I dentist from Lebanon, still only 23, I finished dental school in the country where I mostly grew up and I am currently making a new home for myself with my family in Canada, where I also hold citizenship. North America has long since felt like my second home since I lived here for several years as a child. I moved back to Canada in August of 2018 where I soon began working as a receptionist in a dental office for the first six months. I learned how dental offices are managed and how billing and insurance procedures are done. I left this position when I was invited to work alongside a prominent and distinguished dental surgeon as his assistant. Thus, since February of 2019, I have had the opportunity to observe up close and first hand, how most complex dental procedures and surgeries are performed. In particular, I have learned a lot about implants, supporting prosthesis, and bone grafts - all of which will help me hit the ground running and distinguish myself in a DDS Program for international dentists.
The only girl in the family, my brothers and my dad are engineers. Becoming a health care professional was a natural choice and I was heavily influenced in my career decision by an aunt in Lebanon in whose clinic I spent whole days, learning about dentistry and the important role of the dentist in the community. I learned very early on, therefore, the power and beauty of dentistry with respect to esthetics as well as the medical aspects of our profession. A mostly self-taught artist since early adolescence, working hard in particular at portrait realism and graphite drawings, I learned mostly from the Internet and art books. Drawing in micro scale using extra thin pencils gave me a steady hand. This dovetails nicely with my dedication to Prosthodontics and I look forward to developing a lifelong specialization in this area of dentistry later in my career, after I first earn my doctoral degree. Smile design and complex dental restorations and oral rehabilitation after a traumatic injury, or genetic facial defects, all stand at the center of my world.
I am especially dedicated to the cause of providing oral health care to refugees. I feel particularly called to do so since many refugees, especially these days, speak my first language, Arabic. I began helping refugees while still in dental school in Lebanon. One of the patients I came across during my clinical years at the university was a 30-year-old woman with 5 children who was fleeing political violence and had also been badly abused by her husband. She came to me in great pain and very ashamed of her badly decayed teeth. It was a difficult case as she needed multiple extractions on her posteriors and the 6 anterior teeth needed endodontic treatment - in addition to core buildups and crowns. She also needed partial dentures on both the maxilla and mandible. Within 2 months, I had managed to control the disease progression by teaching her how to brush. When I placed the final restorations, I saw her smile for the first time and she told me that she had forgotten what it was like to feel happy.
I have had the intention for some time to seek further study and practice in North America after finishing dental school in Lebanon. This was especially true since my family decided to move back to Canada after I began dental school. Thus, I took the NBDE Part 1 when I was in my 3rd year of dental school and passed on my first attempt. I also passed Part 2 on my first attempt the following year as a 4th year student. I learned to become a Master in time management, flying back and forth to Canada at the same time that I distinguished myself as a dental student in Lebanon, completing 5 years at the Beirut Arab University.
I shadowed numerous dentists during my school years and one special highlight was going to Dubai in 2016, during my 3rd year of dental school, to attend the International Students Dental Conference at the University of Sharjah. I very much enjoyed a full week of workshops and lectures in dental education provided by renowned dentists from all over the world. This helped me to broaden my horizons with respect to dentistry as a global profession.
As a member of the Lebanese Association of Dental Students for four years, I had the opportunity to co-organize many dental events and conferences, including lectures for high school students across Lebanon and special fun-filled activities for children in kindergarten and pre-school. I volunteered for our Free Medical Week 3 years in a row, helping to provide checkups at public schools; assessing patients oral hygiene and general health status. I also had a share in helping to provide oral health care to many of these children coming from marginalized or refugee families. In addition to oral hygiene education and diet counseling, we referred patients to our clinics at the university where we provided dental services at a low cost. I look forward to making room in my schedule to help the underserved for the balance of my professional life, since I see this as both a professional duty as well as an honor.
I thank you for considering my application.