Bulletin of Dental Education

Dr. Chen Awarded Dental Trade Alliance Foundation Scholarship

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Eric Chen Accepts Award_600Eric Chen, D.D.S., a 2014 graduate of Loma Linda University School of Dentistry (LLUSD) was one of four students chosen from among American dental schools in 2013 to receive the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation Scholarship. Students were honored at dinner in Arlington, VA, this past April with scholarships that recognize and provide financial support for third- and fourth-year dental students who have demonstrated academic excellence in dentistry, financial need and a commitment to community service.

During his four years of dental training, Dr. Chen participated in every service learning opportunity that he could force into his schedule and found the experiences invaluable to his development as a competent and compassionate dentist.

“The School of Dentistry’s Homeless Mobile Clinic really tugs at my heart,” says Dr. Chen, “because it draws a population that is the most needy: chronically homeless, mentally compromised and often alcoholics and addicts (both current users as well as those who are recovering).” Formed by Brian Novy, D.D.S., a former LLUSD faculty member, the monthly Homeless Mobile Clinic brings dental services to Riverside County’s homeless population at Riverside Calvary Presbyterian Church during its Sunday homeless feeding.

Dr. Chen participated in three service learning trips to Nicaragua led for Mark Carpenter, D.D.S.; Tom Rogers, D.D.S.; and Hank Mercado, D.D.S. He visited five locations, four of which were close to the capitol city of Managua and one venue in the outskirts of the country.

Another favorite service experience for Dr. Chen has been the Flying Doctors Clinic headed by Larry Taber, D.D.S. The Flying Doctors Clinics provide direct restorations and extractions. Dr. Chen’s responsibilities include oversight of set-up and tear-down, patient triage, radiology and patient flow. After the 15 to 20 patients that typically are seen for the day have been triaged, he supervises and assists students with unfamiliar procedures. 

“I am grateful that I have worked with truly wonderful people that are equally committed to community service as I am,” says Dr. Chen. “Amazing mentors have shown me that it is possible to do excellent work both in private practice as well as be committed to quality community service. Inspiration comes naturally with the team of volunteers that I work with and I am humbled by their acts of kindness and dedication to the various projects I am also part of. They continue to be a great source of motivation to keep moving forward.”
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