My initial interest in dentistry came about because of a young niece’s dental problems which were resolved by the intervention of a highly skilled and kindly dentist. His work was truly life changing for my niece and inspiring to me. My interest was fired. I began my research into this potential life path and was very drawn by what I discovered. Dentistry’s appeal to me lies in its great breadth; involving, as it does, aesthetics, pain relief, corrective surgery and the very important areas of oral and dental disease prevention. The skilled dentist can provide a confident smile, a wider choice of diet and enhance general health. The desire to ‘make a difference’ rather than to merely ‘make a living’ with my life was my hope since early childhood and I see dentistry as a wonderful means of fulfilling this ambition.
I began my involvement in dentistry while still studying for my BS degree in Biological Sciences by taking on a role as a Dental Clinic Assistant at my university; this initial experience confirmed my choice of career and my determination to pursue it no matter what the sacrifices involved.
Having obtained my bachelor degree, I went to study dentistry at the prestigious Lviv National Medical University in the Ukraine. I excelled in the program, obtaining a GPA of 3.71 and being included in the Dean’s List. During my vacations in the US, I worked as a volunteer dental assistant learning about the US dental environment. After graduation, I was one of a handful of students selected to work as a Student Dentist in the University’s dental clinic. I undertook all the routine work of a general dentist during this time and assisted with many complex procedures. Because of a naturally calm and friendly disposition, I was appointed to treat child residents of a local orphanage which was a wonderful experience and I was able to inspire confidence and trust in my young, often very nervous, patients. I was also able to educate them in the importance of dental hygiene routines. This enormously satisfying work has fired a determination to give some of my time to the treatment and dental education of underserved and underprivileged families.
Since returning to the US, I have worked as a dental assistant this has provided further familiarization with the US dental environment and relevant knowledge about the various roles in a US dentist’s office. I have also been enabled to observe, and assist with, various non-routine procedures.
I am more than usually aware of the ways in which the oral cavity reveals the patient’s overall health. A friend went to see her dentist for a routine check but her visit ended with her being taken as an emergency case to hospital. The dentist had detected the early signs of cancer and she was subsequently diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia and has since received a bone marrow transplant. This is a lesson that I will never forget.
As you will see from my CV, I have attended a number of relevant and useful seminars in order to enhance and extend my knowledge. I also read professional journals to keep abreast of current developments. I am excited to be involved in a profession in which innovations in techniques and materials are a constant feature. I am very keen to maintain a close interest in all advances and innovations affecting the profession throughout my future career.
I recently assisted in research into minimal to non-invasive techniques in tooth restoration in adults. This work confirmed my belief in a conservative approach to treatment. It also provided me with an insight into research techniques and the characteristics and skills required of an excellent researcher. I believe that I have the determination, objectivity and analytical skills which provide the basis for successful research. My special interest is in cosmetic dentistry and I hope to have the opportunity to assist in research in this area of work. My interest developed because I have witnessed the life-changing results of cosmetic dentistry both for my own niece and in many patients since.
I know that cultural awareness and sensitivity are especially important in health care provision. I have personally experienced the challenges involved in adjusting to new cultural environments and so can empathize with others in this situation. I have happily studied, worked and socialized with people from many different cultural and social backgrounds and look forward to extending these experiences in the program. I speak English, Hindi and Punjabi fluently and have a basic grasp of Ukrainian.
I know that there will be many well qualified applicants for the program. However I regard myself as an excellent candidate; I am a diligent student, as my academic results and honors show; I have shown a determination to pursue a career in dentistry by moving to a totally new country to do so; I also offer significant and relevant experience and a passionate dedication to the improvement of dental health and education. I feel that my background and personal characteristics will enable me excel in the program and to provide interesting and useful insights to my class and, thereafter, to become an asset to the US dental community.