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Iranian Applicants to Advanced Training Programs in Dentistry

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I was born and raised as an American child until the age of 10. Then my parents took me to their native Iran and I did not come back to live in America until the age of 18. I feel like my identity has one foot in America and the other in Iran. I am happy this way, as I love both homes very much and I want to provide outstanding results in dental health care in both countries. Today my parents live in Iran. I really hope to travel frequently to Iran and establish a dental clinic after I finish dental school; because I feel that Iran, as well as my family, needs me. Dental education and oral health infrastructure in Iran is an abysmal failure at bringing adequate dental care to the popular masses of our people. Being accepted to and completing your program will prepare me for a lifetime of service to marginalized communities in my native country as well as America. Fully aware of the seemingly endless political tensions between my two nations, I am enthused and excited about the dynamics of bridging this gap between two political cultures in my role as an oral health ambassador. The fact that I am a native speaker of both Farsi and English helps to open doors and I trust that it will result in special opportunities in the future as I labor to achieve ever-greater professional heights in my field. My brother (BCDS class of 95) is a practicing dentist in Maryland and he is a great inspiration for me.  I have an aunt, an uncle, and two cousins who are dentists as well and have also encouraged me a great deal. In addition to the ‘hands on’ character of dentistry and the intimacy of interactions with patients, I also love the spontaneity and variety that characterize dentistry: diagnostics, pain relief, and preventive education as well as reparative and esthetic labors.  Having made my choice, I was determined to seek some experience and training to enable me to change my career route so I began reading extensively, doing research online. I have spent eighteen months working as a volunteer dental assistant, observing assisting with both routine and complex procedures. I have particularly enjoyed dealing with the patients and putting them at ease when they are nervous.

I have learned from my personal research that a large proportion of people in the US do not receive adequate dental care primarily because these they are unaware of its importance. It is my fervent desire to have a share in spreading information about preventative dental care to marginalized communities during your program and to labor long hours at free dental clinics for the underserved. It is also my firm intention, once qualified, to give a great deal of my time to such activities. Since a dentist is a highly regarded and well-rewarded professional, it is especially important that he gives something back to society and I fully intend to do so. I spent eight years growing up in the north of Iran, on the Caspian Sea. As with most if not all-rural communities in Iran, oral health is very poor, primarily due to a lack of awareness of hygiene. Conditions are especially desperate across broad sectors of the north of Iran, and it is there that I most dream of establishing a clinic, and at least traveling there several times a year to enhance our provision of oral health care and education as well. I have carefully considered the demands of a challenging DDS program and I am determined to fully apply myself to the program and to excel. I know that there will be very many other well-qualified applicants. But my academic record suggests that I am most diligent and who is used to ‘going the extra mile’ in his work. My preparation for entry to the program has been both practical and academic and has provided a thoroughgoing understanding of the dental working environment. My greatest asset, however, is my passionate interest in dentistry and my dedication to the goal of becoming a highly skilled, most knowledgeable, and extremely competent dentist. I want to thank you for your consideration of my application.

New York City, Afghan-Iranian Applicant, Advanced Training Program in Orthodontics


A dentist and US citizen born, raised, and educated in New York, I also look forward to contributing to the celebration of diversity in your Orthodontics program as an Afghan-Iranian woman, since my parents - both Farsi speakers - came to America from Afghanistan and I am active in the Afghan-American community. There are few female dentists from or in Afghanistan, and this is perhaps especially true with respect to Orthodontics. Thus, I very much look forward to serving as a role model for new generations of Afghan and Iranian women here in America as well as doing what I can, within time, to help with the advancement of Orthodontics, as well as general dentistry, for underserved or marginalized populations generally speaking, particularly in Afghanistan.

Nothing excites me more than planning a long and distinguished career in Orthodontics, not only improving mastication and function, but also empowering individuals with a feeling of self-confidence reflected by and conveyed through their broad, uninhibited smiles. I love the planning that accompanies Orthodontic treatment and the organization required to optimize treatment spanning several years. I seek the most profound and extensive immersion experience possible in your program, enhancing my appreciation for esthetic concerns at the same time that I go much deeper and carefully study and contribute to our success at correcting the consequences of craniofacial deformities. I keenly look forward to contributing to research in this area as well staying busy professionally and as a volunteer on behalf of those patients suffering from cleft lip and palate, particularly with respect to patients from underserved communities.

I look forward to maintaining close ties with the academic world throughout my career; fully dedicated to lifelong education, I would like very much to have the profound privilege of teaching Orthodontics at some point in my career, perhaps far down the road in Afghanistan, if our country of origin should ever achieve the level of peace and stability where it would be safe to do so. I plan to eat, sleep, and breathe Orthodontics for several decades to come, and I am looking forward to many years of additional experience after completing your program, giving my all to a multi-specialty practice where I would be able to deal with complex craniofacial deformities, working alongside teams of with surgeons, pediatric dentists, etc.

I finished dental school at XXU in 2017 and I have gone on to a GPR at XXXX Hospital (LIJ) GPR- 2017-2018. I have also been engaged since my graduation with Women for Afghan Women, empowering Afghan women in the US and Afghanistan to become involved with their communities. I have served as a mentor to the youth, ages 8-19, helping with college applications and I was engaged with a variety of community outreach initiatives while a student in dental school, holding multiple board positions in university organizations associated with XXU’s college of Dentistry. As an undergraduate student, I was already shadowing my orthodontist, learning how to remove and place rubber bands, take alginate impressions and make stone models. My experience thus far includes experience with medically complex and/or pediatric patients. The three weeks that I spent immersed in Orthodontics at LIJ, mostly placing brackets and bands, was the high point of my professional life so far, along with sitting in on multiple cleft lip and palate conferences. Invisalign certified, I am currently employed by 2 private dental offices on Long Island.

I date my passion for Orthodontics back to high school, when I had my own Orthodontic treatment. The second oldest of 5 children, I have long served as a role model to my siblings, with my parents as well as brothers and sisters accustomed to turning to me for help as I was growing up. I am well organized and an extremely hard worker. Always with a ‘can do’ attitude, I get things done. Very family oriented, I place a high priority on building and maintaining strong relationships. I like to solve puzzles and I love a challenge. My parents always wanted me to be a medical doctor, but they recognized the special talent in my hands early on and have fully supported my giving my all to dentistry.

I have always adored fashion, makeup, cosmetics and beauty; thus, turning my attention to the esthetic side of dentistry is a natural choice and the fulfillment of a lifelong calling in the fullest sense.

I thank you for considering my application to your distinguished program in Orthodontics.