Blog: A day in the life of a dentistry student

24 Jan 2020

Ever wondered what a day in the life of a dentistry student looks like?

Third year Dentistry student and YouTuber, Sean Choi, gives us a glimpse into his life as a student in his winning entry for the School of Dentistry’s student video competition.

We asked Sean to share a bit more about his journey into Dentistry and his passion for sharing his life as a student on YouTube.

Tell us a bit about you

My name is Sean Choi (@SeanChoi) and I’m currently in my third year of studying Dentistry at UQ. I am originally from South Korea but at the age of 10, my family decided to move to Canada to start a new chapter of our lives. Growing up, I had a keen interest in sciences so I decided to pursue a degree in Science at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, before being accepted into Dentistry at UQ in 2018. 

Why did you choose to study Dentistry?

Pursuing dentistry didn’t even cross my mind until I met my clinical mentor - Dr. Yul Shin - at the age of 16. Back then I was in high school so I was really just trying to get a taste of all possible career options, including medicine, music, or even starting my own Korean restaurant. As soon as I started shadowing Dr. Yul at his clinic, I knew dentistry was for me. It was the full package - the autonomy, the combination of art and science, the flexible hours, the ability to transform someone’s smile and self-esteem in a matter of minutes - I loved all aspects of it. I haven’t really looked back since and am glad I decided to follow my heart.

What advice would you give to someone looking to study Dentistry?

Develop good people skills and charisma. Contrary to popular belief, being a dentist is not just limited to treating a patient’s mouth. Just like any other job, a dentist has to deal with their boss (if you’re an associate), other staff members, patients, patient’s family members, and so on. Even you, as a dentist, can lose it on a tough day. So, don’t just study hard. Develop good people skills and kindness. Having the appropriate people skills to navigate through these difficult times can definitely save you from a tonne of stress. 

What are your goals after you graduate?

As for my personal goal, I want to own multiple practices in Canada and Australia and be able to travel as I go back and forth between the two countries. As a bigger goal, I’d like to work on shifting the general perception of a dentist visit, as for many, visiting the dental clinic can be a traumatic, anxious experience. It is my hope to make patient experience as comfortable as possible while achieving good treatment results - transforming one smile at a time.

Tell us a little more about your videos

The best part about sharing my experiences through my videos is the people I get to interact with. I’m grateful to receive messages from my viewers telling me how my videos have affected them. It’s become a little community of its own where we relate to each other’s struggles and get to share our unique stories as university students. Documenting my life as a student has also humbled me in a few ways. It has taught me the importance of cherishing every moment because I know 10 years from now, I will be looking back on some of my videos and realise I’ll never be able to go back and live the same moment twice. I’m also grateful for new opportunities that arose from starting my channel, like meeting other YouTubers and receiving sponsorship offers from companies. But most importantly, I create because I love making videos. Videos can tell interesting stories and move people. That’s what I love about it.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I want to extend my sincere thanks to Dr. Yul (@dryulshin) & Dr. Junpyo (@junpyojk) for being great mentors to me as I would not be where I am today without their guidance. I also want to thank my very own twin brother Ryan (who is also studying dentistry at UQ) for always being willing to help with my videos. Finally, to everyone who has taken their time to watch and support my videos - thank you. Subscribe (@SeanChoi ) and stay tuned for more exciting videos in 2020!

Study at UQ

Find out more about the Bachelor of Dental Science (Honours) at UQ.

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