Graphic: New RFDS South Eastern Section dentists
Our South Eastern Section's new oral health experts introduce themselves to you.
Dr Terry Chao (above)
"I grew up in New Zealand but eventually crossed the ditch to study at the University of Western Australia. Since then I have worked in rural practices. This is where I witnessed firsthand the difficulties rural communities face accessing oral healthcare, due to the vast distances they have to travel. By joining the RFDS, with the help of my team, I hope I can make a difference to the oral health of the rural communities we travel to."
Dr Jenny Pham (above)
"I was born and bred in Sydney but moved to Brisbane to study dentistry at the University of Queensland. Following my studies, I worked for Queensland Health in sunny Rockhampton, where I was welcomed by an earthquake and a cyclone in my first month. After two years, I thought it was time for a change and the RFDS happened to be advertising for a dentist in Dubbo. I thought this sounded like an amazing and exciting opportunity, both in terms of the delivery of much-needed dental services to remote communities, and in terms of personal and professional growth and development. With the RFDS, I feel I am making a very real difference in our patients' lives and the communities we visit."
Dr Minh-Thu Cao Xuan (above)
"I studied at the University of Sydney before joining the RFDS. After completing my Bachelor of Pharmacy I decided I wanted to work in a more hands-on profession. I absolutely love teeth, so completed my Doctor of Dental Medicine after and haven't looked back since!
It has always been my dream to work for a not-for-profit organisation to provide healthcare to those most in need, where access is limited. I've lived most of my life in fast-paced Sydney and wanted a lifestyle change to a smaller community. When I saw the advertisement on the Australian Dental Association website I knew it was for me!"
Dr Tasker Thomas (above)
"I arrived in Australia from Wales in October 2015, wanting to experience the rural side of the country by working on farms. Starting in Western Australia driving headers, I moved on to NSW to work on cotton irrigation and broadacre seeding before realising that the RFDS employed dentists! Not wanting to be a city dentist, the RFDS in Broken Hill ticked all the boxes in terms of being able to fly all over the Outback and providing dental treatment to those living in isolated country towns. I started in September 2016 on a three-month contract but decided I wasn't quite done with it and came back after a Christmas pit-stop back home to undertake another three month stint. Being able to fly out to rural locations and treat appreciative people who would otherwise have to drive for hours over corrugations (no mean feat with raging toothache!) is an experience I would never have in the UK and I am glad to have been given this opportunity."
Dental Assistant Suzanne Moore (above)
"I grew up in Peterborough in South Australia. With minimal job opportunities on offer in small country towns, I decided to move to the big smoke, in Adelaide, and became a dental assistant. After eight years I realised the city wasn't for me. I had family living in Broken Hill and always enjoyed visiting so I knew it would be the perfect place to relocate. I couldn't believe how fortunate I was to be appointed a dental assistant with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. It's a fantastic feeling working for such a well-respected organisation."