Volunteer dental students and doctors at New Horizon SDA School
Thursday, June 20th, 2013
A group of dentists and senior dental health students are on Ambergris Caye providing dental services for residents of the island. The group of eight are senior students from Loma Linda University in California, USA and are at New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) School. They will be on the island for five days and will primarily be looking at the students first then members of the public.
Speaking to the leader of the group Dr David Brodeur known on the island as “Dr B”, said that it is not the first time he has brought volunteers to island. “This is the eighth year that we are coming to Belize and to the island. We do fillings and screening, we don’t do for instance things like root canals; we refer them to local dentists here in Belize. This time we have two senior dental hygiene students who are cleaning teeth as well. We also do some extraction but we try not to do it in places that it will be a problem to their health since we are not on the island long enough to do follow ups” According to Dr B, while the students do most of the volunteer work, they are closely supervised by the three doctors, mainly Dr Scott Smith and himself who are inside the building when the students are dealing with patients. The third dental specialist, Dr Clark Bassham is a friend of Dr Smith from Alaska.
Because of the rain that came along with tropical depression II, Dr B said that the response was not as they expected. By volunteering, Dr B said that the students learn the art of giving back to the community through trips like the one currently being undertaken. “It is really a great experience for our students at Loma Linda University. We try to influence their lives at this point to be of service to people around them. It’s very easy as doctors to go out and get nice houses and cars and all those things. We want to show them that Jesus Christ is the center of our university and we want them to show them that it makes one feel really good to do things for other people just as He did.”
This year the group comprises of three doctors, six senior dental students and two senior dental hygiene students. Dr B has been a dental professor at Loma Linda University for 15 years. The group leaves on Friday June 21st.
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