One common setback that I think everyone would have felt in 2020 were the impacts of COVID-19.
Despite placements being cut short due to the pandemic, I was able to experience a strong variety of public dentistry while working with Queensland Health including cases of dental trauma and acute odontogenic infections ranging from children to adults. I was also able to participate in General Anaesthesia (GA) sessions in which extensive dental treatment was completed for many children from rural and remote communities.
It is without a doubt that COVID-19 impacted many people in means which were unfathomable. Like other students, I went back home to my family during the peak of uncertainty and was unsure if I would be able to return to complete my studies. Nevertheless, we persevered and while some students unfortunately were not able to make it back in time, we showed our strength during these tough times. The coming together of the JCU dentistry community as well as support, and services offered by the college to assist students, both domestic and international, were all driving factors that helped me complete my final year in JCU dentistry. Despite an unprecedented time, 2020 was a unique year in which I was fortunate to continue to serve as a student-clinician, learn, grow and gain valuable experiences; 2020 was definitely the year of resilience. Unfortunately, life does not always go to plan but it is how we handle ourselves during challenging moments that define us as people, not our hardships.
During my time at JCU and through my clinical placements, I was fortunate to have been surrounded by amazing staff, supervisors and mentors that have helped shape me into the dentist I am today. With that, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone that I have worked with during my time in dental school; the experiences gained have not only enhanced my clinical skills, but have also enabled me to learn, grow, as well as strive to reach my full potential as a dentist.
As a graduated dentist I look to do my part in serving members in the local community as well as those residing on the outskirts of the city, who may not otherwise have readily available access to dental care. I would like to reinforce the fundamental values of oral health education in addition to the provision of quality clinical service and delivery of optimal oral heath care.
In the future, I would like to continue to gain experience by attending regular workshops and continuing professional development events as well as staying up to date with current guidelines. I would also like to pursue a specialisation in paediatric dentistry.