As a future Aboriginal dental practitioner, my overall aim is to dedicate my time into eradicating the oral-health inequity within the remote Aboriginal communities. The disturbing reality is that despite living in a developed world, our communities are often neglected when it comes to simplest of resources. Knowing my people have poor oral health due to lack of preventable dental care has fueled my drive to becoming a dentist. As an aspiring future health professional, I believe that treatment and prevention is the way to close the gap. The poor oral health related quality of life can be optimised by simply implementing oral health education as well as providing good quality dietary advise.
I am a very driven person who wants to give back to my community by providing better optimal dental care. The morbidity and mortality rates for many diseases in the Indigenous populations are much higher than their non-Indigenous counter parts. There are numerous reason for this, one of the main ones being the lack of Indigenous health professionals which contributes to the cultural barriers associated with accessing health care. As a result of this drive, I am to become one the few Aboriginal dentist to work in an Indigenous community where I can make a difference and o my part to address the lack of provision of dental health care.
Currently, my research project aims to determine the barriers that affect Aboriginal people over 60 years old living in rural and remote areas and how often they visit a dental clinic and how this has an impact on their overall health. Hopefully, after two years of hard work, my objective is to publish this in an internationally reputable journal and translate the finding to the greater population, resulting in minimising the health inequity that is obvious in the country we live in. Furthermore, by integrating the accumulated clinical and theoretical skills that I have developed across my 3 years of Doctor of Dental Medicine degree, I am one step closer to achieving my ultimate goal.
As I reflect on 2018, I believe that it was quite challenging year, but it was a great learning experience. Upon reflection, it made me realise how close I am to achieving my goal. For the latter half the semester I managed to start the second stages of treatment for my patients. Although, there is still a lot of work that still needs to be completed this semester, it is pleasing to see that my contribution is making a different to my patients’ oral health well-being.
I recently started my final year, and as part of my rotation, I am based in the Bunbury Dental Health Services clinic. It has been a great learning experience so far, as I have managed to see more emergency patients as well as more complex cases. Reflecting on my Bunbury rotation, it has made me realise how much I enjoy working in regional cities. I have learnt so much in such a short period of time, and the lifestyle has been quite refreshing.
Overall it has been a great learning experience for me, as it gets closer to the end of the year, I am one step closer to achieving my ultimate goal of becoming a dentist. There is still a lot to learn, but it has been an enjoyable experience so far. The rotary scholarship has given me the opportunity to complete this semester and helped me to focus on my studies rather than get distracted due to financial obstacles.
From the bottom of my heart, I would like to send my appreciation to the Rotary Club of East Perth for giving me this opportunity to achieve my goals.