogging their own journeys.

One blog in particular that I found really useful was created by a student at King’s College London called Sheila. She’s now recently qualified and although I don’t know her personally, I believe she is enjoying a successful career so far! Her blog was called mydentistryjourney (it is a WordPress blog too) and I think it still exists if you want to check it out. But I would also note that I think I found her blog to be particularly relatable with because she was similar to me in that she had already completed a degree prior to dentistry.

From reading Sheila’s and other peoples’ blogs, I got a really good feel for what dentistry was like in many regards and their passion for dentistry rubbed off on me and got me excited about dedicating my life to dentistry. So Sheila, if you happen to stumble across my blog and are reading this – Thank you! 🙂

There is so much info online about dentistry: how to get into dental school and what its like studying it etc, so why would anyone rely on this or other blogs?

WeIl I would never say that one source is enough, you are making a massive commitment if you decide to pursue dentistry – so looking at multiple different sources of information to help you truly understand dentistry is definitely the best approach.

Dentistry isn’t like other degrees that usually last 3 or 4 years (eg. History), dentistry is a vocational degree. When you graduate from uni with a degree like history, you can pretty much go on to do anything for work. But after 5 years of studying dentistry, you will (in most cases) apply for a job as a dentist. So you really should be confident from the start that it is what you like and want to pursue for the rest of your working life.

Like I said, I’m currently about half way through my first of five years, so many of my initial posts will probably be retrospective as I want to give anyone who reads this a good idea of who I am and everything that I have experienced before starting to study dentistry which led me to be in the position I am now.

When I told my little brother I was starting a blog, he said no one is going to read it as blogs are an old/dead medium. I don’t know if that’s entirely true but I agree that most people don’t read/follow blogs. That doesn’t bother me, I haven’t created this with any expectations.

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If I can help even just one person in some way with regards to their decision about whether or not to choose to study dentistry I’d be very happy 🙂

But as well as this being an informative read and helpful blog I am really keen for it to portray me as a person and with that in mind I hope you find it interesting, humorous, thought provoking and entertaining.

In my mind there are huge ambitious goals for this blog. Eventually I want it to establish into a website that allows dental students (current and prospective) as well as dentists from around the world to connect with each other and learn more about dentistry as a profession in different countries.

And I’m sorry I haven’t included any images in this post to break up the masses of text but I promise to try and include at least one in most posts and I will try my best to always use original pictures that I myself have taken (as opposed to stealing from Google Images) but some pictures will not be my own unfortunately.

The title for this post was: “Why did I create this blog?” and although I have partly covered why I created it, there are a number of other reasons that I will discuss other posts!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

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