Monday, April 25, 2011

First day in the clinics of Los Muermos et. al.

April 25, 2011

Today the dentists spread out around Los Muermos, Los Piques, Estequilla, and Cumbres Altes. For all teams there was a slow start to the day which is to be expected at the beginning of any mission trip. My plan is to go with a different set of dentists each day to be able to share pictures of everyone in the group as well as all the different areas. Today, I accompanied Drs. Brooke Loftis and Beth Rainwater. Our translator for the day was Rebecca Murchison Hughes. All three of these ladies did a fabulous job. The dentists are picking up and using new Spanish phrases as they relate to their patients. Rebecca was wonderful in her role as translator. I was able to assist by keeping a log of all the patients seen including what procedures were done.

We had multiple extractions and multiple cavities to be filled. We had slight problems with some of the equipment, specifically the generators which slowed down progress. I believe most of the kinks have been worked out with all groups and our speed and production will only increase. I await the reports from the other teams.

As I reflect on the day I know that dentistry is certainly not a field in which I am called. Dr. Loftis was in the middle of doing an extraction and Rebecca and I were struggling even to watch. Her nurturing side was coming out as she was feeling bad for the patient. Afterward we were mentioning our thoughts and she said something which I feel all dentists must feel at some level. “I have to think about the fact that once I do the procedure the patient will feel much better and will not be in pain.”

The plan for tomorrow is that the attendings, Dr. Bill Trotter, Dr. Andrew Hamilton, Dr. Mike Pruett, and Dr. Brooke Loftis will return to the same places they served today and the residents will rotate to serve with a different one. That way we will be able to maintain some sense of consistency in the clinics while allowing the residents multiple opportunities. The transportation situation in the morning will determine where I go.

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