My aunt in India and her husband are general dentists, so I became interested in the profession while still a child. I decided on this career path early in life and have never regretted it. I spent considerable time during my vacations 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 doubts about my career choice, the sight of so many grimaces of pain being transformed into smiles of gratitude and relief, they were soon dispersed. Few professions provide 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. In subsequent years, I lost several relatives to cancer through late diagnosis, and my interest in oral cancers, 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 glad 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 consequently improved outcomes and to do so among disadvantaged and marginalized communities be it in India or elsewhere. I am also intensely interested in designing and propagating 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 work area.
I have five years of research experience in radiation biology; being unable to practice there is one of the fundamental aspects of oral radiology. Apart from my research duties at TMDU, I am 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 ensure my potential and diligence. I also think that my research experience and results demonstrate my ability to think creatively. 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, while undertaking the duties of mother and wife, also demonstrates an ability to manage my time efficiently and prioritize effectively.
I know that providing medical services calls for exceptional 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, have traveled widely, and love sharing knowledge of my rich heritage., especially classical Indian music. I love being out in the fresh air and 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 allow others to do so through research and teaching.
Thank you for considering my application.
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