Learning to Code as a Dental Student

When I was younger, my older brother would make me code through Khan Academy, and I hated it. I hated coming home from school because that meant he was going to make me sit at the computer and just code away. I didn’t understand anything about coding, and I had zero interest in it. My heart was in biology.

I loved learning anything there was to science. Anatomy was the most interesting class I took — it was something about being able to feel each muscle or movement while studying that made me grow a passion for it. In undergrad, I followed the typical pre-dental courses and got into dental school.

But then, dental school life sucked. A lot. Everyone in my class is so smart, and I wasn’t nearly as smart as them. It felt like everyone around me was succeeding and I wasn’t. But then I realized that although I might not be able to succeed just as well academically as them, that I could succeed in another area. I decided to sweep off the cobwebs from my coding experience and give it another shot — and I fell in love.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

I get into the pre-clinic around 7:30am and drill teeth until 11:30am. When it’s lunch time, I’ll head to the library and dedicate around an hour to code. My coding practice looks like this:

  • YouTube videos on Python
  • Codecademy
  • Daily Challenges

Then, I’ll head back to attend lectures at the school around 3:30pm. With practicals and exams, the day might end later. I then head back to my apartment and get a quick workout in. I’ve been jump-roping lately and it’s been so much fun. After my workout, I’ll re-watch some lectures for my dental school classes, and get back to coding.

I’m a dental student — what does coding have anything to do with teeth? I always thought the same thing, until I noticed how important coding was for the healthcare field as a whole. When we have clinic days, we’re relying on a computer software to keep track of our health records, we use electrical hand-pieces to configure the right RPM in order to drill into a tooth, and we use tele-dentistry on days that patient’s can’t make it in and need an emergency check-up. The list goes on and on.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

For the healthcare field, coding is a significantly important skillset to have. In fact, I believe that every single field benefits from coding experiences. For me, I still have a lot to learn about the field, and I don’t think I will be able to grasp every single thing there is to it. But, that is okay. As long as I keep trying, I am not failing. I hope to continue to learn, write, code, and enjoy the process! I hope to see you in the next article.

Stay sweet,

Ravjot

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Grad student who loves writing about everything | I’ll look over your personal statement: https://forms.gle/RbQs5LtZD7sAYkvE6

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Ravjot Kaur

Grad student who loves writing about everything | I’ll look over your personal statement: https://forms.gle/RbQs5LtZD7sAYkvE6