Reaching out through the Dental Outreach Community Service @ the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
DOCS is an acronym that stands for Dental Outreach Community Service. Dr. Ken Wright started the volunteer-based program to provide free dentistry for individuals with no other economic means. Since its inception, the program has been modified and implemented into the fourth year dental curriculum at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University.
The DOCS program is currently under the direction of Dr. Les Kalman and still maintains its crucial outreach component. However, due its popularity, the program has now implemented several clinical sessions at the dental school to manage the growing number of patients and treatment plans. Collaboration with community agencies, other disciplines, faculty, staff and volunteers has ensured that patients and logistical concerns have been properly managed.
DOCS works closely with community agencies, which oversee the screening and booking of patients, easing the administrative burden. During favourable months, the DOCS clinic is transported and set up at different community locations. Patients arrive and receive dental treatment off-site, or are referred to the main clinic for more complex procedures. Patients can receive examinations and radiographs; undergo periodontal, restorative and endodontic treatments; and have simple removable appliances made, free of charge.
The DOCS program offers students insights into the difficulties of economically challenged individuals and their barriers to dental care. The program essentially works through the voluntary efforts of several compassionate individuals who provide critical support. Their efforts are invaluable. The DOCS program is always looking for positive-minded individuals to assist with our efforts.
As an independent entity of the dental school, the DOCS program primarily operates on financial support from individuals and organizations. With limited resources, DOCS welcomes any level of financial support to assist with operational costs. We are very excited with our most recent contribution of $25,000 from the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI).
DOCS is hoping to offer students an important educational component while providing economically limited individuals a way to keep their smile.
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