My name is Jack Slaymaker and I am a third-year Dental student at Plymouth Peninsula Dental School. This summer, I will be heading to Arequipa, Peru, to work in the local hospital as part of a two-week elective. I will be helping disadvantaged children and adults by providing them with free, much needed and vital dental treatment. I will also be giving lessons in local schools on how to care for and keep teeth healthy and the importance of Dental Hygiene.
I think it is a fantastic opportunity to be able to provide care for someone who might not be able to afford to have it otherwise. To be able to bring someone out of pain and bring them confidence and of course, a smile is truly a rewarding experience.
I’ve grown up in England, a very safe and affluent country and have had privileges and an education that most people in third world countries don’t have access to. I now have an opportunity to help those less fortunate than me by using the dental skills I’ve learned to provide dental treatment to people who can’t ordinarily afford it.
I’m hoping to help as many people as possible and to immerse myself into the country and culture of Peru. Many of the patients I will be seeing are unable to afford the much needed dental treatment. For anyone who has experienced dental pain, you know it's excruciating but luckily our NHS means this can be resolved quickly. In Peru, this is not the case and many patients are suffering from the long-term effects of dental pain.
I would like to provide the best possible treatment for patients as I possibly can, and I believe the experiences gained from this Elective will be invaluable as I look to qualify in a couple of years time and start working as a dentist. For me, this hopefully is a stepping-stone into more volunteering opportunities.
The cost of this trip is high, but the money goes into supporting the local hospitals in Arequipa, as well as my placement there. This will ensure that the Hospitals can carry on helping those that need it most.
Below is a picture of a Peruvian child receiving some dental hygiene advice
Below is a photo of the 'DE OCTUBRE CLINIC' where I will spend some of my time during my elective
6 T-shirts to be given away. I designed these while I was the PR Officer on the Dental Society Committee
8 Colgate Omron Proclinical PocketPro's to be given away!