Sunday, May 31, 2009


Graduation is on Friday. I am not going to ask most of you to come sit through it.

But, we are having an Open House afterward where it would be great to see any and all of you.

Open House for Erin Sheffield and David Haderlie
Friday June 5
5:30- 7:00 pm
At the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Institute of Religion Building on Melrose Ave in Iowa City.

We will serve some light food.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The End Has Come

Well, to my surprise, today was my last day of dental school! I was scheduled to see two more patients tomorrow (our official last day) but they both cancelled. Normally we have to wait around in case someone comes in but in this case they said don't worry about it!

So, I did it!

It feels so good to have things checked off my list and done! And, I even received enough points to get an "A."

It is so strange to think this part of my life has come to an end!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Come to me for your implants...

I won an award. It seems a little funny to me, esp since it was from the Pros department and I never thought Pros was my strong point. I never win these kind of awards. When I received an email telling me about the luncheon they were having to award it, I thought, "Great, another award I didn't win. Thanks for rubbing it in." Needless to say, I was shocked enough I said "What!" out loud as I walked down the hall with my BlackBerry when I saw my name on the end of the list.

The award was The International Congress of Oral Implantologists/Sullivan Schein Predoctoral Student Achievement Award. I was given some cash as well as a free implant CE course, all for my excellent achievements in my sophomore implant course and my skills during my implant clinical experiences and screenings.

I still don't really understand why they chose me. Did I even do well in that class my second year? I guess I must have done better than I thought!

Moral of the story: if you need a dental implant, I guess I am the one you want to come see. Ha HA HA!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Private Neighborly Conversations

One of the downsides of living in a condo is the thin walls and neighbors in close proximity. We have had times in the past, parties in particular, where we have been unable to sleep at night. However, most of the times I put up with it, including our upstairs neighbors almost relentless jump roping.

However, last night after a long and tiring day I was unable to sleep due to the conversation our neighbors upstairs were having. Not only was it loud in decibels, it was loud in offensiveness. I was able to hear every word of their conversation. I have at times wondered what guys talk about in the presence of only guys, but I was wishing in this instance that I was not privy. Basically, it consisted of one guy giving another a pep talk on girls, what kind of guys they like (big, confident, being in dental school is a big plus), and what sex acts he would allow a girl to perform on himself according to how hot her body was.

This is where I drew the line. I marched upstairs, pajamas and all and knocked. No answer...they quieted down. I was a little relieved for the lack of confrontation but I still had a few things on my chest.

I wrote a note instead which basically said something like this:

Dear neighbors,

While it is true many girls like big and confident guys, they also like those who are courteous to their neighbors and do not talk too loudly after 11 pm, particularly about how to lure girls into _______ (little sibling eyes do not need to see).

I can't remember the rest, but I wanted to let them know that not only were they loud, but I knew exactly what they were saying.

I also was disgusted to think of how many girls are so free to give themselves away for nothing, that this guy would "let" a girl do something to him even though her body was hot because he saw her running but not THAT hot. That without any kind of regard for who she was as a person he would submit to said act since she was kind of hot. Yuck.

Anyway, I am happy to report I received a very apologetic note on our door for waking us up and because it "also occurs to us that we have made jokes in poor taste recently. Ethically, it would probably benefit us and the community if we raised our moral standards. I personally will make an effort to do so and will encourage my roommate to follow a similar path."

Thank you neighbors for not being defensive and mad and for being apologetic and willing to change. I hope we do not disturb you, either.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I currently have a patient who has great dental insurance coverage. Unfortunately, she will be losing that coverage at the end of this month. This is a concern since she still has many treatment needs that will need to be addressed next year.

Currently, she pays $96 per month. Her insurance plan covers $1500 of work, and 80% of prosthodontic procedures (things like dentures, crowns, bridges). This is a very good plan, one of the best we see at the school. However, at $96 per month, she is paying $1152 per year for a $1500 plan she unfortunately will not max out. She is losing her insurance because of retirement. I am assuming she has carried this plan for the bulk of her career but had a 15 year absence from the dentist due to a dental phobia.

