The first time she traveled to Kenya to spend a few weeks volunteering at a World Health Dental Organization (WHDO) clinic, Dr. Katie Vincer Sears admits she was nervous. In the Oct. 16 episode of the ADA’s Beyond the Mouth podcast, she remembers thinking, “What am I getting myself into?”
As a fourth-year dental student at the University of Florida (UF), I’ve served patients across the state and found that dental caries was the most common condition I saw. This is no surprise, though, since it is the most prevalent of all oral diseases around the world, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016.
ASDA members can help bring healthier and happier smiles to children in the community by volunteering with Colgate’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures (BSBF) Dental Van program. BSBF invites members to volunteer by improving a smile, child by child, while having a rewarding hands-on community experience.
So you are a foreign-trained dentist who completed your Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) evaluation, received your DENTPIN, passed NBDE parts I and II, got a 100-plus score in TOEFL, and now you think you are all set for CAAPID. Before this part of the process, though, you need to get dental experience in the United States.
This year, ASDA continued the growth of the National Outreach Initiative, which was established in 2017 and brings attention to the oral health needs of underserved populations. The special populations highlighted this year included geriatric individuals, displaced populations and veterans.
This past fall, our Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) ASDA chapter partnered with our local Ronald McDonald House to serve families who are displaced while their seriously ill or injured child receives care at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. We helped provide home-cooked meals for families on a monthly basis, interacting with them and spreading information about our resources at IUSD, which is located across the street. These dinners also served as a time for the family members to share their child’s story and connect with other parents who may be going through similar experiences.
In January 2018, I began visiting the Boys & Girls Club of Jacksonville, Alabama. Through my involvement in my local community and its schools, I noticed that an overwhelming number of children lack professional role models. I wanted to help change that.