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Posts Tagged ‘Doctor of Dental Medicine’

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Meet one of your University of Sydney dentistry professors!

Have you applied to the University of Sydney dentistry program?

We’d like to introduce you to Dr Susie Dracopoulos, Year coordinator, DMD1 Tooth Conservation Coordinator, Foundations of Clinical Dentistry A Unit of Study Coordinator, Academic Simulation Coordinator, and Academic eLearning Coordinator.

Sydney Dental School

Dr Susie Dracopoulos (Photo: University of Sydney)

Being a dental student is not so different to being a busy clinician: the workload is high and it involves a lot of time management and work/life balance.

The DMD program allows students to not only be strong clinicians, but also teaches them to look for evidence before making decisions. Being a dentist is a career that requires lifelong inquiry and I think the course instills this in our students.

Being based primarily at Sydney Dental Hospital has huge advantages; it’s a working dental hospital so we see real patients with real problems. This calls for students to provide the highest quality patient-centred care—a skill vital for practice.

A typical day in DMD1 Tooth Conservation starts in our fantastic modern simulation clinics. When I am demonstrating a particular restorative technique I like to screen an instructional video, or have live demos and then students repeat this procedure on a mannequin. The content of the course is developed to give students the best foundation knowledge in dentistry, and then they can apply the manual dexterity skills to perform as a competent clinician.

As the coordinator of the simulation clinic, I’ve seen firsthand how vital it is for first-year dentistry students to develop the fine motor and technical skills they will need for practice. We’ve recently been lucky enough to receive funding to purchase some state-of-the-art virtual simulators, which give students instant feedback on their performance. This means students don’t have to wait for their tutor, or the rest of the class, and so learning becomes self-paced, and allows students to make mistakes in a safe environment.

The DMD program has a strong element of blended learning—a mix of face-to-face and eLearning. I am enthusiastic in pursuing more opportunities to expand our eLearning, giving students the flexibility to study some material in their own time and pace outside of the lecture rooms. Virtual simulation is an exciting new form of eLearning, with many more opportunities of this kind of learning soon to be included in our dental programs.

I love teaching and seeing students develop their skills and become the best clinicians they can be. I enjoy interacting with students and helping them get through the program, offering my expertise to help them find perspective on the challenges they face.

Do you think the Sydney Doctor of Dental Medicine program is right for you?

Program: Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales (Camperdown/Darlington campus)
Semester intake: February each year
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: June 20, 2018

Apply to the University of Sydney Dental School!

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Would you like more info about applying to the University of Sydney dentistry program? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Alexa Graham at alexa@oztrekk.com.

Monday, May 28th, 2018

Australian dental school application deadlines

Australian dental schools are very popular among Canadian students. Why? It’s because of the reciprocal agreement between Canada and Australia allowing international graduates of accredited dentistry programs from both countries to be considered the same as domestic graduates. Canadians who have graduated from an accredited Australian dentistry program are required to write the same National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) Written Examination and Objective Structured Clinical Examination as someone who graduated from a Canadian dentistry program before he or she would be licensed to practice.

Now on to the good part: the application deadlines. Remember, it’s always best to apply as early as possible since dentistry admissions can be very competitive! If you’ve already filled out an Australian dental schools application, now is the time to get the remaining app documents in!

Upcoming Australian dental school application deadlines

Don’t miss the upcoming Australian dental school application deadlines!

University of Western Australia

Degree: Doctor of Dental Medicine
International places: 6
Deadline: Wednesday, May 30, 2018

University of Sydney

Degree: Doctor of Dental Medicine
International places: 25+
Deadline: Monday, July 30, 2018
Note: Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

University of Melbourne

Degree: Doctor of Dental Surgery
International places: 20 – 25+
Deadline: Monday, July 30, 2018
Note: If you wish to apply for a fee waiver, you must have all application documents submitted to OzTREKK before July 13.

