Jerusalem Clinic Provides Inspiration for a Real Pediatric Specialization in Slovakia

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Victoria Hanusovina

When Victoria Hanusinova first came to volunteer in the DVI clinic in November 2007, she experienced an astonishing revelation about the quality of her own dentistry. Hanusinova, a dentist from Slovakia, remembers she “couldn’t do anything right.” Rather than let this ruin her trip to Israel, Dr. Hanusinova used her volunteering time as a unique opportunity. “I had to forget everything I had learned, and start from the beginning again. And wow, did I learn!” By the end of her first Jerusalem trip, Dr. Hanusinova was inspired. She decided that she wanted to go into Pediatric dentistry.

Dr. Hanusinova had been teaching oral surgery at the Faculty of Medicine of Pavol Jozef Safarik University in Kosice, Slovakia, but upon returning from Israel, quit her teaching post in order to open a Pediatric practice in Sabinov- the first of its kind in the city. Hanusinova says that parents of children with developmental and/or physical issues practically line up to visit her clinic, as her clinic is the only one in the surrounding area that is willing to treat these children at all. She is also mentoring other dentists who will join her practice as pediatric residents. All the while, she continued to study on her own and returned to Jerusalem every year, for her own continuing education. In all, Hanusinova has volunteered at the DVI clinic 9 times, as of Summer 2012. “I don’t come here to volunteer – I come here for continuing education. I get more out of it than I give.”

In July 2011, Dr. Hanusinova came to Israel to be married, and even during this special wedding trip, she volunteered for two weeks! She also had big news – the 36 year old dentist had agreed to take up a new position at the university, and establish a pediatric dental department. Treatments that Hanusinova will teach will include: using rubber dams, behavior management, and performing crowns, root canals and the full spectrum of restorative dentistry for baby teeth. These are all new concepts in Slovakia, where there has been no effective restorative dentistry for children. Hanusinova claims that Slovakia is on par with other countries in the region in this regard. “The first time I came to Jerusalem, I was very surprised to see what kind of treatment was available for children, and what can be done when someone genuinely cares whether the children are in pain or not. In my country no one wants to treat kids; the theory is that primary teeth are not important and don’t deserve attention. I’ve learned here that more children can cooperate and there’s nothing to be afraid of in treating children. We just need patience and the right approach.”

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