Reflections on a 2017AO Externship in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

By Kaitlin Laxer
University of North Carolina

After eagerly awaiting and finding out I was placed in my top choice city, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, I immediately began planning my Alpha Omega externship. What I enjoyed most about this experience was the liberty I had to plan the externship around what I love most: pediatric dentistry. I decided to expand the externship a bit and incorporate on-site school visits at two different pediatric programs in addition to visiting private practices. 

Externship 2017 LaxerI planned the program so that the first part of the externship would be visiting the pediatric residency programs and the second half would be the private practice visits. I was able to visit Dr. Brener’soffice in Cooper City and Dr. Sherman’s office in Davie, Florida. Both offices were unique and amazing in their own ways and showed different yet successful approaches in treating the pediatric patient. Dr. Brener’s colorful, state of the art office offered a fun, youthful vibe, and Dr. Sherman’s animal themed walls and open bay chairs provided a fun atmosphere for the kids. I was also fortunate enough to visit Nova Southeastern’s and Nicklaus Children’s pediatric residency programs in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami respectively. 

This too was a wonderful opportunity to explore how two very different, yet highly successful, programs approach their pediatric care. I was able to complete a great deal of shadowing at every stop and see everything from sedation to successful behavior management techniques in operative dentistry to preventive care and also spend a great deal of time exploring the beautiful South Florida area with my boyfriend, an AO alum and new resident of Ft. Lauderdale. I am very grateful that these educational yet fun two weeks were made possible by Alpha Omega’s externship program.