I study oral health: Amy Lo Monaco

What it's really like studying oral health
We caught up with Bachelor of Oral Health student to find out what it's really like studying at the University of Sydney School of Dentistry.
Amy Lo Monaco

Why did you choose your degree?

I always knew I wanted to have a career in healthcare and I thought dentistry and oral health were unique options. Dental care is also a very fearful topic for many people and I want to be part of making it comfortable rather than terrifying.

I'm not going to lie... I cried a bit when I found out I was accepted into the course. It seemed to be a really fun and interesting learning experience that was extremely different to other courses and degrees.

What does your typical day at uni look like?

A typical theory day involves a full day of lectures and tutorials on a variety of subjects to help enhance our skills and knowledge. A practical day involves a morning tutorial followed by treating patients and learning practical skills.

My favourite unit is currently 'Oral Health in Clinical Practice', because we get to implement all of our knowledge and develop practical skills with patients in the clinics and simulation clinics.

What surprised you most about this degree?

All of the lecturers are really supportive and help us learn effectively in creative ways. I was also surprised that we started to develop practical skills within the first weeks of the course, such as instrument handling and drilling into practice blocks.

How does university compare to high school?

University is completely different to high school in the best possible way. You get to study what you love and are interested in with similar minded people and that makes the overall experience even more enjoyable and exciting.

What are the people like?

Our cohort consists of about 35 people so we are all really close and treat each other like family. The small cohort also means we share the same classes and lecturers so we can all support each other with the workload.

My lecturers are really supportive and innovative with their teachings. We get to know them really well because we are such a small cohort. We also have many guest lecturers who are researchers in dental science which makes it interesting.

Have you been involved in anything outside the classroom?

We go on clinical placements to Nepean Hospital, Sydney Dental Hospital, Fairfield Hospital and rural settings. We also have a sport tournament every year called the Roland Bryant Cup where we compete against Charles Sturt University Dental Faculty.

What are your future career plans?

One of the best things about this degree is the variety of career paths you can choose from such as research, private clinics, public clinics and project management. I would be happy with any of those paths.

Any advice for someone who is thinking about applying for the Bachelor of Oral Health?

In so many aspects, the Bachelor of Oral Health is challenging but also extremely rewarding, unique and so much fun - so just go for it!

22 September 2017