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.
I had been to Nicaragua and Colombia prior to enrolling at dental school, I knew this was the reason why I chose to come to TUSDM. However while enduring multiple exam blocks, gross anatomy lab, solving histo probes, wax-ups and operative practice in pre-clin, and pulling numerous all-nighters, I almost had forgotten why I wanted to be a dentist. But Haiti trip reminded me of my true motivation and drive to get through the next 3 years of dental school. I hope to take part in future Haiti trips and participate in other community service experiences. – Minhyung Ji (D19)