Indian Applicant to IDP Program, International Dentist Bound for Periodontics, Personal Statement

Completing Dental School in my land or origin, India, was an important milestone that I look back on with great affection, filling me with a sense of purpose and direction for a lifetime of service in dentistry. Living in America since 2013, I have worked hard to prepare myself for the opportunity to devote 4 years to full time study towards the DDS Degree; thus, I could not be more excited about the prospect of acceptance to an International Dentist Program. Upon finishing an IDP and gaining further experience, I plan to focus my efforts in the area of Periodontics and complete further advanced training in this area of specialization.

India faces enormous challenges in the area of oral health, especially given their huge population and the fact that they lead the world in the incidence of oral cancer, fed by the fatal combination of very high levels of tobacco and beetle nut consumption on the one hand, and very low levels of consciousness among the general population concerning oral health issues, hygiene, and prevention on the other. Thus, even while still a dental student, I found myself thinking more and more about oral public health issues that are life and death matters for so many, even and perhaps especially across generations. Many teenage boys, for example, follow their father into the use of tobacco and/or beetle nut simply as a male rite of passage, with no awareness whatsoever of the long-term consequences. Smoking prevention and cessation were the areas where I gave the most of my time as a volunteer while still in dental school.

Finishing my MPH Studies at Loma Linda University in December of 2016 was a special milestone, setting a long-term foundation for my ultimate contribution to both dentistry and oral public health. Next, I completed the pre-requisites for dental school. In addition to practicing dentistry for part of the year right up until I moved to America, my professional engagement here in the USA also reflects my joint interests in Dentistry and Public Health, serving from March of 2016 through January 2017, for example, as an Infection Control Specialist

Becoming a dentist has been my central dream for the future since childhood; and I feel strongly that I have been working hard my entire life in preparation for this application to a DDS program here in the USA. Now, I see a chance to fulfill my dreams in dentistry and oral public health and I keenly look forward to giving my all to both fields, someday opening my own practice and continuing to devote myself to lifelong education, particularly with respect to Periodontology. I look forward to always continuing to dream professionally, working as hard as possible, always learning and, in time, doing more and more to help the underserved, perhaps back in India as well as the USA, as my career progresses.

My parents taught me the value of social service and especially the importance of caring for the disadvantaged, members of underprivileged communities. In time, I want to focus on these communities and help to raise their level of consciousness concerning preventive dentistry, oral hygiene, and the importance of lifestyle to the maintenance of oral health. I have come to increasingly appreciate the way that our oral health is directly connected to our overall wellness, how we look, speak, eat, communicate and enjoy life. Our smile reflects our general state of health.

Calm, patient, and at my best under pressure. I have advanced research ability based on experience. Having made several presentations has served to refine my confidence in public speaking. In addition to working as an Infection Control Specialist, I have also served in the professional capacity of Dental Assistant, providing me with an opportunity to master a variety of procedures including cavity preparation, scaling and root planning, crown preparation, assisting with implants, and extractions, etc.

My research in my MPH Program was focused on Breast Cancer among Indian and African women, in a search to better understand the causal relationships that give rise to this disease, making it possible, thus, to raise the consciousness of women who are at especially high risk as a result of a variety of factors. I also spent a lot of time in the investigation of air pollution in the context of health care facilities.

I thank you for considering my application to your distinguished DDS Program for International Dentists. It would be a special honor to complete your program.

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