Griffith University

Degree: Bachelor of Dental Health Science & Master of Dentistry
International places: 25
Deadline: Thursday, August 30, 2018
Note: Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

James Cook University

Degree: Bachelor of Dental Surgery
International places: 15 – 25
Deadline: Thursday, August 30, 2018
Note: JCU sometimes issues early offers to highly qualified students. If you apply early, there may be an opportunity to meet with the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine when they are in Canada for med interviews (this June). This is strongly recommended if you are interested in studying at JCU.

Charles Sturt University

Degree: Bachelor Dental Science
International places: 10
Deadline: September 27, 2018
Note: This program fills quickly! Candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

University of Queensland

Degree: Bachelor of Dental Science
International places: 40
Deadline: October 30, 2018
Note: This program has filled for the 2019 intake. (As this program is extremely competitive, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.)

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Do you need help with your Australian dental school application? Please contact OzTREKK’s Dentistry Admissions Officer Alexa Graham at alexa@oztrekk.com. We’re here to help!

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

What do OzTREKK students think of Sydney Dental School?

If you’re considering studying in Australia, but unsure of which university and program is right for you, student reviews can really help reaffirm some gut feelings, or just help point you in the right direction.

Sydney Dental School

OzTREKK student Bhavisha Thankey (Photo: University of Sydney)

Here, we look at what OzTREKK students say about studying at Sydney Dental School. Did we mention we love that our Australian universities like to feature OzTREKK students? You guys are high-calibre stuff!

“My favourite part of this degree is getting hands-on experience really early. By the end of our second year we’re already seeing our own patients and managing our own treatment plans. Because of the responsibility and control we are given during our studies, we leave university with the skills needed to be successful in the community.” Bhavisha Thankey, Doctor of Dental Medicine

 

Sydney Dental School

OzTREKK student Yasmin Samiee (Photo: University of Sydney)

“I chose to study at the University of Sydney because the university and its dental school are ranked among the top fifty in the world for academic excellence. I was also drawn to the calibre of research and educational opportunities, which involves placements and service in under-served communities around Australia.

“I am grateful that we have been able to apply theoretical knowledge into practice so early in the course. By our third week of classes, we had already begun practicing dentistry on plastic models in our simulation clinic. Not only have we greatly improved our manual dexterity, we have become proficient and confident as clinicians. There is a strong sense of responsibility and ownership that accompanies this level of autonomy.” Yasmin Samiee, Doctor of Dental Medicine

 

Sydney Dental School

OzTREKK student Borna Ansari (Photo: University of Sydney)

“Studying the Doctor of Dental Medicine at the University of Sydney was my top preference over other universities. It has a great overall educational reputation and you start pre-clinical sessions early on in the course. The fact that Australian degrees can be easily transferred back to Canada also encouraged me to study in Sydney.

“The University of Sydney also provides a great learning environment. Each week I have the opportunity to practice a range of dental procedures in the clinical environment. I also learn from lecturers who share their diverse passions and experiences from their professional practice. Learning from their outlook and experience has helped me understand the many avenues of dentistry.” Borna Ansari, Doctor of Dental Medicine

 

Is the Sydney Dental School dentistry program for you?

The Sydney Dental School’s four-year, full-time, graduate-entry Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) course offers you the opportunity to develop skills through practice-based learning and will expose you to new dental technologies and research. The DMD will educate you to draw on evidence to treat patients effectively and respond to the changing oral health needs of the community. It will instill a dedication for lifelong learning, self-development and self-evaluation. The Sydney DMD has evolved with changing market demands for newly graduated dentists to join clinical practice confidently and ethically and take up leadership roles in the profession.

Program: Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales (Camperdown/Darlington campus)
Semester intake: February each year
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the February 2018 intake, applications closed June 20, 2017. Students are encouraged to begin their applications as soon as possible.

Apply to the University of Sydney Dental School!

