I was born and raised in my native Tehran, Iran and always excelled in school, studying at a National School for the Gifted and Talented. Eager to excel and focusing on dentistry very early on since I was inspired by several relatives who are dentists. As a child, I began shadowing my uncles who were dentists whenever I had the opportunity. When it came time for me to enroll in dental school, everyone wanted me to study dentistry in English, thinking in terms of my long term advancement. Yet for us there were very few options. After extensive research and discussion, we decided on the Philippines because the entire dental curriculum was in English. Thus, I went to the Philippines to study dentistry.
My time in the Philippines was greatly facilitated by the fact that my family and I are part of Iran’s small Christian minority. The Philippines is a very Christian country and I was met with great solidarity and I very much rejoiced in the fact that most of my fellow students as well as my professors were Christian. This helped me to bond quickly with my professors and open up doors to opportunities to help them with their research. They also invited me to go with their groups on dental missions to provide free treatment to the many underserved in the Philippines. International students in our university selected me as the Vice president of our student association.
As a part of the curriculum in my dental school, we worked in different public hospitals shadowing dentists in the dental wards and becoming familiar with dental public health issues and hospital dentistry. In this way, my interest in oral public health and a concern for those who depend on public hospitals was cultivated since the beginning of my studies in dentistry. After my graduation, I went back to Iran and received my permanent dental license and began working as a licensed dentist in both public and private clinics—giving my all to dentistry in the land of my birth for almost 4 years. At the same time, I also kept up my charity work during this period helping out with various organizations and projects dedicated to helping the underserved in Iran, as much as I possibly could given the fact that I was working more than full time. I am very thankful for that opportunity to acquire hands on experience, long hours; attending mostly to patients of scare resources—as I learned a great deal that will always be with me. Working in public and private clinics both allowed me to treat a huge number and diversity of patients. I helped to discover and better understand my own strengths and weaknesses as a dentist, working to correct the latter. I attended also attended several continuing education programs in different branches of dentistry in Iran, as I would continue to do after arriving in the USA.
Upon my arrival in the US, I immediately began preparing to re-launch my career here in dentistry, preparing for and passing the National Dental Board exams, for example. I have my heart set on being accepted to an advanced education program here in America because I see the dental education in the USA as the cutting-edge frontier of dentistry and I could not be more eager to learn while taking full advantage of the vast resources of US dental schools and especially the state-of-the-art facilities. Perhaps most importantly, in order to hit the ground running in your distinguished DDS Program and to excel, I have been giving my all currently to earning a Master’s Degree in Health Services/Sciences at the University of XXXX. I will complete this program before enrolling in dental school and I see it as excellent preparation, especially since I want very much to practice dentistry in the USA in a way that compliments public oral health efforts geared towards attending to the underserved, those who have no resources or insurance to cover their dental care. As a graduate student at UXX, I have had the invaluable experience of becoming familiar with both the American educational system at the same time that I learn about American health care structures and processes. My GPA is currently 3.5.
My heart will always be devoted to research; thus, serving as a graduate research assistant at the University of XXXX is proving to be a special honor and joy as I particularly appreciate the many things that I am learning about research design and statistical software. As part of the curriculum in my Masters program, I am currently in the process of completing the first of two internships in dental clinics in the XXXX area, shadowing both general dentists and specialists in order to familiarize myself with dental practices and options here in the US, learning how to operate the latest equipment being used in the local clinics, how the patient referral system works, drug prescription processes, as well as insurance coverage and services.
I thank you for your consideration of my application to your distinguished and competitive program.