I like to think of myself as a young woman headed for outstanding achievements in providing dental care to the underserved, especially in my family’s native Egypt, a land I have come to love since I completed dental school and practiced dentistry in Egypt. The six years I spent in Egypt devoted to dentistry helped me perfect my Arabic since English is my first language, having been born and raised in the USA. Perhaps most of all, I want to be a dentist with a big heart who sees the big picture since prevention is always preferable to cure. Being accepted to and completing your distinguished doctoral program for International Dentists here in America will enable and inspire me to measure up to my lofty and noble central goal in life: to become a master periodontist with advanced training in the Epidemiology of Periodontal Disease. This way, I will be well on my way to the actual preparation possible to devote my life to advancing increasingly effective preventative measures in dental practice, particularly in Egypt.
On January 25th, 2011, I was there in Tahrir Square, standing with millions of Egyptians demanding to be heard, demanding freedom from the tyranny, oppression, and the entrenched, widespread corruption that had been governing Egypt for three decades.
On January 25th, 2011, standing in Tahrir Square with millions of Egyptians demanding to be heard, we demanded freedom from the tyranny and oppression that had been governing Egypt for three decades – Mubarak had to go. He did, leaving many challenges and further bloodshed in his wake. In addition to being an American woman who is also an Egyptian-trained dentist, I am someone who is well versed in this most turbulent era of Egyptian history since my dental education coincided with fast-moving social change that has many implications for dentistry as part of life in general in Egypt. I was born in New Jersey, the youngest woman of a Coptic Egyptian family, weeks after my parents and older siblings arrived from Egypt. Over the next 15 years, my family moved several times across the United States and Canada, finally settling in a suburb of Sacramento, California.
Throughout my lifetime, I have searched to define myself as a Coptic Christian woman, an Egyptian, an American, and now most of all, the centerpiece of my identity, a dentist.
I was in the third grade when our teacher informed us that we would have a “parent’s career day,” with a parent explaining to the students what their careers consisted of and why they had taken an interest in pursuing that specific profession. The father of my best friend explained what Dentistry meant to him and how it had changed his life: from meeting and understanding people of all different backgrounds and cultures to the type of appreciation each of his patients had expressed to him and his dental team. I was intrigued. As the years went by and I started reading more and more about dentistry, my passion grew incrementally.
Since my parents were born and raised in Egypt, I was always curious about our home country. At 18, I wanted to realize my independence and escape my family, and I had fallen in love with our homeland Egypt due to many lengthy vacations back home by that time. I also wanted to study dentistry. So, I did both and began dental school in Egypt, graduating five years later and completing several months of my internship before I had to return to the USA for family reasons. Life in Egypt was challenging, from learning the formal local dialect of Arabic to accommodating the conservative way of life. I learned how to drive in the crazy streets of Egypt with no lanes and barely any traffic signals.
After returning to the USA in 2012, I began shadowing and assisting dentists in Southern California. It seemed like I was practicing dentistry on another planet after what I had been accustomed to in Egypt, dentistry as I knew it up until that point. I now feel very comfortable in charge of setting up the examination room and maintaining infection control protocols and precautions. I have also had the chance to do chair-side assistance with several dentists. Soon, I worked as a treatment coordinator at two different dental clinics in Sacramento and Elk Grove, California. I have successfully dealt with all administrative and financial issues concerning patients and insurance companies in both positions. I have received special training concerning the health insurance portability and accountability act (HIPAA). I have spent countless hours scheduling patient appointments and doing follow-ups to ensure they are comfortable with their treatment plan.
I passed the first part of the National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) in January 2014. I could not be more enthusiastic about practicing dentistry here in the US due to completing your distinguished DDS Program. Accepting me to your competitive program will propel me toward the cutting edge of periodontics and inspire a humble woman from the Coptic Christian community of Egypt to do what she can to advance the cause of her people in Egypt by providing them with adequate dental care under harsh conditions.
I thank you for considering my application.
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