During orientation, I remember Trevor, who is now called Dr. Kwagala. He was one of the moderators and whenever he mentioned the course he was doing, I would get shivers wandering if I too would ever be doing the things he was doing. He quickly became a symbol of excellence for me, like the other moderators probably were for the medical students. I also remember Paul, Dr. Esele. He calmly waited for us to finish each day of orientation and he would tell us about what medical school was like for a dental student. These two were my first contact with dental school and I now realize how important it is to have someone who has walked a journey receive you and guide you along the roads.
Mentorship is very vital in a high pressure environment like the one at dental school, or even in life. Mentors are like anchors and lighthouses at the same time. They remind you that everything is going to be fine, they lead you on to places you want to go and sometimes places you may not have been aware that you needed to go. I now firmly believe that in whatever area of your life, you need to look out for people that are better than you and inspire you to be better as a person and then to take them on as mentors. Often, these grow into rich relationships and burdens are much lighter because you have someone watching out for you and inspiring you to go further.
I have my mentors in dental school and as I edge towards the professional part of dentistry, I am beginning to identify Dentists who have excelled at their careers so I can find a way to convince them to take me on as a mentee. Dentistry is a very interesting field and a very rewarding career. Navigating it however, in a way that is fulfilling can be treacherous. Opportunities to learn and to grow must be recognized as such and utilized or else stagnation can become a reality. Find yourself a mentor and if you can, be a mentor too.
Abraham Lincoln Tentena