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Do you need help with your dental school application? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Melanie Ireton at melanie@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

University of Western Australia moves up in world rankings

The University of Western Australia has climbed five places in the Academic Ranking of World Universities to be placed 91st in the world.

The result, announced this week by the independent ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, confirms UWA’s reputation as one of Australia’s—and the world’s—top tertiary education institutions.

University of Western Australia moves up in world rankings

UWA is part of the Group of Eight (Go8), a coalition of world-leading research intensive Australian universities.

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater said UWA’s rise from 96th to 91st was a great achievement.

“This is an incredible achievement for a university, which is relatively young by world standards and which was founded thanks to the determination and generosity of the people of Western Australia. UWA has grown and continues to be ranked as one of the world’s best universities,” Professor Freshwater said.

“These results demonstrate that we are an internationally reputed research-intensive university, which is delivering world-class outcomes not only for our students, but also for our broad range of stakeholders.

“This scale up the ranking aligns with our active strategy to attract new talent to the UWA community, as we position the university for further future success.

“As part of the transformation, UWA is seeking 50 world-class academics to drive excellence in teaching and research and we’re well advanced in this international recruitment campaign.”

The ARWU rankings are compiled using several indicators including staff and alumni who have won Nobel prizes, highly cited researchers and research papers published in Nature and Science.

What do Canadians study at the University of Western Australia?

The Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) at the University of Western Australia is a four-year, full-time professional degree with a significant research component. Emphasis is placed on the acquisition of relevant knowledge in the basic medical sciences to support the staged development of clinical dental competencies and skills. Early clinical contact is pivotal to the course and students will enter the clinic from the first semester of their study.

UWA’s Doctor of Medicine (MD) program is a highly integrated and contextualised course with many innovative features to equip graduates with the capabilities to work as a doctor in Australian and around the world. The degree is structured around six core themes: Professional, Leader, Advocate, Clinician, Educator, and Scholar (PLACES). The PLACES curriculum structure encourages students to learn about the humanistic and non-technical aspects of being a doctor, while continuing to emphasise the importance of developing clinical competence and scholarly capabilities.

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Are you interested in studying medicine or dentistry at the University of Western Australia? Contact OzTREKK at info@oztrekk.com for more information.

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Dentistry research at the front line of tobacco intervention

Dentistry research is at the front line of tobacco intervention

Sydney Dental School

Learn more about Sydney Dental School

Smoking is a primary risk factor for periodontal disease and oral cancer and is one of the leading preventable causes of death. Healthcare providers have access to evidence-based guidelines that can help patients quit smoking; however, the translation of that knowledge and adoption into daily practice remains low. Healthcare providers are missing opportunities to address tobacco-use with their patients due to limited time and lack of health behaviour change expertise.

Concerns around how best to manage patients’ tobacco-use are raised in dental settings across the world. Innovative strategies are emerging in the behavioural sciences area; however, screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRTs) methods can be difficult to apply to the individual patients.

How is dentistry research at the University of Sydney addressing this issue?

Professor Heiko Spallek, Pro-Dean of Dentistry at the University of Sydney  and Dr Brad Rindal, Associate Dental Director for Research at HealthPartners Institute, Minnesota are conducting a clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of Clinical Decision Support (CDS) to improve dental provider delivery of SBIRTs.

What does the clinical trial involve?

The overarching goal of this research is to reduce smoking-associated morbidity and mortality by increasing the number of dental patients who are referred for tobacco cessation counseling. This program aims to

  • evaluate the effectiveness of clinical decision support (CDS) and,
  • improve dental provider delivery of brief tobacco interventions and referrals to tobacco quitlines for further tobacco counseling.

In this research, the CDS is being integrated within two commonly used electronic dental record systems and will generate personalised evidence-based recommendations for dental providers. These records will help dental professionals to actively engage with patients who smoke as part of the course of usual dental care.

