The Pursuit that Separated the Newly Weds

Dr. Anh, an orthodontist, is one of our newest trainees. She comes from OMFH (Odonto-Maxillo-Facial Hospital of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam). When Dr. Anh came to Taiwan for the application process, she came off with a humble attitude, yet her passion as a Vietnamese Doctor was clearly asserted. The application period spanned several months, with multiple bumps on the road. This included identification issues between the Vietnamese Government and our Taiwanese Offices. However, Dr. Anh remained calm and collected through all the ups and downs, and very gratefully thanked our assistance with the process, constantly placing emphasis on thanking us herself in person once she got to Taiwan. Eventually, the day came when she arrived...

With a head of flowing long hair, paired with an elegant and beautiful sundress, "Hello!" Dr. Anh revealed a brilliant smile. She not only possessed a certain grace that singled her out from the crowd, but was also the owner of a set of pearly white perfect teeth, quite a stunning person. Dr. Anh had been in Taiwan for nearly one month, so she had a great impression of Taiwan. She found Taiwan to be a country of order, with not only a clean environment, but the quality of people was also excellent. "I was out for lunch today, then it suddenly started pouring rain. The owner of the restaurant saw that I didn't bring an umbrella, and just lent me an umbrella without even asking for a name or phone number! This would've never happened in Vietnam!". Dr. Anh revealed an expression of sheer delight.

Dr. Anh (Second from left) and foundation CEO Mrs. Wang (Fourth from left) with other seed medical practitioners from the NCF

When asked why Dr. Anh became an orthodontist, "My parents are both pharmacists, and they have both been role models for me since I was young. This is why I've always known I was going into a medical profession. Then, I decided to become a dentist because I wanted people to be able to have a mouth of perfect white teeth. When studying, I initially wanted to pursue a route of denture restoration, but after graduating, I started studying from an orthodontist in the past 3 years, I've seen that he has an abundance of cleft lip and palate patients. This generated a lot of interest within me, so I decided to go this route!" After speaking, Dr. Anh revealed her signature pearly whites. The NCF's seed medical practitioner Dr. Doung and Dr. Phuc also work at and service OMFH. Dr. Doung received his training in 2014, and returned to Vietnam with incredibly significant improvements in his surgical procedure - "The people in the hospital all say he came back a different person". Dr. Anh joked that, the year after Dr. Phuc returned to Vietnam from her training, the NAM procedure was introduced to OMFH, with the surgical and dentistry departments showing off successful results, allowing OMFH to garner more cleft lip and palate patients to treat. "Because Dr. Phuc's so busy, the hospital invited me to Taiwan to learn the treatment procedures, hoping I would go back to work with Dr. Phuc" she explained. Dr. Anh's current supervisor in Taiwan is Dr. Huang (previous chair of the NCF board). She has high expectations and is very excited for the remaining 5 months she has in Taiwan to learn.

Dr. Anh very excited for the upcoming 6 months of training

Dr. Anh took out a picture on her phone, "These are my parents, this is my 10 year old sister, and this is my husband. We just got married July 21st this year." Dr. Anh happily shared the pictures of her family sending her off to Taiwan. "Yea. I was only married for 2 weeks and I came to Taiwan." Dr. Anh, knowing the shock that statement may cause, quickly followed up saying that her husband knew of her plans to leave right after the wedding for her training. He was extremely supportive in her endeavors, recognizing that it was a once in a life time opportunity to be trained in Taiwan, thinking that it could allow her to give back to her local community and help cleft lip or palate patients in Vietnam.

Dr. Anh (First from right) is a thoughtful dentist with a caring spirit.

Reflecting back on our time with her, we found that those Vietnamese patients must be one lucky bunch, having access to a doctor that would sacrifice her own happiness so another group of strangers she cared about could find their own happiness. “A thoughtful dentist with a caring spirit”. Dr. Anh requested us to include that description of her once she learned that we were writing an article of her. We think that there is no other phrase that could describe her better than this.

Cleft lip and palate patients need 17 years of medical attention and care. Our “International Overseas Adoption” plan uses a long term “adoption” method, giving cleft lip and palate patients from overseas access to full time medical care like the patients in Taiwan, allowing them to reconstruct each and every of their vibrant smiles.

Now is the time for you to lend us a helping hand!

Understand more about the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation’s Cleft Lip and Palate International Services:

Help Provide Medical Attention for Overseas Patients and Help Fund Seed Medical Practitioner Training:

Mandarin Article:


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