As a General Practice Resident at the Dental College of Georgia, Dr. Matthew Yeung reflects on five resources that helped him succeed as a dental student. The Augusta, Georgia resident also shares what inspired him on his journey to dentistry and what helped him stay positive during the pandemic.
When he first started dental school, one strategy helped him make the transition. Today, Dr. Yeung shares his insight and advice with others just beginning.
“The hardest thing for me was getting acclimated to an increased course load with multiple tests weekly. It definitely got easier once I made the transition to learn the concepts versus memorizing information,” said Dr. Yeung.
Which 5 resources does Dr. Matthew Yeung recommend for dental students?
- Membership in dental organizations.
“Being a part of groups like the AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) AACD and ICOI (International Congress of Oral Implantologists) allow for great resources.”
2. Social Media.
“A lot of what I learn is through social media these days, but occasionally I’ll listen to podcasts. I get hooked on how someone is able to do something, try to learn it by looking up literature, and then implementing what I learned into my practice.”
3. Dental Conferences.
“Going to conferences, most recently the Hinman (Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting 2021), helps to keep me inspired. Seeing what others are capable of doing in terms of pushing the envelope is something that inspires me daily. My goal is to one day to be able to be in a position where I can do this for others.”
“I have been lucky to have great mentors and wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”
5. Documenting cases.
“I would like to think that I inspire others by documenting and sharing my work. I enjoy being able to go back and critique my work and know what was done well, what could have been improved and seeing how I’ve grown in the process. I like to share cases with colleagues and sometimes on Instagram to get others’ perspectives as well.”
Dr. Yeung, 28, also credited a strong support network for the positive dental school experience.
“Hands down, the friends I made in dental school. I’ve met some of my closest friends from dental school and still continue to talk to them on a daily basis.”
His positive nature, and a well-timed 2nd year residency made all the difference for him during the Covid crisis.
“I was fortunate enough that I had decided to pursue a 2nd year of residency prior to the beginning of Covid and therefore I feel like I was affected to a lesser extent than others. It had its negative impacts, but I like to focus on the positives.”Dr. Matthew Yeung
“At the Dental College of Georgia, the GPR program was one of the only clinics that treated emergency patients. It was rewarding knowing that our clinic was set up in a way that we could treat patients safely and effectively, which in turn allowed us to get back to normal sooner than others.
In addition, it gave me time to explore different avenues of learning. I did a lot of reading online and watching CE that the profession provided.”
One unexpected turn offered him experience with digital dentistry.
“I and a few other residents at the dental college were asked to 3D print nasal swabs for Covid testing in the state of Georgia. That was something I never expected but was pretty rewarding.”
What sound advice does Dr. Matthew Yeung offer to first-year students?
This Georgia dental resident says finding balance is everything.
“There are going to be hundreds of tests in dental school and like anything else, you need to be able to find a good work-life balance so that you don’t get burned out. It’s easier said than done, but once I realized that, school became a lot less stressful.”
As he prepares for the next chapter, Dr. Yeung looks back on what drew him to dentistry – and what inspires him still today.
“I originally wanted to become an orthodontist in 9th grade because I had my braces removed the summer before I started high school. I gained a lot of confidence that summer knowing that I had a healthier smile. After that, I knew I wanted to provide that feeling for others.”
Dr. Yeung said he draws inspiration every day from two sources.
“Personally, both my parents inspire me the most. I was fortunate that they provided an environment where we (he and his twin sisters) were told that we could be/do whatever we wanted as long as we worked hard. Professionally, I’m inspired by a lot of great clinicians, however, I don’t think I would be here today without the mentors I had in dental school and residency.”
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