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Annual Session course eyes international volunteering

June 17, 2013

By Stacie Crozier, ADA News staff

Sharing knowledge: Dr. Marshall Gallant, center, takes a break with faculty and students at the University of Health Science in Vientiane, Laos. As a volunteer, he taught endodontics courses.
New Orleans—Dental professionals with a passion to make a difference on a global scale, travel and experience new cultures can learn about effective international volunteerism by taking the Annual Session course I Do, I Teach, I Volunteer.

This free 2.5 hour course (course 6336) is set for Friday, Nov. 1, from 9-11:30 a.m. at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Drs. Marshall Gallant and Jack Levine, experienced global volunteers, will discuss how international volunteerism can support lasting, sustainable improvements to the oral health of communities in need worldwide. Dr. Sherwin Shinn, the 2013 ADA Humanitarian Award recipient, will be a guest speaker. The presenters will share strategies to improve oral public health in developing nations through education and training, personal perspectives on international oral health programs and more.

Making a difference: Experienced international volunteers Dr. Jack Levine, above, and Dr. Sherwin Shinn, below, have served as clinicians, educators and coordinators at sites around the globe.

“My most memorable time volunteering was at the University of Health Science in Vientiane, Laos,” said Dr. Gallant. “I was presenting a weeklong session teaching endodontics. The best part was being able to adapt and teach American techniques to work successfully utilizing Laotian equipment and Laotian reality. Many things in the curriculum were things that students were seeing for the first time, such as rubber dam placement. I left feeling that the instructions they received would allow for a lasting impact that could be retained and retaught to others.”

Participants who take this course will learn to understand how oral health clinicians can create solutions to global health problems, how to make improvements in oral health through education and how to implement volunteer strategies that produce results. The course is presented in cooperation with the ADA Division of Global Affairs.

For more details on this or other Annual Session CE courses, or to register, visit

For more information on international volunteer opportunities, visit the ADA's international volunteer website.

The website is a go-to resource for dental professionals to learn more about what it's like to volunteer outside the U.S., to share their volunteer experiences and photos with others and to connect with more than 100 organizations that offer volunteer opportunities in dentistry.