The tobacco CDS will be tested within two dental schools, the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and the Indiana University School of Dentistry as well as sixteen private-practice clinics. The research project is funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research for over two million US dollars.

Sydney Dentistry’s Doctor of Dental Medicine

The Sydney Dental School’s DMD is a graduate-entry program that has been purposefully designed to adhere to the well-rounded course structure of the North American postgraduate model, but has also maintained the sophisticated clinical training for which the University of Sydney has come to be renowned, giving students an applicable knowledge of dental health from the community to the laboratory.

Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales (Camperdown/Darlington campus)
Semester intake: February each year
Duration: 4 years

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Are you interested in dentistry at the University of Sydney ? Email OzTREKK’s Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com for more information!

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

What are the Australian dental school application deadlines?

Wondering what the admissions timelines are for our Australian dental schools? We’re so glad you asked!

Interested in studying dentistry in Australia?

Here are the application deadlines. Remember, it’s always best to apply as soon as possible since dentistry admissions can be very competitive.

University of Western Australia

Degree: Doctor of Dental Medicine
International places: 6
Deadline: Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Charles Sturt University

Degree: Bachelor Dental Science
International places: 10
Deadline: Thursday, June 15, 2017
Note: CSU uses application rounds; however, the program fills quickly. You are encouraged to apply no later than this date.

University of Sydney

Degree: Doctor of Dental Medicine
International places: 15 – 25
Deadline: Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Note: As the cycle is short, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

University of Melbourne

Degree: Doctor of Dental Surgery
International places: 15 – 25
Deadline: July 28, 2017
Note: If you wish to apply for a fee waiver, you should have all application documents submitted to OzTREKK approximately a week prior to the deadline.

James Cook University

Degree: Bachelor of Dental Surgery
International places: 15 – 25
Deadline: August 30, 2017
Note: While the deadline is in August, in the past, the university has issued early offers to highly qualified students through the summer. If you apply early, there may be an opportunity to meet with the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine when they are in Canada for med interviews (end of June). This is strongly recommended if you are interested in studying at JCU.

University of Queensland

Degree: Bachelor of Dental Science
International places: 40
Deadline: October 30, 2017
Note: As this program is extremely competitive, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

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Would you like more information about studying dentistry in Australia? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

OzTREKK welcomes two more Australian universities!

Because we like to offer our students as many study options as possible, we now have two more Australian universities offering popular programs like medicine, dentistry, and law!

All of us at OzTREKK are pleased to announce that we are now an official Canadian representative of two additional Australian universities: Charles Sturt University, and the University of Western Australia.

Charles Sturt University

Learn more about CSU

Charles Sturt University

First, meet Charles Sturt University! Established in 1989, it was named in honour of Captain Charles Sturt, a British explorer who made expeditions into regional New South Wales and South Australia.

While CSU has many campuses located in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory, OzTREKK students will be headed to Orange, New South Wales, for their Bachelor of Dental Science program. Nestled in the Central Tablelands of NSW, 260 km west of Sydney, Orange is a progressive city with a friendly country atmosphere. The city’s 38,000 residents enjoy excellent retail, sporting, educational and health services. With two movie cinemas, restaurants offering a range of cuisine, popular Farmers’ Markets, wineries and an annual FOOD Week, Orange combines boutique shops, sporting facilities, and quality educational and health services.

University of Western Australia

Learn more about UWA

University of Western Australia

How about heading to the west coast of Australia for a change? If so, you’re in for a treat: Perth, Australia is incredibly beautiful, and you get to enjoy stunning sunsets over the Indian Ocean!

The University of Western Australia is a research-intensive university and one of the internationally recognised Australian Group of Eight (which also includes the University of Queensland, the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne, and Monash University).

OzTREKK students will be happy to know that UWA offers three in-demand degree options for Canadian students:

UWA’s picturesque Crawley campus is located on the Swan River just 10 minutes from Perth. The campus offers you a range of cafes, bookshops, banks, a vibrant cultural precinct, myriad clubs and societies, a supportive Student Guild, and on- and off-campus accommodation options.

