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2019 AO Externship Report: Jaime Barron

yesThis past summer, I had the privilege of participating in the AO externship program.  When applying for the position, I was hopeful that the opportunity would provide me with further insight into the field of dentistry and help to connect me with dentists in Toronto where I hope to practice one day. Now that I have completed the externship, I can confidently say that the experience provides that and so much more. I was assigned to Dr. Sharon Perlmutter in Toronto and after getting in touch with one another, we decided to plan the assignment at the beginning of June. After sending a few emails back and forth and inquiring about my interests in specialization, Dr. Perlmutter was buzzing with ideas on how to make the experience impactful for me. She had a long list of other dentists and specialists to introduce me to and arranged for me to shadow. She also invited me to a handful of AO events. She was unbelievably accommodating and determined to ensure that this program would be tailored just for me!

When the program began in June, I spent my first few days and last few days in Dr. Perlmutter’s office where I gained more insight into dentistry in that short time than I had in my 100+ hours of prior shadowing experience. Dr. Perlmutter took the time to explain everything and was encouraging of my curiosity. Additionally, the team of staff in her office was very welcoming. Each of them took the time to get to know me and was always open to answering any questions that I had. After the first few days, Dr. Perlmutter arranged a time for me to spend shadowing other dentists and specialists in Toronto. I shadowed endodontists, orthodontists, and a periodontist. I also shadowed in a dental clinic that had a team of over 10 dentists/specialists and 20 staff. Each of these experiences provided me with a different perspective on the varying fields and how differently practicing dentistry in Toronto can be depending on your interests. Being able to learn from the experience of other professionals in the field was invaluable and gave me the chance to reflect on my own future professional practice. 

By the end of the 2 weeks, I not only gained a deeper understanding of the daily joys, struggles, and processes that shape the profession, but I gained a very important mentor in Dr. Perlmutter. I continued to go into her office beyond the 2 weeks that we originally had planned, and we were able to keep in touch throughout the summer. I feel so grateful for this opportunity and received so much more from it than I could have anticipated.

50 W. Edmonston Drive #206 
Rockville, MD 20852 USA 
Phone: +1 (877) 368-6326 
Direct: +1 (301) 738-6400 

Executive Director: Heidi Weber 
Email: hweber@ao.org

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