Patient care near and far
Most of the time, dental students at Texas A&M College of Dentistry provide patient care in clinics right here on campus. Then there’s the community-based training program, in which students rotate to clinics near campus and throughout Dallas. In some instances, patient care may occur more than half a world away. Such was the case this July, when several service-driven dental students opted to spend part of their monthlong summer break in Zambia, Africa.
On July 15, D4s Abi Adeyeye, Theresa Halle, Keith Mahipala and Paul Pham set out on more than a day and a half of travel to the country as part of a collaboration with Rotary International, Rotary Club of Dallas, Rotary Club of Kitwe and the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing. The students were joined by Adjunct Assistant Professor Dr. Jonathan Clemetson ’02, ’10 and Jim Frankiewicz from Dallas’ Rotary club.
Their goal: Team up with the first class of soon-to-be dental graduates from the Copperbelt University School of Medicine in Zambia to treat patients throughout the area. Some care occurred in the NUCare dental clinic at Northrise University in Ndola, and the remainder of the time was spent in nearby Kitwe, where they worked out of a mobile dental unit, also utilizing portable chairs, school gyms and any other spaces at their disposal to perform screenings, cleanings, extractions and fillings.
Here’s a closer look at the experience.