DMD Candidates Travel to Peru

Natalie Chaudhary (L) and Danielle Coulson (R).

Natalie Chaudhary (L) and Danielle Coulson (R).

In April 2014, the Sinclair Travel Fellowship Program, which supports the UBC Dentistry fourth-year travel elective, gave then DMD 2014 candidates Danielle Coulson and Natalie Chaudhary the opportunity to travel to Peru. Danielle and Natalie joined Dentistry professor Dr. Bill Brymer and volunteer students and dentists from the University of Southern California’s Faculty of Dentistry, in collaboration with the not-for-profit organization Ayuda Inc. The dental team stayed in Cusco and travelled to the nearby town of Anta each morning.

Danielle writes that “the level of appreciation from the patients I treated made this a rewarding experience. I was able to speak with patients in Spanish and could communicate with many of them further. My time in Anta provided me with insight to a culture and way of life that was unfamiliar to me.” She provided treatments ranging from stainless steel crowns and extractions for children, to cleanings and restorative work for adult patients.

For Natalie, volunteering has always brought her great satisfaction. “I have been on local dental mission trips, but have always wanted the opportunity to practise volunteer dentistry in an international setting.”

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In her report, Natalie notes the well-organized clinic and its scope: “There were many different stations, including screening, radiology, 15 operatories and two oral surgery chairs. Students had the opportunity to rotate through these stations to get a wide range of experience in diagnosis, radiology, operative dentistry and oral surgery.”