Originally from Jordan, for some time now I have been making a new home alongside my husband in the San Francisco area. He is a physician and I am a dentist and we share the central passion in life of helping the underserved, not only practicing our professions but doing so on a voluntary basis to the extent to which we can. I will always think of Jordan as my home, and to a lesser extent the Middle East generally speaking. In addition to the USA, I have also gotten to know Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. For years my heart has bled for my people, since I became aware of the widespread political violence plaguing the region for so long. After earning my DDS/DMD Degree here in America, I hope to at some point return to Jordan as part of dental/medical missions caring for the numerous refugees in Jordan from surrounding countries, especially Syria and Iraq.
Here in the USA, I also plan to focus as much of my attention as possible on the underserved, the members of marginalized communities here in California, most particularly, primarily-Spanish-speaking migrants many of whom are undocumented and, therefore, find access to dental care most difficult. This is why I have spent the last couple of years studying Spanish intensively, primarily for this purpose. I feel that my experience and dedication will help me to hit the ground running in your doctoral program, particularly my most recent experience, since I am currently serving as a Visiting Scholar at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry at the University of the Pacific where I am assisting intensively with several projects dedicated to the improvement of clinical results.
My natural curiosity for the way things work and how they are constructed, kept me very occupied as a child. Generally praised for being smart, sometimes I was scolded for destroying toys, remotes, even a PC. My parents kept my mind as well as my hands busy by involving me in many extracurricular activities that cultivated dexterity and constructive capabilities. Both of my parents were supportive of my decision to choose dentistry as my career. Thus, I like to think of myself as someone who has been groomed from infancy to bring smiles to the faces of those around me.
My determination to become a dentist was very much strengthened as I matured and began to pay closer attention to the suffering around me in Jordan as a result of inadequate attention to oral health issues, and how the problem is radically compounded by poverty. At least, for the moment, Jordan is not at war with any of its neighbors. Early on, when I became a first-hand witness to the huge and sustainable effects of recovering a beautiful smile and the profound gift of a sincere and talented dentist, the positive impact that they can have on a person’s life, I was hooked. When I was a teenager I had a defected smile due to congenitally missing bilateral incisors, which resulted in my lack of self-esteem and confidence. By the end of my treatment journey, I was totally taken by the dental world; the instruments, the techniques, the teamwork, and the obvious and lasting improvements that result. My own life was extremely enhanced by dental treatment, and this is another reason why I want to be the person to help people feel the way I felt as a result of my own treatment. From the time of my treatment forward, I never wavered in the goal set before me, so I made sure that I maintained a really high GPA in high school since Jordan’s dental schools have very rigid requirements. I implemented sophisticated study skills and became a master of time management; this helped me to achieve a percentile ranking in my class of 98.7 and I soon found myself studying at Jordan University’s School of Dentistry.
I am pleased to have clinical experience at some of Amman’s most prestigious dental centers and to have spent many hours as a volunteer with the Jordan Volunteers Association, and especially the Jordan Health Aid Society. For six months I worked with underserved communities to increase their oral awareness and implement preventive care programs. We also worked within Iraqi and Syrian refugee camps, treating patients who were victims of war and dislocation, often with obvious signs of severe PTSD.
I keenly look forward to mastering the latest techniques in dentistry as a student in your program. I also very much look forward to learning valuable and enriching things from my fellow students in the program, especially those from developing countries that face challenges similar to those that we face in Jordan. I dream of someday opening my own dental practice that is very much a part of the community, including those members that are less fortunate, in particular, those without access to dental care. First, however, I look forward to gaining extensive experience and proving myself as a valuable team member, determined to excel at what I do.
I thank you for your consideration of my application to study towards the doctoral degree in dentistry.