We are thrilled to welcome you, Charles Sturt University and University of Western Australia!

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If you have any questions about our new Australian universities, please email info@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355. We’re here to help!

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Features of the University of Sydney Doctor of Dental Medicine

As Australia’s first dental school, the Sydney Dental School has been training dental practitioners for more than 100 years.

Sydney graduates are caring, clear thinking, clinically outstanding and research capable. They are engaged and globally aware and have the capability to become leaders in oral health, dentistry and research.

Features of the University of Sydney Doctor of Dental Medicine

Learn more about Sydney Dental School

The Doctor of Dental Medicine is based on a full recognition of the greater level of academic maturity and higher level analytical, clinical and communication skills of postgraduate students. This allows for higher order learning with a greater emphasis on independent, self-directed learning. Consequently it is expected that students will achieve quantitatively and qualitatively greater clinical (i.e., patient-based) experience.

Important features of the DMD include

  • focusing on the relevance of medical sciences to oral health and to dental practice;
  • earlier patient-based clinical experience and increased clinical experience to be obtained in clinics in metropolitan, rural and remote areas;
  • science-based prerequisite coursework;
  • utilising contemporary teaching and learning methods aligned to a course at a master’s degree level, with emphasis on electronic resources and learner–centred studies to provide the foundation material/knowledge, supported by tutorials to facilitate understanding and reflection
  • development of graduates who consistently display higher-order cognitive skills to synthesise, integrate and translate research and knowledge to communication and clinical skills, and practice dentistry at the highest professional and ethical level;
  • a defined research component as foundation to an evidence-based approach to professional practice, clearly distinguishing the education from a skills-based approach. Furthermore, this will prepare students for higher degree research studies and possible careers in research and/or academia;
  • the development of leadership skills which distinguish the Sydney Doctor of Dental Medicine graduates and their contribution to the dental profession, academia and public health services;
  • exposure, either in person or through mentoring, to international oral health activities.

University of Sydney Doctor of Dental Medicine

The University of Sydney Doctor of Dental Medicine is an extremely popular program! It is recommended that candidates submit their applications as early as possible.

Program: Doctor of Dental Medicine
Location: Sydney, New South Wales
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: TBA. For the 2017 intake, applications closed June 21, 2016.

Apply to the University of Sydney Dental School!

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Find out more about the Doctor of Dental Medicine at Sydney Uni! Contact Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355 for more information.

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf Part 2

If you’re considering studying dentistry in Australia, you’ve come to the right place.

Every year, OzTREKK helps hundreds of prospective students apply to dental schools in Australia, and because of the reciprocal agreement between Canada and Australia regarding dentistry accreditation, getting a dentistry degree in Australia is a very attractive option for many people—including OzTREKK student Lorynn Westad, who’s currently in her first year at Sydney Dental School.

(Continuation from “From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf“)

From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf

Me as a Rural Health Ambassador (med, physio, pharmacy, nursing were also present) with the Mirage Rural Health Initiative on their trip demonstrating some fine motor skills required for dentistry to some eager high school students

My educational background is fairly unremarkable. I came from a small public school in a farming community, my elementary school class only having five people in my grade. My high school had approximately 90 people in my grade and was located in an industry town with trade occupations dominating the future career interests of most of my classmates. Upon graduation I was one of three people who ventured out of the community to pursue university study and commenced my journey towards becoming a dental professional.

Choosing to study dentistry

I had a positive experience as a kid. I had absolutely terrible teeth, so bad I never smiled in pictures because I was extremely self-conscious. To make things even more difficult, because of my occlusion, I also had a very obvious speech impediment that truly affected my ability to create and take advantage of social opportunities, and impacted my confidence a great deal. Eventually, I was able to get braces. In as little as a few months my teeth straightened significantly. It totally revolutionised my concept of self, and my self-esteem.

