I love to contribute to community dental service and provide access to dental care for those who cannot otherwise afford it. I am a spiritually minded dentist from India with a highly cultivated work ethic, and social service for the poor fills my heart and soul. In this way, I seek to fulfill my life and purpose. I hope to be selected for your competitive doctoral program for international dentists as someone with this particular sense of mission.
Now a permanent resident of the USA, I immigrated here in May 2016 with my parents and younger sister. Since my arrival, I have been doing everything to prepare myself for applying to earn my doctoral degree in the field. I have also spent a year and a half in Canada, earning a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Leadership. I am currently making a new, permanent home in Muskegon, Michigan.
I was born and raised in a lower-middle-class family in rural India. Part of a large extended family that lived together, including my grandfather, great uncle, and their families. One day, my great uncle noticed a swelling in his lower jaw; instead of going to a dentist, he treated the pain with herbal medicines. Within time, the swelling increased to the point that it was difficult for him to breathe. Everyone started panicking and decided to take him to the nearest dentist 40 miles away; he died on the way from Ludwig’s Angina. This traumatic event left me reflecting on how a small tooth infection could kill a person and how a dentist could have saved my great uncle’s life. I was only ten years old at the time, but the experience called my attention to the life-saving and preserving power of dentistry, and from that time on, I saw this as the ideal profession to pursue.
My grandfather was the most important role model for me while growing up. He encouraged me to choose the noble profession of dentistry to serve the people living in rural areas surrounding my village. He always told me that I had potential, and he spent much of his savings on my education, sending me to an outstanding school that was well beyond our economic means. His kindness resulted in me attaining the kind of high-quality education that would give me a chance to realize my dreams by being accepted to dental school. For this reason, combined with a lot of hard work, I was accepted by one of India’s finest dental schools. It was a struggle, and I even had to sell the motorcycle my grandfather gave me for my birthday because we did not have any other way to pay the tuition that semester.
Soon after finishing dental school, I started working as an associate dentist under the supervision of one of my professors, who also had a private practice. Under his guidance, I learned a great deal, polishing and refining my skills. I continued to organize dental awareness camps in rural areas, as I had done while still a student. My Dental School’s Director, impressed with my community service, offered me a Lecture/Dentist job in the school, and I stayed for one year. I continued organizing dental awareness camps simultaneously. I gathered some of my friends from my village and surrounding areas and formed a group to create awareness about the critical importance of dental health. Soon, I found myself fulfilling a leadership role in my community, teaching as many people as possible what I could about preventive oral health care. We organized several dental checkups and awareness camps in my village's rural areas. These experiences were very empowering and culminated in my earning the Master’s in Healthcare Leadership at Trinity Western University in Canada.
I have prayed at a Sikh Temple with my family in Muskegon every Sunday since we moved here in 2016. I soon realized that many members of this community were reluctant to see a dentist because they were embarrassed by their dental issues. Cultural and language barriers further contributed to this tendency to neglect oral health care, as with other underserved communities in the Muskegon area that have limited access to or cannot afford dental services. Shared cultural bonds and language will help me better serve the most vulnerable members of my own and other underserved communities, helping to provide oral health care education and access. I see this as my central professional mission.
I have been employed as a Dental Assistant under Dr. XXXX, DDS at XX Dental in Spring Lake, MI, since November of 2016, and I have now put in a total of 3724 hours in this position. I quickly became enamored with the progressive nature of dental practice in the USA. These days, I assist Dr. Van Ittersum with complex treatments such as implant placements and the operation of sophisticated equipment such as CAD cam, Lasers, Cone Beam CT, Tek-Scan, and Bio Pack.
I hope to advance my education in dentistry here in America and earn a doctoral degree in preparation for many decades of preferential service to underserved communities of the Muskegon area that are in the greatest need. If accepted into your highly competitive doctoral program for international dentists, it will allow me to emerge as a leader in my community here in the USA and assist me in achieving my life goal of serving humanity. I will also be able to serve as an excellent role model and inspire new generations of Indian/Sikh professionals in Michigan to devote their lives to community service.
I thank you for considering my application.