Dr Andrew (Robert) Parsons

At 66-years of age Dr Andrew (Robert) Parsons has sold his Nelson Bay dental practice but regularly still picks up his tools of the trade for Filling the Gap. “I am not working now, although I don’t yet describe myself as retired,” Dr Parsons said who believes FTG is aptly named. “I know that there are many people who miss out on access to dental care for a variety of reasons, such as financial, or not qualifying for public health care, or due to language barriers,” he says. “The program literally fills that gap in access to care. I am just happy to be in a position to help meet some of that need, the program’s organisers make that possible by their input and I am proud that the ADA makes the physical facilities available.”

After attending his second clinic Dr Parsons sees FTG as a learning opportunity. “Solo private practice dentistry can be isolating, so it is enlightening to see how other dentists deal with common problems. Also as an older dentist I admire the level of knowledge of younger operators. And no matter where the patients come from, their problems are the same across all cultures and backgrounds.”

“Volunteering is something I have wanted to do for a long time and now my circumstances allow it. I still enjoy exercising my professional skills but now I can do that away from a commercial environment, and just focus solely on the patients’ needs. “It is professionally liberating, and the bonus is the outcome for the patient. Also I see it as a way of providing a positive message to patients who are new to our country, who may be very socially anxious and uncertain, and isolated by language, or traumatised by life experiences, that they are cared for and valued.” Dr Parsons says: “Make the time to volunteer. You have nothing to lose, and those you help will have gained so much.”

Posted on August 10th, 2020

“Make the time to volunteer. You have nothing to lose, and those you help will have gained so much.”

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