“The best things in life are worth working for.”

In addition, my speech improved to a point where my impediment was barely noticeable. Being able to appreciate what a huge difference the state of my smile made for me, I became quite fascinated by everything to do with teeth, and wanted to do the same for others one day. Plus with dentistry being a perfect integration of arts and science, it was a natural fit for me and I became determined to become part of the profession.

From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf

Real action shot from sim clinic from the POV of the mannequin

Choosing to move to Australia

Studying abroad, particularly for the entirety of your degree, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With a desire for adventure and taking the path less travelled, I decided that studying in Australia was something that I had to do.

The Sydney was my first choice as I was attracted to the fact that the university offered the graduate-level Doctor of Dental Medicine, as well as the beautiful city itself is on the coast. I know that my choice to come to the University of Sydney was the right one.

Choosing to embrace a challenge

I am enjoying the DMD program immensely, although I have never studied so much in my entire life. The program is extremely challenging, more so than I had initially thought, but despite it being overwhelming sometimes it is an excellent program. I was shocked that in the very first few weeks we start attending Simulation Clinic where we practice and develop our manual dexterity by drilling, filling, and polishing the teeth of our mannequin. Most programs don’t introduce this practical component so early, and I think having the early introduction, maximizing my opportunity to develop my practical skills will shape me into a very competent (and confident!) dentist upon graduation.

From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf

Me with some fellow dental/medical students (newfound friends) after the 5K Color Run in Sydney

Choosing where to live

I ended up going with university accommodation at International House. It’s amazing because it’s right on campus, but the only fallback was that since the Sydney dental program is so busy, I haven’t been able to be as active in the International House community as I would like.

Living on campus is perfect for me. The only drawback is that it is expensive. I pay about $430 a week for a self-catered studio (fully furnished, unlimited internet, all utilities included). The nice thing was everything was set up for me when I got there so I didn’t have to stress at all.

“Studying abroad, particularly for the entirety of your degree, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

If I had any advice, I would say living on campus for the first semester is the best way to get used to Sydney. If you can get a half-year lease—many of my friends moved to less expensive or more attractive locations during their mid-semester break, but it’s really tough to know the area at first—don’t be intimidated. You’ll be oriented in no time!

Choosing to share tips with others

From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf

Me intermingling with the medical students at the Annual Medical Ball (they call me the “honorary med student”—made friends with med and dent!)

Watch flights for months before you go, as sometimes there are some really great deals. One of my classmates had a ticket for $600$ CAD one way—he just had a 22-hour layover in Hawaii. He spent most of his layover on the beach!

Plan early! It’s an expensive investment in yourself so make sure that it’s right for you. If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying. Identify where you could improve, whether that be with your DAT, GPA, or interview, and take the initiative to improve your areas of weakness! Don’t be discouraged!

I’m glad about the lack of Canadian winter! But honestly, the friendships that I’m building—that’s my favourite part. It’s an amazing adventure and a phenomenal opportunity, but prepare to work hard! Use your resources, make friends, and inspire each other. Embrace the challenge positively and believe in yourself.

The best things in life are worth working for.

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Are you interested in studying dentistry in Australia? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Dental Schools Admissions Officer Adam Smith at adam@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355.

Monday, October 17th, 2016

From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf

Believe it or not, Canada and Australia have a lot more in common that you think: friendly, relaxed people; small population relative to land area; cities and towns relatively far apart; population concentrated along borders; a need for rural and remote health care; and weather extremes. While Australia boasts lofty, soaring temperatures, Canada lifts its chin with an icy stare and subzero grin. Aussies are proud of their ability to roast in the heat, and Canadians are keenly aware of their defence of hockey, Tim Hortons, and ability to frolic outside in the bitter cold sans heavy-duty winter gear.

Yes, we Canadians can endure chilly winters, but compared to say, the real Great White North, how cold are we?

