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Filipino Immigrant, Dental School, Bound for Orthodontics

Updated: Aug 4


My parents left their eight children behind in the Philippines when they immigrated to America. My siblings and I finally reunited with them eight years ago, coming to the USA when I was eighteen, feeling confident and ready for anything. My initial motivation to continue my education was to make my family proud and prove their sacrifice wasn’t vain. I graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida. I considered different medical fields and was drawn to dentistry. My most incredible honor is that I have been the only dental student in my program awarded the Chancellor’s Scholarship for Dental Medicine four years in a row. I have learned how much science and art go into dentistry in dental school. My life-long devotion to art also goes a long way toward explaining my chosen area of specialty: Orthodontics. After finishing dental school, I hope to proceed right away to an advanced training position in this area of dentistry, where my greatest passion lies.


I am also drawn to Orthodontics because I am a family person. I seek active engagement with parents and children alike, building long-term relationships in the community, listening to my patient's stories, and being as supportive as possible. Because of how orthodontic treatment takes place over time, I look forward to becoming a part of the lives of numerous patients and their families over the years rather than days, weeks, or months, helping with life-enhancing changes. I also appreciate how Orthodontics is virtually painless, with patients more highly motivated to visit and get their treatment, actually looking forward to it. I look forward to decades to come giving my all to Orthodontics, helping raise self-esteem and awareness of oral hygiene among families, and encouraging them to take care of their teeth and health in general.


My first experience with Orthodontics was in my first year of dental school, thanks to the support and inspiration of my friend, Mike, an Orthodontics resident. The thought of getting braces was in my mind when I was accepted to dental school. Mike gave me the confidence to start the treatment, and we saw each other every two weeks for almost two years, becoming great friends in addition to colleagues. He tells me about his complex and incredibly challenging cases whenever we have time. Mike has encouraged me to apply since he says I have great potential in this area. I want to give all that I can to my community. I also look forward to lifelong study in Orthodontics, particularly craniofacial and complex cases, and put this training to excellent use working with charitable organizations that help the underserved.


I remember when it first hit me that our dreams were to be tempered by realities that we had little control over. In the English world, I desperately needed help with my assignments in college. But I could never ask my parents because they are illiterate in English. My father works at a Chinese grocery store, though he speaks neither Chinese nor English. My mother works as a live-in nanny six days a week. Grants, scholarships, and part-time jobs have helped me afford four years in college. Our life had always been a struggle to survive in America but knowing that we had each other to depend on made life easier.


My sister and my niece underwent orthodontic treatment. I shared their experience and feelings with them, preparing me for an immersion in this field that will last a lifetime. I feel incredibly comfortable with and dedicated to the oral health of young people, adolescents, and children, thus reinforcing my sense of Orthodontics as the appropriate choice. I look forward to helping improve teenagers' emotional health, which is why I believe as an orthodontist, I would be able to make a maximum, positive, and sustainable impact. Another reason why I look forward to becoming an orthodontist is because of the lifestyle. Based on the orthodontists I have observed, the schedule seems especially incredible. This would benefit me in arranging a time for my own family and helping me live with less stress, yet giving my all every day, performing at my highest level of ability.


My long-term objectives include having my practice and volunteering at a hospital part-time and continuing to balance work and family. I am incredibly engrossed in the timely management of children with developing class III malocclusion in research. My niece had class 3 malocclusion at the age of 8, which made it difficult to keep her teeth clean, and she tended to bite her tongue when eating. As a result, I feel highly motivated to contribute to related research.


I thank you for considering my application to dental school.


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