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Back from Alpena

December 8, 2011

Time out of the Clinic around Alpena

Here is the third installment of my D4 rotation experience; this stop was Alpena – Alcona Health Center for two weeks serving the community and public schools of Alpena. This rotation was solo rotation where I was the only dental student working in the clinic alongside the full-time staff serving emergency and patients of record.

During the month of November, Alcona Health Center – Alpena was working on implementing a program where the clinic would be brought to elementary, middle, and high school students throughout Alpena school district. Once each week, we packed up, headed to a school, found an open classroom and set up portable dental units and performed exams, dental prophylaxis (cleanings,) fluoride treatments and sealants on students who were eligible and their parents had consented to these treatments.

All in all, this was a very rewarding experience and humbling at the same time. As I walked down the halls of these schools I saw the lockers, classes and students in these elementary schools and thought back to my very own elementary school days, growing up in rural Michigan. While waiting for another group of students to be excused from class I saw many students walking single file through the halls and I wondered if one of them would be standing in my shoes in a few years.

Being alone on this rotation allowed me time to reflect on how busy and committed we as dental students have become, and that we all started learning somewhere, in classrooms much like those I was able to visit. I was able to take time to appreciate how lucky I am to continue to learning and serve at the same time, while making a difference in the overall health of the people of Michigan.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, I’m especially thankful for my opportunities, friends, family, and wish you all a relaxing holiday. Safe travels!

Steve Davis, D4, welcomes questions at and best of luck to the candidates who have interviewed thus far and congrats to those who have been accepted! GO BLUE! 

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