Lending an ear and a hand to new dentists
As is often the case in life, experience comes with time. In some fields, such as dentistry, learning is lifelong, even among experienced professionals. Therefore, it shouldn’t be difficult to imagine a young dentist’s journey – riddled with peaks and valleys – at the onset of their profession.
Enter Dr. Sanjukta Mohanta, a general dentist practising in Brampton, Ontario, who graduated from the University of Waterloo in 1995 and the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Dentistry in 1999. Motivated to cultivate the minds of young dentists, Dr. Mohanta became certified in adult education, a skill that she afterwards applied as an instructor at a dental hygiene college. Currently, she works at a community health centre treating children and seniors in public dental programs.
“I remember when I was a new dentist, I didn’t feel prepared at all. I felt sorry for my patients. I didn’t know how to work with an assistant. I just pretended I knew what I was doing, but I was second-guessing everything, and I was praying not to screw up. I was worried about doing procedures without having my instructors around to help, my skills, my decision-making, doing procedures in the allotted time, paying off my student debt and finding a good associateship with a mentor. There were a lot of challenges, and these are the same concerns new dentists have today.”
- Dr. Mohanta
Given her professional background, Dr. Mohanta found an opportunity to assist the dental community further when she was introduced to a young dentist facing challenges in his career. The stress and lack of support experienced by the young dentist were familiar to Dr. Mohanta. That meeting gave birth to the idea of a club, created by experienced dentists for new dentists, to discuss the industry challenges and resultant mental strain on early career dentists.
The New Dentist Study Club (NDSC) was founded by Dr. Mohanta as an alternative to other dentist groups that tend to focus mainly on the technical aspects of the profession and practice management. Additionally, Dr. Mohanta had observed most new dentists’ hesitancy to speak up in a lecture hall setting, surrounded by many people. Therefore, the location and size of the meetings became important. NDSC’s allure is in its reassuring message that it’s a safe space allowing for an intimate gathering where attendees sit side-by-side and are welcome to express themselves freely without judgement. CDSPI is a proud sponsor of the NDSC, and the meetings are held in the Cumberland Private Wealth Management Inc. offices, also a sponsor.
“Like Vegas, what is said in the Club stays in the Club. LOL! We set ground rules stating that it is a safe place where we value honesty and respect. We integrate emotional management within the clinical and practice management sessions. For example, when you are doing an extraction and the root tip breaks, what are you saying to yourself? Are you scared to do another difficult extraction? We also spend the last half hour of each session talking about anything members want to share such as struggles or advice.”
Topics tackled at the sessions cover clinical and practice management, learnings from complex cases, emotional management, participating in positive self-talk, gaining confidence, dealing with failures, managing stress, having imposter syndrome, and more. Being an atypical club, members are encouraged to share their vulnerabilities, learn from, and support their peers. Wellness is an integral part of the NDSC.
The NDSC has established its foundation upon the successful completion of three events:
- What every new dentist should know
- Oral surgery night with Dr. Ramez Salti
- Endodontics Night with Dr. Viraj Vora
Events 2022 - 2023
|Friday, September 16, 2022||What Every New Dentist Should Know||Mentors and Industry Leaders|
|Thursday, October 13, 2022||Oral Surgery||Dr. Ramez Salti|
|Monday, November 7, 2022||Endodontics||Dr. Viraj Vora|
|Tuesday, December 6, 2022||Associateships||Mentors and Industry Leaders|
|Wednesday, January 11, 2023||Pediatrics||Dr. Ashley Gill|
|Thursday, February 9, 2023||Restorative||Dr. Joel Rosenbloom|
|Monday, March 13, 2023||Purchasing a practice||Mentors and Industry Leaders|
|Tuesday, April 11, 2023||Prosthodontics||Dr. Beatrice Leung|
|Thursday, May 11, 2023||Tough cases||All members|
|Friday, June 9, 2023||Finding happiness in dentistry||Mentors|
10 Events - 20 CE credits - Category 2 + 3
Location: 99 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto
Time: 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
For 0-5 Year New Dentists. Limited to 30 participants.
Sessions occur monthly with a great turnout from the membership at every event. NSDC currently boasts 32 members ranging from early career dentists to professionals with over 15 years of experience, and everyone contributes. Participation also occurs in the NDSC WhatsApp group chat, where members continue conversations, and share job postings and volunteer opportunities.
Success at the NDSC is measured by its key benefits, which include – skill acquisition, knowledge sharing, and the creation of a social bond by communing with peers. According to Dr. Sanj Mohanta, the future is bright for new dentists, especially with this unique support system that will help new dentists manage the path to practice. An amazing team of dedicated dentists form the foundation of the NDSC, a community that welcomes all new dentists and new mentors. Dr. Mohanta is also grateful the NDSC sponsors including CDSPI, Cumberland Private Wealth Management (where the meetings are held) and ROI Corporation .