Since finishing dental school in my native India earlier this year, 2016, I have been researching ways to advance my academic career and acquire additional clinical experience. As a dental student, I worked extremely hard at helping to organize dental camps with screenings and treatment in rural areas, along with my friends from dental school. We held diagnostic and oral prophylaxis camps in government-sponsored schools for poor children, health camps, anti-tobacco drives, etc. During my internship with the Department of Public Dentistry, I assisted my Principal, Dr. XXXXX, and the Director of Public Health Dentistry, Dr. XXXX, in their noble initiative of adopting a village: XXXX. We took care of all the villager's oral health care needs. We conducted awareness programs to educate the general population on the proper brushing technique. Since graduation one year ago, I have been working in a clinic.
My long-term objectives include establishing a dental clinic in India that caters to the needs of poor working people, making my clinic a pilot experiment that seeks to become sustainable at the same time that we attend to virtually everyone who walks through the door. The first pilot clinic will be located strategically to be accessible to large rural areas of the country that lack oral health care resources. Earning the DDS Degree will help me realize this goal, becoming a fully international dentist with a terminal degree in my field from the USA. This will provide me with the tools and professional maturity to make my maximum contribution to the underserved.
Playing with dummy stethoscopes and plastic surgical knives as a toddler, I have wanted to become a health care professional virtually for as long as I can remember. By early adolescence, I wanted to become a surgeon, and by the time I was in High School, I knew that I would choose and give my all to the most challenging surgery of all, oral surgery. I began to see patients in my 3rd year of dentistry on my clinical rotations when I became witness to children in need of oral surgery and other treatment that was denied that treatment because they did not have the money to pay, long lines of people waiting in line with small children in great need of attention. It was at this point that my destiny first became most apparent.
I participated in several diagnostic, restoration, and prophylaxis camps in schools and nursing homes. I co-authored a review paper published in FDI, an international journal, "Implants: always a success?" I helped spearhead my Prime Minister's ambitious "Swatch Bharath Abhiyan" (a pan-India cleanliness drive) in my community near my dental college. I led a large group of dental interns to clean up polluted areas in and around the college. We educated as many people as we could about the importance of hygiene. I participated in several blood donation campaigns and volunteered for the 'pink ribbon walk,' a breast cancer awareness run. Perhaps the most significant highlight of my career was visiting the US and staying there for five months on a business visa, seeing and studying the country, and completing an observership with Dr. XXXX, a renowned prosthodontist in Philadelphia. I have continued to learn daily for several months, working for one of my former professors in his dental clinic.
My finest moments have included assisting my professors in treating trauma victims, helping my Prosthodontics professor with a research project, and becoming listed as co-author of another paper published in an international journal. A 1-month observership under XXXX at Prosthodontics Ltd. in Philadelphia taught me more than I could imagine. Especially valuable was what I learned concerning sterilization protocol in the USA. During my internship, I volunteered to work part-time alongside XXXX XXXX, my mentor in Periodontics. Later, he hired me as a clinical dental surgeon in his clinic when I graduated. I still work in his clinic.
In addition to continuing to publish in the area of implants, I also look forward to doing research concerning pre-cancerous lesions and a professional lifetime of devotion to the cause of raising public oral health awareness. The major challenge in India is surmounting people's ignorance about oral health, especially in rural areas.
I have also studied music intensively. I sing Indian Classical Music to my patients, especially the little ones, as it helps calm them down and distract them from the procedures. I have taught Sunday school to children who could not afford school for many years. As young as six or seven, many work long hours doing whatever they can to survive through the week.
I thank you for considering my application to your competitive DDS Program.
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