SPEA-hosted panel engages students across Canada

Student leaders from the Student Professionalism & Ethics Association (SPEA) in Dentistry Canadian chapters hosted their first ever national event, a panel on dentistry in rural and Indigenous communities.

The virtual panel was organized and moderated by SPEA Schulich Dentistry President, Caitlin Loo, Dentistry Class of 2022, who is also the Canadian representative on the SPEA executive board. The transition to virtual events this past year due to the pandemic gave the Canadian SPEA the opportunity to engage and more closely collaborate with dental students from across the country.

The five panelists invited to speak at the event represented communities from the west coast to the Maritimes, reflecting Canada’s geographical diversity. The speakers were Dr. David Ciriani from Kamloops, British Columbia, Dr. Sheri McKinstry from the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Amrinderbir Singh from the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. LouAnn Visconti from Timmins, Ontario, and Dr. Mary McNally from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.

Each panelist gave a brief presentation about their experiences working with populations in rural and Indigenous communities. The panel cited the challenges and rewards that have come with their work and encouraged students to learn as much as they can about the Indigenous peoples of Canada, to listen to the individual needs of their patients and to seek out opportunities to work with these communities wherever possible.

The event was well received by dental students and dentists alike, and the Canadian SPEA team hopes to build on its success by continuing to host collaborative events in the future.

To watch a recording of the event, visit the SPEA YouTube channel.