A day in their scrubs

August 20th, 2014

02students-dits-zimmererMeet fourth-year dental student Rachel Zimmerer.

Rachel Zimmerer is full of surprises. This identical twin and proud owner of a 14-ounce, 5-month-old hedgehog spent her childhood feeding calves and driving tractors. Now she shares where she goes to “get away from it all” and her theory on what happens to all those delectable treats she receives from her most devoted patient.

Hometown: Lindsay, Texas

Dental school survival strategy: My motto for D1 and D2 year is to work really hard during the week, but always remember to take breaks for yourself. It’s too much to study 24/7 and not sleep.

Most productive time of day: I like to wake up before the sun does, get my coffee, and if I need to study or fill out any applications, I do it early.

Best way to unwind after a long day in lecture, lab or clinic: I just got a pet hedgehog. His name is Bismarck. I became slightly obsessed with them and took the plunge and got him. Hedgehogs are nocturnal, so Bismarck gets really cranky when I come home and wake him up from sleeping. At night he wakes me up, because he’s up running around, eating and playing. My friends are a little scared at first because he’s pretty prickly, but they warm up to him quickly.

Favorite energy food: Any dessert that is baked by my mom — Claudia Zimmerer. She is a patient of mine at the school, and she always brings something with her when she has appointments. Everyone knows when she has been here. She just sets the treats on my desk in the second floor lab, and word spreads. One time she brought 50 cupcakes, and we went back down after the appointment at 4:30, and there were two left!

Goal after graduation: I am going to apply to some AEGD and GPR programs. I’m applying to a few across the country, so it’s anybody’s guess where I’ll be at this time next year. I will probably come back to Texas or the surrounding areas. I don’t want to go too far; all of my family pretty much lives in Lindsay — population 1,000, give or take — but it’s a little small to sustain a dentist.

What people may not know about you: I have a twin sister. We are the youngest of six kids, and we have a big family that I love. I grew up on a farm and have driven tractors, fed calves; I’ve done it all. That’s where I like to go to get away from it all when I want to get out of Dallas.

— Jennifer Fuentes