My aunt in India and her husband are general dentists and so I became interested in the profession while still a child and I decided on this career path early in life and have never regretted it. I used to spend considerable time during my vacations, while training, helping and observing the skilled and devoted care that my aunt and her husband provided to their patients and I learned a great deal from them. The most important lesson I learned was that a patient is not a set of notes and images but a precious and unique individual. If I had harbored any doubts about my career choice, the sight of so many grimaces of pain being transformed into smiles of gratitude and relief during my clinical training would have completely dispersed them, there must be few professions providing such a level of satisfaction.
During my third year of training, I encountered the first patient with oral cancer and an interest in the disease was fired. I was shocked and saddened by the situation that exists in India. Oral cancers are a significant health problem in India because of high exposure among the population, especially the most disadvantaged, to risk factors, coupled typically with late diagnosis and resultant poor outcomes. During the subsequent years, I lost several relatives to cancer through late diagnosis and my interest in oral cancers and especially early diagnosis developed into a passion.
After my internship and two years of general practice in India, I followed my husband to Japan where he was working and, being unable to practice there, took a position as a Dental Assistant. The dentist who employed me was aware of my interests and encouraged me to learn the language and pursue my academic goals there. It was a daunting prospect but I decided to take his advice and am so glad that I did. I gained entry into the best dental school in Japan, The XXXX Medical and Dental University, which also has a considerable reputation for research. I was thrilled to be able to join the Oral cancer research group as my Ph.D. lab.
My Ph.D. research was a fascinating experience but, having seen the pathologies only through microscopes, I now have a strong desire to acquire the skills and knowledge to enable me to work directly in providing early diagnosis and the consequent improved outcomes and to do so among disadvantaged and marginalized communities be it in India or elsewhere. I also have a strong interest in the design and propagation of effective preventative education. I hope to combine this work with research and teaching to share my passion and encourage others to work in this vital area of work.
I have a 5 years of research experience in radiation biology, which is one of the very important aspects of oral radiology. Apart from my research duties at TMDU, I am also a clinical observer in Oral Radiology and observe around 20 patients daily in the CBCT section alone. I believe that this provides a firm foundation to enable me to excel within the program.
I believe that my academic record will provide an assurance of my potential and diligence. I also believe that my research experience and results, demonstrate that I possess the ability to think creatively and originally, that I have an ‘eye for detail’, determination in pursuing goals and the vital ability to work effectively in cooperation with others as a team member or leader. I also feel that rapidly acquiring fluency in the Japanese language shows that I apply exceptional determination and diligence to overcome obstacles. The creditable result of my Ph.D. studies, whilst undertaking the duties of mother and wife, also demonstrates an ability to manage my time efficiently and to prioritize effectively.
I am aware that providing medical services calls for an exceptional level of cultural awareness and sensitivity. I have happily worked, studied and socialized with people of many social and ethnic backgrounds. I enjoy exposure to other cultures and have travelled widely, and I love sharing knowledge of my own rich heritage. I enjoy Indian classical singing in which I hold a senior grade and being out in the fresh air experiencing nature’s wonders.
To summarize: I have an excellent academic record; I have significant experience in general dentistry; I am an experienced and skilled researcher in projects relevant to the program and I am undertaking an observer-ship in related areas of study. However, my main recommendation is a genuine passion for acquiring the skills and knowledge offered by the program to enable me to save the lives of some who would otherwise succumb to oral cancers and to enable others to do so through research and teaching.
Thank you for considering my application.