When I first when to Dr. Kim’s pre-trip meeting introducing the Haiti dental service trip, I expected it to be a vacation. I thought about my classmates’ Facebook pictures of them treating patients in an air conditioned modern clinic, trekking in the jungle, and relaxing in the beach. I knew that Haiti was in the Caribbean and when I thought of Caribbean islands, what I pictured were tropical resorts. The meeting was introductory, so we didn’t go into details about the trip itself. I should’ve done more research. But I was a 3rd year dental student at the moment, so I was more preoccupied with successfully finishing my first denture case and studying for my implant exam the following week. On the night before leaving to Haiti, I remember packing my bathing suit and sunglasses in my suitcase. I was glad that I forgot to pack my beach towel, because my bathing suit and sunglasses never left my suitcase throughout the trip.
We were in Haiti for only 6 days, so Dr. Kim didn’t waste time. Starting from day 1, we checked the church building that will be used as a clinic the next day and organized dental supplies that we will use the next day into a few bags for easy transportation. The food that our host provided was delicious and the view outside of the window was the exotic landscape of Haiti, not the usual Chinatown streets that I can see from the library windows. Everything just felt perfect the first day.
Continue reading Haiti Service Learning Trip Part II: Paul Kang (D16) Reflects – April 2016
A group of TUSDM students along with a few TUSDM alumni, took a 7 day trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti this past spring break. As part of KADA (Korean American Dental Association) at TUSDM with the help of Dentist for Humanity, we were able to setup free dental clinic in various towns near Port-au-Prince. As a first year dental student, I was able to observe so many dental treatments up close and was able to interact with patients.
One of the most memorable days was day 5 when we visited the Eglise Salut Pour Tous, in Mariana, Loeogane, Haiti. We set up our clinic at the local school and had many young children and students visit us. As soon as we arrived at the school, we were greeted by swarms of young children who had big smiles on their faces. They were chanting and singing as we greeted them one by one. Lots of hugs, kisses, and high-fives were given out. It was a heartwarming and memorable to be around these children and young students. Their giggles and laughter made me forget all about the hot and humid weather we had to endure.
Continue reading Haiti Service Learning Trip: MinHyung Ji (D19) Reflects – April 2016
With the alarm blaring at 6:30 am, I awoke to the sun rising on a Monday morning. However, this was no ordinary Monday; I wasn’t getting ready to go to school, but rather was preparing for my first day of a weeklong service trip in Jamaica. Within the hour, I quickly got changed, packed my camera, and ran by the hotel cafeteria to get a bite to eat to sustain me for the long day ahead. Finally reaching the bus, I was greeted by the other students and faculty that had made the trip from their homes to volunteer their time and service to the local population. With excitement and a hint of nervousness in the air, we all departed the hotel for a two-hour ride to our first location.
Continue reading Jamaica Service Learning Trip Part III: Tim Kim (D18) Reflects
It’s Work Day 1 of the trip, and after a two hour bus ride to a church in a rural town called Clermont, we arrive at our work site. We get off of the bus and chaos ensues as children and adults alike greet us, anxious to get inside for care. We scatter, converting folding tables into surgical stations and hygiene bays. The second year dental students man the hygiene station, excited to see our first patients that aren’t our classmates. The morning flies by. After a blur of cleanings one after another – scaling-prophy-fluoride, scaling-prophy-fluoride – I am called over to do my first local anesthesia injection since our certification workshop in class two weeks earlier.
Continue reading Jamaica Service Learning Trip Part II: Kelly Barbera (D18) Reflects
“Last month I had the opportunity to travel to Jamaica for the second time on a dental outreach program. My first trip was five years ago, while a pre-dental student in college. Returning to Jamaica, this year, I was once again charmed by the Jamaican people, and their “no problem” attitude. The outreach was incredible. It was a real life experience that brought together aspects of basic sciences, clinical expertise and global outreach. It was not uncommon to have an adult patient who was diabetic or had high blood pressure; thus, we utilized our medical team and our understanding of medical issues to clear these patients for treatment. Our background in global outreach and knowledge from the GSL course helped us understand the culture, while our skills in providing anesthesia and hygiene were put to the test.
Continue reading Michael Golub (D18) Reflects on his Service Trip to Jamaica
In January 2016, the Tufts Global Outreach program will be visiting Jamaica for the very first time! Michael Golub (D18)
first visited Jamaica in 2011 as a volunteer with Healthcare International. This year three additional students [Tahira Williams (D16), Kelly Barbera (D18), Tim Kim (D18)]
will be joining him along with students from Michigan dental school and faculty from the dental school at NYU. Healthcare International is an organization made up of dentists and physicians whole goal is to provide dental and medical care for patients in the rural areas of Jamaica who have little or no access to health care. The Tufts team will be providing dental extractions, cleanings, fillings as well as offering a full range of preventative care including: oral health education, free toothbrushes and toothpaste. This trip will offer the Tufts students a unique clinical experience as well as allow TUSDM to partner with an organization that has a strong proven record or providing essential care to an underserved population in Jamaica.
A native from Jamaica, Tahira Williams (D16)
states “I decided to participate firstly because it was an opportunity to go home and give back to a community that has limited access to dental care and secondly it would be a good learning experience outside of the United States.”
Help the students reach their fundraising goal by donating at the link below: