African-American, Caribbean Woman Orthodontist, Residency Personal Statement Trinidad and Tobago

Updated: 4 days ago

It is my sincere hope to become one of only a few Caribbean, female Orthodontists with cutting edge training and professional excellence of the highest order. Orthodontics introduced me to dentistry. I had braces at the beginning of my teenage years and was enthralled by the use of technology and the technological advancements in the field. My dream of pursuing orthodontics began when I realized how my orthodontist had improved my morale as an adolescent.

I find nothing as exciting and fulfilling as contributing to the increased self-confidence of my patients resulting from improving health, function, and esthetics - all at the same time. In my second of two general residency positions, at XXXX, I went out of my way to make sure that as many orthodontics patients as possible were placed on my schedule so that I could maximize my experience in orthodontics. During my free time at XXXX, I shadowed pediatric dental residents who were doing orthodontics cases. My research interests also lie in the area of Orthodontics, especially the stability of orthodontic movement.

I very much look forward to serving as a role model in my community to future generations of women of color in Orthodontics. My country of origin is Trinidad and Tobago, a land which I know well and love dearly because it is there where I have my roots. Made up of two islands, with a multi-ethnic, multilingual population, it is one of the Caribbean’s most thriving economies, but there are only 6 orthodontists practicing in the entire country and only one or two are female. I am also troubled by the fact that patients from the sister island of Tobago have to travel inter-island to receive orthodontic care. Further on in my career, I plan to devote increasing amounts of time to volunteer activity and helping to work towards the advancement of Orthodontics and access to Orthodontic treatment in Trinidad and Tobago. This long-term goal is especially dear to my heart.

Furthermore, I also look forward to excelling in Orthodontics in Spanish and contributing to the diversity of your program as an oral health professional also competent in this critically important language, the mother tonque of increasing numbers of underserved in America. My Spanish for purposes of dentistry improved and became more focused as I learned from my co-residents from Puerto Rico throughout the course of my residency at Montefiore. I also continued to hone this skill with the Spanish-speaking patients in my second Residency at Brookdale.

My celebration of diversity, as a symbol of diversity, operates across languages and I especially love this aspect of my career. The other very special aspect of my second residency in Brookdale was the large English-speaking Caribbean community in Brooklyn. I was left feeling most fulfilled by the way that these patients found comfort in having a dentist with a familiar/similar cultural background. Participating fully in the Give Kids a Smile Day at Brookdale in 2018 was another special highlight. Previously, in my first residency position at Montefiore Medical Center I took special joy in going out on our dental bus providing dental care and education to inner-city schoolchildren.

Increasing awareness of the importance of orthodontic care in underserved communities stands at the center of my goals for the future. I hope to grow professionally into an expert in the area of orthodontic intervention and craniofacial growth, especially with respect to patients that have low dental IQs as well as members of underserved communities.

At some point, I also hope to build and operate my own private practice as an Orthodontist, always staying connected with hospitals and clinics devoted to the care of the underserved. At some point I would also very much enjoy teaching Orthodontics and helping to shape the careers of new generations of Orthodontists. At the same time, I plan to always continue my engagement in the area of cleft palate and surgical cases. Finally, I look forward to being able to increase my participation in dental missions as my career advances.

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

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