Now a US citizen, I grew up mostly in our native Yemen where my dentist uncle took me under his wing as a child and taught me the satisfaction to be gained from service to those who are weakest among us, especially those suffering from agonizing pain. I come from the poorest country in the Middle East with the least public health capacity in oral health. Nevertheless, my uncle found the time to treat refugees from Somalia in addition to his regular patients. He is my hero and my personal honor is built upon my dream of following in his footsteps here in the United States.
Dentistry appeals to me because of its breadth; involving, as it does, aesthetics, pain relief, corrective surgery and oral and dental disease prevention. I am aware that the aging of the population will have a direct effect on dentistry. I come from a culture in which the aged are treated with great respect and I look forward to working with the elderly especially those living in difficult financial circumstances and in underserved communities. I intend to work in an underserved community and to do all that I can to educate its members of the importance to general health of oral and dental hygiene routines.
In High School, I joined programs to prepare myself for a career in healthcare provision. The programs included the ‘shadowing’ of various health professionals in a hospital and confirmed my already strong desire to become a dentist. I have worked as a volunteer in dentists’ offices observing a wide variety of procedures, gaining an understanding of the roles of their staff members and providing general assistance. These experiences have provided me with a good basic understanding of dental techniques, the operation of a dentist’s office and of the dental health environment in the US. I have also undertaken much informal reading about dentistry and am excited at the rapid and continuing developments in techniques and materials that are occurring and am very keen to assist in the research bringing about these continuing advances.
I am aware that many people are reluctant to find themselves in the dentist’s chair out of apprehension and fear of pain. I understand that interpersonal skills and the ability to inspire confidence in patients and empathize with them are almost as important as technical knowledge and skills. I believe that I have the natural characteristics that will enable me to do so successfully. I have happily studied, worked and socialized with people of many cultural and social backgrounds.
I currently work as a retail manager to support myself and my family during my studies. I was rapidly promoted to this position because my employers recognized various skills and characteristics that I believe are directly applicable to a career in dentistry. I lead, supervise, motivate, direct, plan and budget whilst, most importantly, providing excellent customer service.
I know that there will be many well qualified applicants for the program. However, I consider myself to be an excellent candidate. I have a passionate desire to become a skilled, knowledgeable and caring dentist and believe that I have the potential to do so.