It was always my intention to spend my life ‘making a difference’ rather than merely making a living. I thought long and hard about how I could translate my intention into reality and considered a number of health care career paths. When I looked at dentistry, it was notable that every dentist I spoke to reported a very high level of professional satisfaction. It was also an excellent fit for me as I have a strong esthetic sense and a wish to work on a one to one basis with patients over a long term. It is a decision that I have never regretted. As my training and work has progressed, I have become more and more interested in periodontics and now wish to acquire the specialist skills and knowledge to enable me to practice, research and teach this vital specialty in which so many exciting developments in techniques and materials are being developed.
During my general dental training, there was an emphasis throughout on the health of supporting structures and I became increasingly interested in the problems that arise when they are unhealthy and the means of prevention and treatment. In my work as a general dentist, I have also become aware that gingival recession is a common and serious problem and is a further reason for the making of this application. As my interest has grown, I have taken every opportunity, during my internships and since, to acquire exposure to the work of periodontists and have read relevant professional journals and, in the process, my ambition to specialize has become a passionate determination. I am particularly attracted to the specialty because of a strong interest in the esthetic aspects of dentistry. I have witnessed the dramatic improvements in appearance that an excellent specialist can achieve and the consequent improved self-esteem and confidence of the patient and seek that very high level of professional satisfaction routinely available to specialists in this field.
I am drawn by the fact that specialists deal with highly complex cases, each with unique aspects that require meticulous planning combined with creative and original thinking and a need to be aware of all current developments in the specialty. I have a strong interest in innovations in techniques and materials and feel very excited at the prospect of joining such a dynamic professional environment.
I am aware that ‘prevention is better than cure’ is a saying that applies to periodontics as much, if not more, than to other aspects of health. The maintenance of healthy supporting structures cannot be over-emphasized being important not only to oral and dental health but to robust general health. I have been involved in several endeavors to encourage effective dental and oral health regimes and hope to do much throughout my future career to further awareness and to establish and promote the most effective means of doing so.
Apart from skills, knowledge and experience, I understand that empathy is a vital ‘ingredient’ in the specialty as is the ability to engender confidence and trust in patients and that these characteristics cannot be taught or measured. I know that regarding patients as individuals rather than a set of case notes and images and dealing with them patiently and sympathetically is absolutely vital in this specialty and I always seek to do so and to put the patient’s needs first.
I have been the beneficiary of excellent dental training at a prestigious institution in which I was awarded a creditable GPA of 4.19/5 and of a comprehensive internship training program that exposed me to several dental specialties as well as providing a firm foundation in general dentistry. I also have post-graduate experience of general dentistry which has exposed me to a wide variety of conditions and patient types and has also helped me to develop the ‘soft skills’ in creating and maintaining excellent relationships with patients.
I am making this application after much thought as I am aware that the specialty calls for a level of skills, knowledge and experience that requires considerable academic ability and potential, commitment and determination in order to become an excellent practitioner. I am confident that I possess the passion for the specialty that will enable me to excel within the program and in my career beyond. I can assure the reader that I shall apply myself with exceptional diligence, enthusiasm and determination to the program.
Thank you for considering my application.