My point? Dental insurance isn't insurance at least in the way medical insurance is insurance. Going without medical insurance could be catastrophic. Having dental insurance can be very helpful. However, many of my patients, friends, and even family members have used lack of insurance as an excuse for not seeking regular preventive care or even receiving ideal care. If you can't afford insurance, paying for an annual exam and cleaning (and maybe small filling or two) will probably be cheaper than the premium on an insurance plan. This is assuming you do not have huge dental problems.

Dental insurance is a great thing, but shouldn't be used as a crutch for not seeking appropriate care. For my patient and others like her, she can continue her dental care by paying herself the $96 per month and putting it towards her dental treatment. It may not be all available to her right away, but with some planning and perhaps a payment plan, she may actually save herself some money.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Thoughts on the past 4 years

I officially have two weeks left until I am finished with 4 years of dental school! For many of my friends (and/or their wives), dental school has been the most horrific, miserable experience of their lives. For me, it has been a lot of hard work but I have really enjoyed it. I love dentistry. I like working hard. I enjoy learning. In many ways, it was better/easier than BYU. I have excelled much more academically despite taking 35 credit hours per semester, I haven't had a part time job or BYU lacrosse to distract me.

The first few years were rigorous academically. We had something like 140 quizzes and tests our first year alone. Third year was stressful in trying to incorporate all of my learning into patient care. Applying knowledge and facing new procedures almost every day with a pit in your stomach, pretending to be confident when your patient wasn't quite sure about you.

However, I think senior year was the hardest. It has been very different. Very little class time, only about 4 or 5 tests the whole year. Things that made it hard where mostly jumping through the hoops toward graduation. Things like managing your patient schedule to meet your requirements on time and finding patients for boards. This was my most stressful year of dental school by far, but most of it had very little to do with school.

When I left for my rotations, I had an interview with my instructor who told me I was passing with a "C" and should be very proud of myself. I was below our group average on points and wasn't doing very well on my daily evaluations. I felt far from proud--I felt very discouraged.

My rotations forced me to be independent, to make decisions, and to trust my judgement as well as improve my speed. Now, I am on my way to a "A" in daily procedure points and continue to receive multiple compliments from instructors, including things like, "You should work on my teeth" and "Perfect work, right from the text book," and "You are getting better and better every day." I am so grateful all of my hard work seems to be paying off. I want to be a great dentist not only for myself, but for my patients. And after 4 years of school at one of the most rigorous and excellent dental programs in the country, I am beginning to feel ready. I am so grateful that I have had the many opportunities that have been given me.

Let's see what I can learn in the last 8 days!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I love the idea of online news. News at your fingertips at any moment of the day.

The problem is, when I get bored, one of the first things I do is check the news on a variety of network pages. This "up-to-date" info at the click of my finger (usually multiple times a day) makes for very boring news.

Very rarely do I see headlines that are like, "Now that's news!" Instead, it is a bunch of gobbley-gook about American Idol blog updates and updates on Brooke Hogan. Whoot.

The best moment I had with online news was with Obama's VP pick. I was on rather late and saw a banner up top announcing Biden was the selected candidate. However, Obama had promised his special grass root campaigners that they would be the first to know the next morning. Oops! Within just a few minutes, the banner was gone. I couldn't help but wonder, "Would they have respected McCain that much to pull their big headline so he could save face with voters?" Somehow, I doubt it. I don't know much about journalism but the movies I have seen make it look like everyone wants the scoop. At least I had it!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Things have been going great at school. I have been working very hard, trying to keep busy, learning as much as I can in the last few weeks, and getting as many points as possible to boost my gpa before a potential application cycle this fall. So far, so good.

Until the last few days. Suddenly, I have had failing appointments or cancelling at the last minute and a lack of patients again. So...

I have been sitting here bored at my computer for it seems like days with only a small procedure here and there. We are not allowed to go home early. I have no lab work to do. No homework to do. Not enough blogs to read. So, I either need some more procedures to do or you better get writing!

