Now a US citizen, I grew up mostly in our native Yemen. My dentist uncle took me under his wing as a child and taught me the satisfaction gained from service to the weakest among us, especially those suffering from unbearable 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 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 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. I look forward to working with the elderly, especially those in difficult financial circumstances and underserved communities. I intend to work in an underserved community and do all that I can to educate its members on the importance of oral hygiene routines. In High School, I joined programs to prepare me for a career in healthcare provision. The plan included shadowing various health professionals in a hospital and confirming my strong desire to become a dentist. I have worked as a volunteer in dentists’ offices, observing a wide variety of procedures, understanding the roles of their staff members, and providing general assistance. These experiences have provided me with an excellent basic understanding of dental techniques, the operation of a dentist’s office, and the dental health environment in the US. I have also undertaken much informal reading about dentistry. I am excited at the rapid and continuing developments in techniques and materials and am keen to assist in the research bringing about these continuing advances.
I know 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 necessary as technical knowledge and skills. I believe that I have the natural characteristics to 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 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 while, 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 I believe that I have the potential to do so.
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