VLC Reflections: Sophia Yang
Sophia Yang, D1, showing us those pearly whites!

VLC Reflections: Sophia Yang

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I signed up for VLC because I wanted to improve my leadership skills so that I can better serve my classmates in my position as the class president. But I think regardless of someone’s title, it takes immense leadership skills, positivity, and adaptability to start dental school amidst a global pandemic, which are all skills that I continue to learn from my classmates. I wanted to find more inspiration by going to the VLC. 

One of my favorite sessions at the VLC was the one pertaining to healthcare professional burnouts. I have always considered it one of the most important and neglected topics in all areas of medicine. It is an uncomfortable topic, because when someone is young and have just found the career of their dreams, it seems less desirable to think about the negative aspects of it. I believe that it is healthy to romanticize about my future career a little bit, as long as the pattern of thinking does not prevent me from maintaining my past hobbies and passions. Dental school can be demanding, but it should not replace the other things in life that makes me happy. 

For example, for all dental students enrolled right now, dental school has been very different from what we had initially imagined. It is a time when one can reflect on our skills and willingness to adapt and to take care of our mental health. As it is for dental school, I wish I had the opportunity to attend the Leadership Conference in person, but I was still able to learn many valuable lessons from those who are experienced in the field. Here are some examples.

  • Leadership, especially when it comes to managing your own dental clinic/business, it is important to find the right balance between being everyone’s boss and friend. Too much of either would subtract from a healthy team dynamic. People who you manage should not be afraid to approach you. 
  • As medical professionals, our brains are trained to find the flaws in any system, such as our patients, but in life and when dealing with our personal relationship, we need to switch to look at things that we are grateful for. Happiness is associated with relationships and gratitude. 
  • One key to time management is prioritizing. This involves being honest with myself what is truly important to me.