Ken Farmer, RAHC Dentist and experience seeker
Ken Farmer, RAHC Dentist shares his journey from private practice to remote practice in the NT.
After some time in private practice in the Northern Territory, I decided to join RAHC for a different pace of dentistry. I have been involved with an overseas dental aid project for a number of years, but realised there was probably just as much work to be done in my own backyard. An added bonus was being able to get paid at the same time, flexible contracts, experiencing new, wild and remote parts of the country, and making new friends.
My initial placement in Alice Springs was scheduled for 4 weeks however my time with Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CACC) ended up being closer to 5 months. Despite falling in love with Alice, there was incredible amounts of work do be done at CAAC. We managed to make significant improvements across the board to the dental health service and were able to have the clinic in a healthy condition by the time a permanent dentist had been found. It was a great collaborative organisation, and I enjoyed being the only dentist amongst a wide team of skilled health professionals from all over the world.
Following my time at CAAC, I've spent a few months with the Department of Health (DoH) doing numerous bush trips to communities across central Australia. Each week has been its own little adventure. With guaranteed hiccups and challenges along the way, a sense of humour and flexibility are a must. Most communities are accessed via 4WD with a dental truck, or via twin engine aircraft and using outpost clinics. I've met great people along the way, had new adventures, and learnt to appreciate some things more. I tend to fit in here well where footwear is optional, AFL is religion, and being on time is secondary to relationships.
Would you like to share your RAHC experience with other Health Professionals? We are always looking for RAHC Health Professionals to tell us about their experience, by preparing a RAHC story. If you are willing to share your story, please contact your Placement Consultant or email us.