Meet Lorynn. She’s from Yellowknife. Lorynn decided to swap Canadian snow for Australian surf and just a little bit of dentistry at the University of Sydney, New South Wales. Here’s her story!

From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf

Enjoying  a NWT plane ride

My name is Lorynn Westad. I’m from Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories in Canada. Even some Canadians are uncertain where Yellowknife is, but most know that it is far, far north. This is true, and Yellowknife is actually the last capital city in the northern direction before you leave Canada and head over the North Pole.

Some people know Yellowknife from the TV shows Ice Road Truckers, or Ice Pilots, both of which are filmed out of Yellowknife. It’s no coincidence that both of these shows include Ice in their titles. As you can gather by the location, we experience weather extremes unlike anything encountered in the southern Canadian provinces. People think it’s absolutely crazy that I would choose to live in such a remote area where you are in a constant battle with the weather, but the truth is, Yellowknife is a very special place, too.

There are three questions that I am commonly asked by people once they find out where I live:

From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf

Ice Palace for the community

1. Wow, it must be cold up there! How cold does it get and is it cold year-round?

Yes, it gets extremely cold sometimes. From October to the end of March each year, you get everything from 5° Celsius, all the way down to -50° Celsius—and that doesn’t include the windchill factor. Head-to-toe Canada Goose down-wear is a necessity, unless of course you want to freeze.

In addition to the cold, our days are extremely short during the winter, with some days only having a small sliver of sunlight for a few hours before the darkness returns. Fortunately, we come together as a community in those months to play indoor sports, have community social functions, and the notorious Ice King builds a breathtaking ice palace for the entire community to enjoy.

During the summer months (June to August), the Yellowknife area is the most beautiful place to be. You have sun all day long, temperatures ranging from the low 20s to the high 30s, and beautiful expansive lakes with unrivalled fishing. In fact, it is so nice we even have a beach, a popular hangout for the entire community, with weekly beach volleyball games and paddleboarding if you should choose.

2. Have you ever seen the Northern Lights?

This is one of the most amazing parts about where I live. I see the Northern lights at least once a week if not more often. Pinks, greens, blues, purples—there’s a reason people travel from far and wide to see our phenomenal aurora borealis!

From Yellowknife to Sydney: OzTREKK student trades snow for surf

Current Sydney DMD student, Lorynn Westad

3. What do you do for fun there?

During the summer there’s limitless opportunity and possibility for outdoor sports. Some of the best fishing in Canada can be found in the numerous massive lakes surrounding Yellowknife with lake trouts weighing up to an impressive 80lbs being yielded from the lake.

In the summer, you can go camping at the nearby Fred Henne Campground, go for a hike through the numerous trails, or go down to the sand dunes with a four-wheeler with your friends. Every July, Yellowknife also hosts the “Folk on the Rocks” music festival where people come from far and wide come to enjoy great music, wonderful company, and good food.

During the winter, there is no shortage of recreational sports teams that you can join. With a multiplex housing with indoor soccer fields, a Racquet Club, and open gymnasiums at the numerous schools in the community (for basketball, badminton, and volleyball), you can always find a way to keep active with your neighbours and friends. Since Yellowknife is so isolated, everyone in the town depends on each other and there is a very strong sense of community—you certainly don’t have to go very far to find a familiar smiling face.

Sydney Dental School’s Doctor of Dental Medicine

The Sydney Dental School’s DMD is a graduate-entry program that has been purposefully designed to adhere to the well-rounded course structure of the North American postgraduate model, but has also maintained the sophisticated clinical training for which the University of Sydney has come to be renowned, giving students an applicable knowledge of dental health from the community to the laboratory.

Program: Doctor of Medicine (MD)
Location: Sydney, New South Wales (Camperdown/Darlington campus)
Semester intake: February each year
Duration: 4 years

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Stay tuned for Lorynn’s next blog: why she chose to study dentistry so far away from home—the University of Sydney, Australia!