DIVERSITY AND THE PERSONAL STATEMENT FOR ADMISSION TO ADVANCED STATNDING PROGRAMS FOR INTERNATIONAL DENTISTS.
I think the best strategy for the personal statement of an international or foreign-trained dentist is to make use of one’s multicultural and multilingual background and experiences in such a way as to make important contributions to the oral health care of the underserved. Increasingly, over the last few decades, as admission to dental school has become more and more competitive, admissions committees have increasingly come to place a high priority on one’s experience and plans for the future helping the underserved as an oral health care professional. In many cases, with many applicants from India, for example, I have suggested and helped them to express a desire to help the underserved not only here in the USA, their new home, but also back in India, where the need is so very great – in accordance with the global perspective and mission of today’s dentistry profession.
Few people know exactly how the selection process for international dentist programs works with respect to ethnic background. We only know the result, the ethnic composition of the class that is selected, which generally represents the population of many if not most countries of the world, especially populous ones like China and India. All information having to do with ethnic quotas, however, is kept strictly confidential by the school because it is legally sensitive - they could be sued. Nevertheless, a lot of it is very logical. What is central is that diversity is very important. The admissions committee wants people from all over the world to attend an international dentists program, with each corner of the planet represented.
Of course, as with other things, it is a question of supply and demand. From my own experience as a professional writer of personal statements for dental school admission, Indians, for example, are way overrepresented in the ranks of applicants to International Dentist Programs. Around 90% of the Indian clients that use my writing/editing service, have already immigrated to the US or another English-speaking country. I know this because while Indians are only about 17% of the world’s population, at least half of the people who turn to me for help with a statement to an International Dentist program are Indian. This leads me to the conclusion that you may well face the stiffest competition from another applicant from your same country of origin. Questions or issues of ethnicity often combine in powerful ways with language capability when it comes down to choosing between two equally-well-qualified applicants A Latino applicant born and raised in the USA who does not speak Spanish, for example, might be passed over for an applicant from Latin America because of the great need that exists for Spanish-speaking dentists in North America.
Dentistry is not like Nursing in the Americas, there is no shortage of dentists in the USA as there is in the case of nurses. Thus, admissions committees want very much to accept applicants who are going to help the underserved. And where are the underserved? You need to make this part especially clear.
I think the best idea for the Personal Statement is to make a convincing argument and have creative ideas about helping the underserved both here in America as well as your country of origin. Focus on your long-term plans for the underserved in both places! Most people are weak on this point, saying only general and vague things like “I want to help people in developing countries.” You need specific and concrete, creative ideas for the long term, and in this way show greater maturity and dedication than your competitors. Almost all are multilingual and many have extensive experience from outside the United States. Some are already dentists who have completed their training and already practiced dentistry in their country of origin; and now they are applying to Advanced Placement Programs leading to the DDS degree in America, Canada, England or Australia.
My clients generally share an interest in serving the desperate need for extensive new initiatives in oral health care, geared, in particular, towards meeting the needs of the most vulnerable sectors of society in the Developing World. I am convinced that one’s ethnicity, language skills, and multicultural experiences need to be woven together in a most eloquent fashion in your Personal Statement, as interconnected themes that radiate throughout your admission essay and which you connect to your dedication to helping the underserved, in particular. Your ethnic or racial background and international aptitudes are your greatest assets as an applicant, and they need to be carefully related to both your short- and long-term goals.
I do everything that I can to make your personal statement to dental school as effective as possible. After a careful review of your material, to the extent to which it is necessary, I ask you specific questions by email; and I have gotten good at this as a result of nearly a quarter of a century of professional experience writing dental statements. I am a seasoned expert concerning what is important to include, and, perhaps even more importantly, what is not. I have had a great deal of practice at condensing a lot of material into approximately 5200 characters with spaces or even less.
To the extent to which they come to me, I sometimes contribute creative ideas that help to make your case for admission much more powerful. Dental school is extremely competitive. It is not enough to suggest that you are hoping to contribute to the diversity of the program; you must demonstrate in especially creative ways how your own unique combination of high motivation and multicultural background makes you uniquely suited to dentistry and that you have enormous potential for meeting the oral health care needs of the planet’s underserved populations in particular.