If I could rewind to about a year and a half ago, I could confidently tell you that I did not see myself moving from Ottawa to attend Trinity College Dublin (TCD). The roller coaster dental applications put you through was one in which you would never know where you would end up and when. However, upon receiving my acceptance and reviewing variables that would affect my (post) university career, my decision became unanimous.
TCD, being a world-renowned university has a stellar dental program. Having the opportunity to start clinics, labs and seeing patients from as early as second year is a great advantage as it provides you with the opportunity to start the “hands-on” aspect of dentistry faster. As a second year, I myself am amazed at how much I have learned so far practically and theoretically. Within this past semester alone, we were able to learn how to use hand-pieces, perform rubber dam applications, fissure sealants, and so much more while applying those skills to real people.
Compared to the traditional 4-year program, common in North America and Australia, TCD has a five-year dental program. The reason being is due to first year being solely theory based with the opportunity to shadow upper year dental students; second year whereby basic dental skills are learned, clinical and lab experience starts and patients are seen for simple procedures such as scale and polishes, examinations, etc.; third year being a step-up from second year with the introduction of prosthodontics, extractions, occlusion and function etc. and fourth year and fifth year to further skills in all aspects of dentistry while seeing patients full time from 8:30-5. The five-year program was a huge advantage to me as I knew I would get an extra year to work in the dental hospital and refine my clinical skills before I would enter the workplace. Additionally, the five-year program includes 5000 clinical hours which is the primary reason as to why the degree is accredited with the entire European Union. Therefore, being both a European Union citizen as well as Canadian, TCD appealed to me as I would have flexibility in where I would want to work after my degree.
Furthermore, The Dublin Dental Hospital is a tight-knit community. Everyone knows one another for the most part and the small class size means more time with supervisors. This was important to me because it progressed my learning and my confidence during my tasks.
As much as dentistry is of the utmost importance, life outside of school is still significant. TCD itself hosts many events, balls and society events. The dental schools alone come together as well and host the Trident Ball every February which is also amazing as you can check out a new city and mingle with other dental students. There are over 100 societies to choose from that cater towards your likes and hobbies. Additionally, Dublin is known for its famous places such as Temple Bar, the Guinness Factory, St. Stephens Green and more. Its close proximity to other cities around Ireland and places around Europe makes it ideal to travel during weekends and explore new places.
Given all prospects, if I was asked to rethink my decision about Dublin, I wouldn’t think twice about it. It has been an amazing experience thus far and I would encourage anyone to apply and see what TCD, Dublin and Europe have to offer!