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A New Option for Serving the Lord with Dentistry

November 01, 2016

by Jennifer Wade, DDS

Throughout dental school I had the desire to do something exciting with my faith and dentistry.  As I progressed through dental school and started looking for jobs, I was having a hard time finding any opportunities that seemed like what I was looking for, until one day I opened an email from Jeff Amstutz, CMDA Vice President for dental ministries and creator of the CMDA Dental Residency [+] program.

“Are you looking for dental opportunities beyond the typical dental setting?”

“Are you eager to connect your faith and service in hard places around the world and in the inner city?” 

“Do you need to be equipped as you gain experience living out service to the underserved in healthcare?”

“Are you looking for an opportunity to reduce debt before heading to the mission field?”

I couldn’t believe what I was reading.  It’s like someone had read my mind and created a program of exactly the things I was looking to do with my dental career.  The cool part is someone was reading my mind, or more accurately had formed my heart to match the call on my life.  God had been leading me over the years to this place and has so graciously led me to an opportunity of a lifetime. 

I’ve been in Memphis almost two and half years now and they have been some of the best years of my life.  The Lord has grown me in so many incredible ways and I’ve grown a lot as a dentist as well through my experience at Christ Community Health Services, the community clinic where the program is based. 

So what is the awesome thing I get to be a part of?  Here is an excerpt from an email by Lance Luttrell, COO of Christ Community Health Service:

The Christian Medical and Dental Associations have partnered with Christ Community Health Services to launch a training program for Dentists who have a heart to use their skill to serve God through dentistry.

We are offering a 2 year [+] Program after successful completion of an AEGD residency through Lutheran Medical Center here in Memphis. The framework is that residents will match with the University of Tennessee/Lutheran residency and move into our neighborhoods and be involved in our community. Their time will be split between UT honing their dental skills and rotating at our sites mastering routine community dental care integrated with spiritual care.

After completion of the residency, Christ Community will hire the residents making them eligible for NHSC loan repayment. We will also have them do a month-long international rotation and incorporate additional training in conjunction with a like-minded Family Medicine Residency as well as practice management, grants, and non-clinical information.

 At the end of the 3 years, we will commission these dentists out to serve in dentistry among the underserved domestically and internationally. We desire that everyone that completes our program will be capable of being a Dental Director of a community health clinic elsewhere in the US, or lead a training program internationally.

If you are interested in our program or know someone who would be a good fit please contact us through our website: www.dentalresidency.org


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