I feel strongly that I should be selected for admission to the XXXX IDP Program over other applicants with similar qualifications because of my dedication to the underserved, globally speaking, and especially in my native India, where I was born, raised, completed dental school, and practiced dentistry. I also recently (May 2016) earned my MHA Degree at the University of XXXX, graduating with a GPA of 4.0.
Spending nearly 3 years practicing as a full time dentist in India and volunteering for several community camps in rural parts of the country, I was struck most of all by the simple lack of awareness of oral health care principles and necessities. Later, while working with the underserved in San Antonio, Texas, I came to understand that many people end up suffering throughout their lives not as a result of not wanting treatment, but simply not being aware of the fact that they needed treatment, at the time when they needed that treatment in order for it to be effective. Ultimately, I was motivated to excellence in health care management so that I could learn how to contribute most effectively to raising awareness among the underserved concerning the extent to which dental treatment is both needed and available. I could not be more focused on the importance of early intervention.
The strongest aspect of my application is probably my grasp of dentistry from the perspective of public health management. My development in this area is both a result of and dovetails nicely with my dedication to the underserved in India. The fact that India is poised to overtake China as the most populous nation on earth within my lifetime - at the same time that we have some of the world’s highest rates of both oral cancer and a wide range of oral health challenges – underscores my sense of urgency and determination to make the fullest contribution possible.
I now have two years experience in dentistry here in the USA providing me not only with an advancing grasp of dentistry as a state-of-the-art practice, but also experience with patients from extremely diverse cultures, values and belief structures. I am now also highly familiar with dental insurance processes and issues, health policy, OSHA requirements, and HIPAA restrictions. I am fascinated by the way in which dentistry in the USA is rapidly evolving into an industry of large dental clinic chains and I see UCSF as an especially good location for me to continue to study this trend up close and learn more in this area from industry leaders.
When I was preparing for my CLARION Inter Professional Case Competition at the University of XXXX, I came to more fully appreciate the structural nature of lack of access to dental care and the way that it is often largely determined along racial lines, as a result of my study of Native American populations, comparing rates of Native American access to dental care in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with the situation in South Dakota. I want to become a champion of the underserved not only in India but here in America as well. After earning my DDS, I hope to have the privilege of engaging with the cause of improving access to oral health care for Native-Americans, utilizing my clinical as well as management skills in the development of programs to retain dentists in areas of high need where most Native American populations reside. XXXX is also an ideal location for me to continue to learn as much as I can about issues of diversity and social justice in dentistry.
While I have contributed in one way or another to a broad variety of research projects both here in America as well as India, my own most salient area of investigation has been water fluoridation. There is deep concern worldwide concerning its safety. For this reason, my list of publications includes an article in the International Journal of Innovative Research Studies (IJIRS) on the relationship between water floridation and health policy. My ultimate contribution lies in the area of oral health care management. My heart will always be in India and I want to engage in both arenas for the balance of my professional life. For me, structures of oral health care in the USA, while they certainly have their faults, do serve as progressive models upon which desperately needed progress can also be made in India.
I see myself assuming a leadership role in a nonprofit dental organization that serves the underserved and underinsured. By the time that I found myself working at a dental camp organized by the NYU Dental School in Kutch Gujrat, as a part of their Global Initiative, working with the finest equipment that I had yet had in my hands, my determination to seek further professional advancement in America was fully cemented in my mind. This is where my heart is.
Upon my arrival in the USA, I continued to volunteer, spending six months assisting dentists at the XXXX Dental Clinic, setting up trays, sterilizing instruments and work space, preparing primary casts, taking primary impressions and assisting with suction during dental procedures.
I thank you for your consideration of my application.