11 clinic days left!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A self test--if you dare!

I read an article I found on today about the epidemic of narcissism. I thought it was very interesting and focused on the huge rise of self centeredness in our society. Things like celebrity worship, constant concerns about beauty, entitlement, etc. I can't seem to find the link now but it got me thinking. They talked about narcissists being concerned with having many many superficial friends who can feed their egos without building lasting relationships. They are often more concerned with looking important than about others. They expect others to fulfill their desires without much concern for the difficulties it places on another, etc. I have had many associations with these kind of people. Often, I don't realize the extent until I have been sucked into a toxic relationship that is painful to end. 

This got me wondering, am I one of the sorry lot who have succumbed to the epidemic? Here is a handy quiz. I think the term "emotional vampire" is very fitting. I have found that I have had the emotional life sucked out of me on multiple times.

Are you a emotional vampire?

I hope my blogging isn't a sign of my self centeredness and need for praise or to feel important. If I have showed any vampire-ish tendencies or blatant behavior, please forgive me and help me remember how wonderful you are.

Here is a more "legit" feeling quiz if you are really curious.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Here is the link to the Beyonce video

Beyoncé - Irreplaceable

I think I must have dentistry on the mind. I thought this song was talking about "Novacaine" for the longest time. Something like, "I want some Novacaine, I want some novacaine" during the chorus. I think it says something like, "You must not know about me," instead. At least it sounds like that through the dental school radio they have playing in the hallways and patient lobbies (I admit it doesn't sound so much like it on here.) I must have thought the "to the left to the left" 's were coming from my instructors.

I thought it had something to do with the numbing effects of love and breaking up. What a clever song! Haha.

Monday, May 4, 2009

More Cowbell

After we finish our graduation requirements, the ritual at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry is that you get to ring "the cowbell" to let everyone know who else will be called "Dr." when the year is over.

Today I finished my last requirement, my molar root canal (with a little help from my instructor who finished it for me since we were running out of time today--thank you!). Yay! Once I get the paperwork done, it will be my turn!

I've definately had a fever this year (senioritis) and the only prescription is a little more cowbell!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dream on...

I am a very vivid dreamer. Almost every night I have incredibly weird dreams that I almost always remember in the morning. And, unfortunately, they are almost all bad dreams. I can hardly understand when people say things like, "Oh, I was having such a good dream but I couldn't get back to sleep to finish it." Besides the fact that I have to wake up and drag myself out of bed, I am usually relieved to be awake from my dreams. I remember having one experience where I wanted to continue the dream, but that was because it was so horrific I thought it would make an interesting book if I could just get to the end (as if dreams have definitive endings) and find out what happens but finally told myself to wake up because it was just to scary. I even remember thinking to myself, "No, this is too scary. Wake up." I did.

When I moved to Iowa I particularly found my dreaming upsetting. I would wake up feeling the room spinning and unsure where I was or what orientation I was in in my bed. I didn't know if I was back home in Utah or in Honduras or in Iowa. I guess a lot of moving in a short period had me confused. This is when I first started really noticing my sleep disturbances. I still wake up after about 45 minutes of sleep each night stressed about something I forgot to do that is of huge eternal consequences. I still can't figure out what, despite making attempts to write it down when I figure it out (only to have strange scribbles in the morning). Poor Abe has to deal with me and my strange mid-night rantings.

My mom claims I had many nights as a child where I would wake up screaming bloody murder. I remember a few of these. One time I remember seeing a cartoonish face on the wall egging me on with a childish, "na-na-na-na-na-na." The strange thing about many of my dreams to me is that I am asleep enough to act or think very strangely but awake enough to remember, often realize I am being silly, but asleep enough to get frustrated when Abe (or someone else) is questioning me.

Am I a complete weirdo? Is anyone else like this? Do I have a sleep disorder or a boogey-man under my bed only I can sense? I really don't know.

I have a lot of funny dream stories I could elaborate with but this is very long.