This Dentistry observation and experience opportunity offers you hands-on dentistry work experience and is aimed at current professionals and aspiring dentists. The project provides an opportunity to work in the local hospital-based dental clinic or a neighborhood health clinic, where you will experience the stark contrast between Western dentist practice and the day-to-day realities of dentistry at a public dental clinic in a developing country.
Your level of possible involvement will largely depend upon your professional and Spanish language skills, as well as your motivation and willingness to get involved. Your work schedule will be created in a meeting with the departmental director and the volunteer coordinator and supervisor. As with any medical service, volunteers should recognize that their schedules may be subject to sudden change and are dictated by patients' needs.
During this observation and experience program you will be shadowing the doctors and nurses and you will be able to get hands-on experience in accordance with your qualifications and language skills. In order to gain the most out of your experience - or if you have a specific healthcare goal - please contact us in a timely fashion to discuss your options in greater detail.
Volunteer placement or internship
This program can be booked as a volunteer placement and internship. Please let us know your school or universities internship requirements and we will work out your personalized work plan.
This program is suitable for dentist students and electives with free holiday time, pre-university students and also students taking, or planning to take, specialist dentist courses. The key requirements for a medical volunteer or intern are initiative, enthusiasm, and readiness to work in unfamiliar circumstances. If volunteers have more specialized skills, this will allow for more specialized activities.
Basic conversational Spanish skills are required and the more advanced your level of experience and Spanish language skills, the larger the number of opportunities available. To allow for deeper engagement with your placement we also offer 6 free Spanish language lessons every week allowing for an enhanced experience as a volunteer/intern with us.
A minimum of 4 weeks is required.
Hospital and neighborhood health clinics in Samana, La Pascuala and Las Terrenas
Extra donation required
We require an extra donation of Euro 30,- per placement week for the Dental Care program. This donation will be spent to support needy patients with medicines and urgent medical supplies as well as needed equipment for the hospital and to cover extra spending incurred while placed at the hospital.
What to expect
Working hours will be primarily in the morning when the dentists are at the hospital /health clinic. Intermediate to advanced Spanish speakers will get the most out of the rotation. Friendly and welcoming staff and patients make this rotation a joy to be a part of!
• Observing, shadowing and assisting the dentist
• Encouraging and teaching prevention of oral diseases through proper hygiene and regular checkups for professional cleaning and evaluation (special prevention program for pregnant woman)
• Providing oral health services support when needed, which includes dental assistance, dental hygiene and dental therapy
• Assisting the dentist according to your skills and experience with dental treatments: dental restorations, crowns, bridges, dentures, root canal therapy, periodontal therapy and extraction of teeth, as well as dental examinations and diagnosis
• Furthermore you are welcome to also work in our other projects such as the English and computer classes for example
Suggestions on what to bring and donate:
Pease bring scrubs and easy to clean comfortable closed shoes to wear as they are mandatory!
latex gloves, hand sanitizer and face masks (N95 for the TB patients) would be a very helpful donation to the dental clinic
Guidelines on medical Issues of the Dominican Republic:
• WHO report on health care reform in Dominican Republic, 2010
• Health System of the Dominican Republic, 2011. The website provides an excellent overview of common medical issues in the DR and the government health system. Only available in Spanish.