Contribution by Sabina Vlaeva, D4
In May 2017, 17 members of the AO Midwestern chapter embarked upon the adventure of a lifetime- a Dental Mission trip to Samana, Dominican Republic. We were hosted by Bright Island Outreach. We set up our mobile dental clinic in the city hall building, and for three very hot and long days, we treated over 300 patients (220 prophys, 180 fillings, 293 extractions, 7 root canals and 30 dentures).
The experience of seeing so many patients per day and a large number of procedures per student has been a tremendous growing experience. Some of the 3rd year students did our first root canal, and one of our first-year students did his first extraction! But we learned so much more than clinical skills: about the culture and beauty and people of Dominican Republic. About compassion. And about each other!! We got to know all our AO brothers and sisters, in 10 fun-filled days.
We already reserved the date for next year's trip, and all we can hope is that the next AO group will have just as fulfilling and unforgettable of an experience.