Recently, we published an interview with Dr. Nicholas Ward, a doctor and educator with Brown University. Knackpackers loved an “inside look” into the day in the life of a medical professional, so we’ve decided to share more interviews with medical professionals and students in 2020!
Today, we’re sharing an interview with Tyler Duford, a student in the dental program at University of Michigan. Tyler has a great perspective (and lots of tips), for other undergraduate students interested in dentistry, and we learned some interesting facts about dentistry in our interview with her! In addition to being a dental student, she also runs a blog about her experience, sharing helpful videos and posts with tips about dental school and life in Michigan!
In the photos below, Tyler shows her Medium Knack Pack in Indigo Blue, easily using the bag to hold the (many) items she needs as a student at the School of Dentistry, using the expandable luggage compartment to pack scrubs, workout clothes – or for a weekend road trip!
Dreaming of Becoming a Dentist
“What makes someone decide to become a dentist?” was the first question that came to mind when interviewing Tyler, and she didn’t disappoint with her answer! “I’ve wanted to be a dentist ever since I was 5 years old. My parents bought me a Play-Doh dentistry set and ever since then dentistry has fascinated me,” she shares. “As I got older and began to really understand the professional field of dentistry, I discovered my true love for service and helping those around me. Dentistry doesn’t just fix broken teeth, but broken confidence as well. I love being a part of a profession that is so much bigger than myself and constantly allows me to serve others.”
Tyler pursued her dream, and is a proud member of the 2023 class at the University of Michigan!
Helpful Mobile Apps for Dental Students
Dental school has diverse challenges, and often throws curveballs students don’t expect. “I didn’t expect dental school to be as mentally draining as it has been,” shares Tyler. “I knew that it would be stressful going into it, however, I didn’t expect it to be as stressful as it has been. I have had to learn new ways to manage my stress like downloading the Calm App, implementing daily exercise into my schedule, and journaling.”
We loved the recommendation for the Calm App, and Tyler shared a few more app recommendations for dental students, saying, “My go-to apps for helping me stay organized throughout dental school are Google Calendar, Notability, Calm, Notion, and Slack. All of these apps help me to stay better organized and help keep me keep up with my productivity level. I use slack specifically to communicate with my entire class. It’s great for large group chats!”
What Most People Don’t Know About Dental School
Most people would be surprised to learn just how different the structure of dental school is a bit different from medical school. Explains Tyler, “Many people don’t understand the commitment that comes with dental school. Not only do we have to go through our didactic courses, but we have to work on our hand-skills. We are taking around 27 credit hours a semester and on top of that we are learning how to work in mm measurements with our hands. In addition, those of us who are in relationships while in dental school see that the stress can negatively impact them, as spouses of dental students also go through the ups and downs that come with dental school.”
Having a supportive network is key to being successful.
Advice for Aspiring Dentists
We love how open and honest Tyler is about her experience. When asked what advice she gives to aspiring dental students (she gets lots of DMs on her Instagram account), she shares:
“If you want to go to become a dentist you 100% can! It will be a difficult journey, but it is 100% worth it! Reach out to current dental students and get involved within your community and any pre-dental organizations. Sit down and make a plan to help you get to where you want to go. Shadow dentists, but make sure to have at least one dentist that you form a really good relationship with. When you shadow, ask questions! Complete all of the requirements asked of you, but make sure to make your application unique. You do this by being yourself and getting involved in organizations and hobbies that make you happy and push you to be the best version of yourself. Everyone is unique, you just have to be confident in yourself and showcase your ability.”
Using the Knack Pack - Backpack for Dental Students
We sent Tyler a Knack Pack asking for an honest review and what it’s like to use the Knack Pack as a dental student. She put it to the test and here’s what she had to say:
“My backpack goes EVERYWHERE with me during the school year. Because dental school is very demanding of my time, I have to makes sure that my backpack can keep up with my hectic schedule. My Knack Pack does everything and then some! It’s not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing ( I love my neutral colors)!
My Knack Pack is my ultimate day bag because it eliminates my need to bring multiple bags. There are so many compartments that allow me to fit all of my necessities with me in one simple bag! These compartments also help me stay organized throughout my day. Everything has its own designated area and I’m OBSESSED.
Items that I ALWAYS have in my backpack:
- Laptop& iPad
- Phone charger, laptop charger & Ipad charger
- Feminine toiletries
- Pens & pencils
- Disinfectant wipes & hand sanitizer
- Eyeglass cleaner
- Mini umbrella
- Wallet and keys
My Knack even has an expandable suitcase compartment built into it so on days where I want to have a gym sesh after I finish up at school, I can pack my gym clothes!” Tyler loves her medical scrubs from FIGS, and she can also use the expandable compartment to pack an extra pair – just in case.