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Indian Dentist raised in Africa, Now Living in Canada, IDP Personal Statement Example

Updated: Mar 21

I am quite different from other applicants to your program trained in India because, while I am Indian, I was born and raised in Kenya, going to India only for visits and then later to complete dental school and my internship. I am now living in Canada where I am in the process of becoming a permanent resident as a result of marriage. While I only came to Canada from Kenya this past January, 2014, I hit the ground running and almost immediately began shadowing/ volunteering with a local dentist, Dr XXXX. His specialty is Invisalign, which is why I chose him as I am most enamored with this area of development in our field. At his clinic, I have been introduced to state-of-the-art technology and I am profoundly impressed and extremely happy to become part of such state-of-the-art dental care and education.

I hope very much to be accepted to your program on the basis of my long term plans to contribute to making dental care more accessible in Africa and I am currently working with an NGO that labors mightily to help with this effort in Kenya. My long term goal is to foster progressive change as the owner and manager of an NGO dedicated to networking and progressive policy developments leading to greater levels of access to basic oral healthcare for lower-working class, disabled, and indigent Africans.

I hope to engage in the future in comparative studies of the enormous challenges faced by both India and Kenya, since I am an experienced dentist in both contexts. Most of all, however, I hope to distinguish myself as an authority in the area of African dental care. The innumerable things of value that I learned during my Internship as a dentist in Manipal, India from August of 2011 through September of 2012 will always be with me.

I was also a very active participant in the volunteer student organization in my dental program in India that organized and ran a broad variety of dental camps and education projects in an equally broad variety of contexts, for fishermen and their families, factory workers, and the institutionalized mentally ill to name a few. I especially treasure the memory of my work with the NGO Quantum of Hope for a one-week dental camp in Nagpur, providing dental prophylaxis and basic dental treatment to deaf, mute, and blind children. This was a life changing experience for me and I found a great sense of inner peace that continues to fill me to this day. An especially active member of the volunteer student organization VSO Manipal, we organized several events including children's day dental screening and prophylaxis for the children of low income families, fundraising for aids patients, giving away flowers and red ribbons in exchange for contributions, and bake sales to raise money for a free denture camp. Other highlights of my days in dental school in India include a poster presentation on interdental aids for our college fest and conducting a survey concerning the importance of dentistry as a career among high school students.

I worked in a small group of dental clinics in Delhi, providing greatly subsidized dental treatment, following my graduation and up until I went to Kenya, to gain additional experience in what I consider my home country. I did a lot of endo work during my internship in India, in particular, along with root canals and some crowns.  I am especially thankful for this solid and extensive experience because I am most confident that it will help me to learn very rapidly and excel in your program. I also earned my certification in basic life support, before leaving India, in August of 2012. A firm believer in the importance of professional association, I have attended as many conferences as possible, including the IDRR Conference in Bangalore in July of 2012 and the Conference on Aesthetic Dentistry organized by Dr. XXXX  in April of 2012.

While I was happy as I could be practicing my profession in India, I found constantly that much of my heart was back in Kenya, and so I decided to go back to Africa and join the struggle to improve dental care in the land where I grew up. This is why I volunteered and gave my all to the practice of a local dentist in Kenya from June of 2013 through November of 2014. It was sheer joy for me to fulfill the requirements for the licensing examination and becoming certified to practice dentistry in Kenya by fulfilling a three month volunteer position in a hospital in Kenyatta in March through May of 2013. 

After passing my licensing exam in Kenya, I began giving talks in the area of oral health care education at local schools and began networking with a variety of organizations dedicated to providing free dental education in schools in our area. Soon, I was invited to work with an organization that I admire very much, XXXX, helping them with several projects, teaching hand washing and brushing techniques, for example, to school children and providing them with other important tips concerning oral hygiene. We did screenings in schools, donating toothpaste and tooth brushes. I share the ultimate goal of this noble organization of establishing mobile vans and centers for basic oral health care throughout Africa, someday.

I humbly thank you for your time and consideration of my application.

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