Possessing a strong esthetic sense and being very interested in science, dentistry was a natural choice, just as is Prosthodontics as my chosen specialty. it did seem to be a suitable career. By the end of my first experience of working as a volunteer in a ‘dental camp’ among the underprivileged in rural India, I knew in my heart that I had made the right choice of career direction. Seeing grimaces of pain transformed into smiles of relief and gratitude turned a career choice into a vocation. I began to understand just how vital the skills and knowledge that I was acquiring were in the world. My decision is one that I have never regretted and I feel privileged to be a dental practitioner. I now seek to acquire the very highest level of skills and knowledge in my chosen specialty, to share it by teaching, and to assist in the exciting and constant advancement of Prosthodontics through the development of new techniques and materials based on creative research.
Prosthodontics is my specialty of choice because of the esthetic aspects of the work and the need to apply creative and original thinking in dealing with patient needs. I also enjoy patient contact and am able to elicit the confidence and co-operation of my patients. Improving their appearance, widening their dietary choices and enabling clear communication in patients provides opportunities to enhance, and sometimes transform, lives and provides levels of professional satisfaction that I believe can be matched in only a very few other professions. It may be a cliché to write of the specialty being my ‘passion’ but I do believe that it is accurate to use that expression in my case.
My constantly improving academic performance, my involvement in research projects, published papers, the presentations made at national and international conferences will provide evidence of a strong work ethic and a determination to excel in all my endeavors.
I am currently undertaking a preceptorship in Advanced Prosthodontics at UCLA to prepare myself for the program. I always stressed to my students the importance of the maintenance of supporting structures and was very pleased to learn that the staff at UCLA emphasize the same priority. I believe that this training will provide a firm foundation for my studies within the program which has been a highly positive and useful experience and introduction to the dental environment in the US.
I have worked as a lecturer in Prosthodontics at the prestigious Manipal College of Dental Sciences. Apart from experiencing the joy of passing on knowledge and skills, I was able to expand my clinical experience dealing with complete and partial denture cases along with post-endodontic crown preparations as well as fixed dental prosthesis and did so on a daily basis. I also took every opportunity to observe implant surgeries and assist with maxillofacial prosthetic cases. I have acquired significant experience in observation, diagnosis and formulation of effective and efficient treatment plans. I also acquired experience in liaising and cooperating with members of other departments in cases calling for inter-disciplinary expertise. Apart from skills, knowledge and experience, I understand that empathy is a vital ‘ingredient’ in the specialty and cannot be taught or measured. Seeing patients as individuals rather than a set of case notes and images and dealing with them patiently and sympathetically is absolutely vital in this specialty and I always seek to do so and to put the patient first.
I am aware that research calls for uncommon characteristics and skills. I believe that there is considerable overlap in those called for in an excellent orthodontic specialist and in an effective researcher. Among these are analytical skills, meticulous planning, determination, creative and original thinking and the ability to co-operate with others to achieve common goals. I regard myself as having the potential to become a really effective researcher and look forward to the opportunity to contribute especially in the area of biomaterial sciences, especially biomaterials in maxillofacial prosthodontics where I detect some potential for improvements.
My aim is to achieve as much in the specialty as my considerable potential will permit and hope ultimately to pursue a Ph.D. and to super-specialize in maxillofacial prosthodontics. I recognize that I have much to learn to achieve my goals but am determined to do so. My preceptorship at UCLA has provided me with an introduction to the teaching environment and facilities that are both highly impressive. I also met the UCLA maxillofacial prosthetics team at the ‘Foundation for Oral-Facial Rehabilitation Outreach’ program and was greatly impressed with their passion and expertise. I want to learn from the best and I recognize that UCLA does represent the best in the field. It is my intention, ultimately, to be a world-class specialist practitioner, researcher and teacher and see the program as the next step in turning my ambitious goals into reality.
I am a friendly outgoing person who gets on easily with others. I enjoy learning about other cultures and sharing knowledge of my own heritage. Apart from the time that I have spent in the US, I lived in Kuwait for several years of school. I am fully fluent in English and also in various Indian and other Asian languages. I have always undertaken extra-curricular activities such as editorship of student magazines, competitive sports such as throw ball, table tennis and athletics. These activities have provided me with experience of effective team working and leading as well as providing a means of recreation and relaxation which is an important element in being a well-rounded person.