174509 Oral Health Promotion Through Indiana University School of Dentistry's International Service-Learning

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Karen M. Yoder, PhD , Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Indiana University School of Dentistry, Indianapolis, IN
Since 2000 Indiana University has been offering international service-learning opportunities for dental students. Currently programs are offered in Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil and Guatemala. Typically students provide services for one week, but their preparation begins in October and continues throughout the academic year. More than 150 students and faculty mentors have participated in these international programs. Formal partnerships and local collaborations characterize the programs.

In addition to serving patients who would otherwise have little dental care, IUSD dental students learn a great deal about the culture, economics, politics, healthcare and lifestyle of the people with whom they work and the patients they treat in their chosen country. They also learn a lot about themselves, their assumptions and values. They work with portable equipment in potentially difficult circumstances, and finding the resources within themselves and the satisfaction of providing care for others while learning life and cultural skills that they will use in their lives and practices.

The participating students are profoundly affected by their experiences, and predominantly say that they will include some form of volunteer dental service locally and internationally after graduation. Faculty mentors report enhanced relationships with students and greater teaching satisfaction.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to: 1. Identify key components of international service-learning 2. List ways in which international service-learning enhances dental care delivery in the US and internationally 3. Identify ways to develop international service-learning programs for dental and dental hygiene students

Keywords: Oral Health, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have no conflict of interests
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Oral Health Poster Session II
See more of: Oral Health