Who’s serving whom? Fulfillment through public health dentistry

WelcomeHealth Northwest Arkansas Free Health Center was my first dental observation at a nonprofit healthcare facility. Here I experienced patient-centered care in its true form. One particular encounter with a mother and her eight-year-old daughter changed my perception of the dental profession and inspired me to pursue a career in public health.

The mother spoke fluent Spanish and limited English. Her daughter, the patient that day, served as the translator for her own primary tooth extraction. The two-member dental staff and I spoke only limited Spanish.