Dental Students Join RAM Clinic In Memphis

Dentistry Today
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Faculty and students from the Touro College of Dental Medicine (TCDM) volunteered their time to treat approximately 150 patients in need during the school’s first coordinated mission trip to the Maxine Smith STEAM Academy in Memphis, Tennessee, earlier this month.

The trip was organized by Remote Area Medical, which free provides dental, vision, medical, and veterinary care to more than 45,000 underserved individuals around the world each year.

 

“Some patients waited in line overnight to receive free dental care,” said Alexander Hall, DMD, a clinical practice leader and assistant director of removable prosthodontics and associate professor of dental medicine at TCDM.

Hall teamed up with clinic practice leader Isabel Garcia, DDS, and director of preclinic and associate professor of dental medicine Bert Goldfinger, DDS, as well as 19 dental students to provide care during the mission.

Third-year student Lea Chernoff, who presented the mission trip to faculty and fellow students, says she was inspired by the opportunity to help Americans in underserved areas who lack access to dental care.

“Throughout the weekend multiple patients presented with significant pain and it was rewarding to help alleviate their pain by using the skills and knowledge we have obtained as dental students over the past three years,” Chernoff said.

“There was a part of the oath my classmates and I pledged during our white coat ceremony. ‘I pledge to serve diverse populations and focus on service to my community.’ These words really inspired me,” said student Shreya Jha, who helped to organize the trip. 

“It was rewarding to see months of planning materialize into reality as we treated the underserved communities in Memphis. And none of it would have been possible without the dedication and time from our devoted TCDM faculty and students,” said Jha. 

Overall, the two-day mission provided $211,978 in dental, vision, and medical treatment to 587 patients. Also, Hall said that he is excited about growing the school’s involvement in mission trips.

“There is nothing more rewarding than being of service to someone in need,” Hall said. “Our students left the experience feeling empowered by the graces of the Touro spirit.”

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