* denotes required field

Your Name: *



Gender: *

Personal Email: *

This will be your username

Password: *

Display Name: *

This will be what others see in social areas of the site.

Address: *










Phone Number:

School/University: *

Graduation Date: *

Date of Birth: *

ASDA Membership No:





Hi returning User! please login with Facebook credentials where Facebook Username is same as THENEXTDDS Username.






Posted by:

THE NEXTDDS Student Ambassador Blogs

3 Tips for Entering Into Clinic

 Permanent link   All Posts

Recently, I had my very first patient. There is no avoiding the nerves and self-doubt that are associated with that looming first appointment. In the weeks leading up to this day, many thoughts ran through my mind. Would I be able to rise to the challenge? Would my first patient like me? Would they know that they were my first patient? Who would my row instructor be? Could I keep my composure if something went wrong? My anxious thoughts were exacerbated by our instructors words, “If you slacked off during your first two years, you are going to have no clue what you are doing and you will be miserable.”


As dental students, we all strive to be the best we can be. Even if we worked our tails off for two years, we always feel like we could have done more. This is one of the main reasons why we are all so anxious. It turned out that my first appointment went pretty well, and I am now a few more weeks into my journey as a student-dentist. I have compiled three major tips to consider before anyone sees their first patient.


Tip #1: Don’t delay, act today!

Anytime we have an exam or practical we always wish we had more time to prepare. The same goes for our first patients. Since you still have classes going on, it can be tempting to schedule patients in a month rather than right away. Realize that no amount of preparation can prepare you for what is going to happen on your first day. You need to trust that your first two years have taught you what you need to know. The instructors are there to help you with anything that comes up and takes you by surprise. You can do it!


Tip #2: Your first patient should be someone you know, preferably a classmate.

I won’t say it was a mistake having my first patient be someone I didn’t know, since it’s all about getting started. However, I will say that having my friends and classmates be my next three patients really helped me learn on the fly. My friends and classmates already knew that I was new to the clinic, so the pressure was totally off. I was also able to ask for their feedback on all the aspects of care they were receiving during or after the procedures.


If you have a patient you don’t know, asking them about your technique doesn’t give the patient much confidence in the operator. Even if there was something I didn’t know how to do from all the preparation, I was able to ask them. It was certainly a mutually beneficial practice. Make a deal with a classmate to be their patient if they’ll be yours. Ask your other classmates to assist you. Have fun!


Tip #3: Come in with a positive attitude.

You will never know everything or be prepared to handle every situation. Not every instructor is going to be kind when they help you. They may even be rude to you in front of the patient. Similarly, not every patient is going to like you. All you can do is your best! At the end of the day, you put everything you can into helping your patient. Remembering that is crucial!


The most successful people are people that don’t dwell on failure. Instead, they focus on avoiding them in the future. Do this by coming prepared to every appointment. You can ask questions to classmates, instructors, staff members, and especially seniors. Seniors were in your place just a year ago, so they can give you advice and even assist you if they don’t have a patient. Every day is a learning opportunity. Take advantage of it!