Two Statements for the same applicant follow, one general and the second directed to a particular university.
1. General Statement, not directed to any specific university.
Armenian International Dentist, IDP, DDS/DMD, Children, and the Elderly, Pediatric and Geriatric
A dentist from Armenia who could not be more dedicated to professional advancement, I came to America to make a new home for myself primarily because of the dream of attending your program, earning a doctoral degree in my field, and receiving the finest dental education available—having completed an undergraduate degree in the USA before returning to Armenia, where I finished dental school. I have had the opportunity to work and socialize with people from various social and ethnic backgrounds, mainly due to now having immigrated to America.
Now making a new, permanent home for myself in the USA, I hope to be accepted to an IDP. Earning the DDS/DMD degree will enable me to continue my dream of professional advancement. During the past year, I have worked as a Dental Assistant and learned how to store and organize charts and other responsibilities. I have become familiar with several dental software programs while serving alongside an oral surgeon and periodontal specialist. This exposure has provided me with a solid, basic understanding of many, if not most, aspects of the practice of dentistry in the US.
I volunteer a lot with the Elder Life Program (HELP) at XXXX University Medical Center, where I have been cultivating my special love for the elderly, particularly those who have dementia; we make daily visits to keep our patients as fully oriented as possible, working to maintain their cognitive status and functionality. We assist, as necessary, with feeding as well as companionship.
I believe that my dental education at home in Armenia provides me with a solid foundation for attending dental school in the USA, where I now reside. I fell in love with America as a college student earning my BS Degree with Honors in Biology, looking ahead to dental school. During my fourth year as an international undergraduate student at Montclair State University, I had the opportunity to volunteer in a Dental office, shadowing both the general dentist and the oral surgeon. This has helped me become a valuable team player, demonstrating perseverance, passion, and dedication to dentistry.
My mother, a dentist who is now retired, has always been my foremost role model, and I seek to emulate her noble ideals, hard work, and tenacity in the face of obstacles. I participated in a volunteer program throughout my five years of dental school. I especially enjoy working with children and elderly patients. I would often go every Saturday to the south of the country in Armenia to be part of a government program to teach parents how important dental hygiene is for their children, advising them concerning diet by a child’s age and how important it was for them to identify signs of oral disease early on through regular checkups.
During my third year of dental school, I began to pay special attention to Orthodontics. after earning my doctorate in Dentistry, I look forward to advanced training in this area. I have participated in research concerning obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and the kind of orthodontic treatments that help ease these symptoms. After finishing dental school and immigrating to the USA, I worked in private practice and completed countless procedures on stained and discolored teeth, worn, chipped, broken, misaligned, misshapen, and gapped anterior teeth. Cosmetic dentistry has helped me appreciate the importance of manual agility and exceptional hand-eye coordination.
I served my community in my private practice for X years and found it enormously rewarding to continue my education in Orthodontics. I relished being a dentist making an often immediate and dramatic improvement in people’s lives. The Master’s Program in Orthodontics that I completed in Albania was very competitive, and many of my teachers were Italian and Albani. I learned a great deal about using various orthodontic appliances to treat patients with an open bite in deciduous and mixed dentition, for example. My advanced training in Orthodontics confirmed my choice of specialty, which I look forward to returning to at some point in my career after I have first earned my DDS/DMD Degree.
I have accomplished applying slow and fast palatal expanders and how to manage patients, and tiny children for treatments requiring making use of these appliances. Each day, I more fully appreciate the importance of patient education and how early treatment can sometimes eliminate the need for braces in the future. I look forward to a professional lifetime of research and practice in Orthodontics, especially concerning craniofacial growth and treatment sequencing.
I thank you for your consideration of my application.
Personal Statement for CAAPID, directed to a specific university:
At the center of my world stands helping the underserved as a dentistry professional – on personal and professional levels. I have two particular loves in this regard, the ancient and the very young, and I hope for a long life full of helping both. For this reason, I hope to be selected for a DDS/DMD program for international dentists. I feel strongly that I am the best fit with the IDP at UXX for a variety of reasons. This is where I would have the most robust support base that would enable me to give 24/ 7 to my International Dentist Program.
I am especially drawn to the elderly who are neglected by or have lost their families. One of my long-term goals is to establish a program that helps provide affordable dental care for the elderly in need. My other long-term goal is to return to my native Armenia and set up a dental clinic to provide free dental care for orphaned children. Armenia is very much a Third World country. The government does almost nothing to help in this area, with the care of orphans depending entirely upon private charitable efforts and donations. I see providing free dental care to as many orphaned children in Armenia as possible as a realistic goal that I will be able to achieve later on in my career if I were to be accepted to your doctoral program in dentistry. Having excelled through six years of dental school in Armenia, doing rotations in the different specialties, I became convinced that pediatric dentistry held a special place in my heart. For me, Pediatric Dentistry is more than a career. I see it as the most profound of privileges to make sustainable, lifetime contributions to a child's oral health and self-esteem.
My dental school curriculum in Armenia was rigorous, with a challenging didactic and clinical curriculum with between eight and eleven courses in any given semester. I learned to master time management, staying balanced with my career and family. I especially appreciate that we were allowed the opportunity to do the bulk of our clinic hours in underserved communities. It was heartbreaking to see how hard families in these communities worked and struggled to feed their children. These experiences were especially foundational for me since they shaped the character of the dental provider I seek to become.
When I immigrated to the United States to join my husband, I did so with the keen desire to restart my career in dentistry by re-training through completing a doctoral program for international dentists. Since I arrived in America, I have been working towards this goal. I became a Dental Assistant and returned to my studies with great diligence. Now that my twin girls are X years old, this is the optimal time for me to return to full-time study.
I found studying for the NBDE Parts I and II to be exhilarating, pushing me out of my comfort zone and becoming one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. One of the main reasons I love the United States of America is to be able to struggle to achieve my professional dreams through hard work and determination. I also love the diversity of the USA.
Many people underestimate the critical importance of pediatric dental care for a child’s overall health. I want to communicate the importance of pediatric dentistry in the communities I serve. To the extent to which it is in my power, I will give my all to informing parents about the negative implications of poor oral health on the overall development of their children. I will also strive to provide older children with the necessary tools to develop and maintain proper oral hygiene as they mature into adults.
I have succeeded in both parts of the NBDE and now look forward with great determination and zeal to continuing my preparation for entrance into my profession at the doctoral level here in the USA, hopefully at the XXXX School of Dentistry at the University of XXXX.
I thank you for considering my application.