“My name is Krysten Herrero but most people call me Kiki. I am a second year dental student at Tufts University. Prior to starting dental school, I knew I wanted to be a part of something where I could give back to an underserved population that otherwise would not have access to health care. I found out about an organization called Mindo Futures Medical Mission, which travels to Mindo, Ecuador, once a year to provide medical services to the people of the town and the surrounding areas. Choosing to become a part of this organization changed my life. On my first mission, I wasn’t sure what to expect and as a pre-dental student I was assigned to assist one of the dentist’s in the clinic. While assisting I learned about many things, which really gave me an edge in the classroom and pre-clinical settings. I was also able to experience first-hand what it truly means to be a dentist: changing lives one person at a time by giving them a new front tooth or by easing a pain that they have had for years by doing a filling or an extraction. It was in Ecuador where I was able to validate my calling to become a dentist. It has been 4 years since I first went on this trip and I have been back each year since. I have established relationships with the people of the town and I soon hope to be able to call them my patients. This past summer I went on my 4th trip and as a current dental student, the dentists I have been working under for the past few years trusted me to do some of the less invasive procedures such as exams and prophylaxis treatments. By doing so, I have gained confidence in my abilities to treat people and also learned some of the bed side manner that can only be learned by experience. I am looking forward to returning to Ecuador and being able to put in to practice all of the skills and knowledge I have acquired at Tufts and helping those people who unknowingly have changed my life.”
– Krysten Herrero, D18
Interested in learning more about TUSDM students and their global service learning trips? Check out the Global Connections tab!