There is now a growing pressure for businesses to be more philanthropic and develop a policy for corporate social responsibility (CSR). Human beings help and support others, regardless of their trade, for many reasons, but often from a deep-seated altruistic perspective, where they feel their contribution has been worthwhile and they have made a difference.
Giving something back to the wider community can mean different things to different people. Some may view this as working in their local neighbourhood, while others will see a picture of international proportions. As a dental professional, you are ideally placed to support other people who work within your industry and also help those in need in the wider world; regardless of whether your motive is selfless or prompted by the kudos it will give you and your practice.
How you can help
There are many levels at which you can help. By simply joining a group or forum, you can support and mentor new dentists and share your know-how and experience with other dentists, especially those working as sole practitioners in their practice who may not normally have an opportunity to discuss problems and unusual situations with their peers. This transfer of knowledge, especially online, can reach dental professionals not just in the UK, but also across the world.
Linking directly with a dental charity is a full-on way of getting involved. There are many organisations that are looking for help in bringing oral health care and education to children and adults in some of the poorer or remote areas of the world, such as Africa, India, central America and south-east Asia. These charities will often run projects that provide the first dental care that some people, especially children, have never experienced.
Many will provide clinics to deal with people in chronic pain as a result of serious dental decay and oral infection, and offer education that will promote good dental hygiene contributing to healthier lives overall. Depending on how involved you want to be, you can sponsor the activities that are taking place either directly or through fund-raising activities (encouraging your staff and patients to join in). On the other hand you could actually go to the regions yourself and provide real hands-on dental care alongside other professionals.
Bringing the opportunities together
One organisation that brings all these opportunities together is Dental Professionals Limited (DPL). It is first and foremost a networking group for like-minded professionals, allowing members to share experiences, business opportunities and mentor young dentists. They also provide charitable opportunities to ‘give back’ to the wider dental community, operating in third-world countries such as Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to provide dental treatment to those who are most deprived of it.
There will always be people in the world that need help and support within the dentistry. Whether it is engaging with and encouraging those starting out as dentists, contributing to the collective knowledge of more experienced dental professionals, or providing dental services to the poor and vulnerable, there will always be an opportunity for you to ‘give something back’.
For more information contact Dental Professionals Limited. Email: [email protected], Tel: 01256 328575 or Web: www.dplgroup.org.uk.