Growing up in Dubai, I used to join my mother at a hospital for special needs children, where she was a volunteer. We would talk and play with the children, and I enjoyed it. However, even though I was very young, it struck me that the appearance of those children who suffered dental malformation could be significantly improved. I saw that some had difficulty eating for the same reason, but this was, presumably, not regarded as a matter of priority, and little was ever done. At age 12, I suffered a chipped maxillary incisor and thought it was the end of the world until I realized it could be easily fixed. These early experiences made me very aware of the importance of dental health and esthetics, and they set me on a career path that I have never regretted.
I have provided dental treatment on three different continents; Asia, Africa, and North America; these experiences have opened my eyes to the significant disparities in oral health between economic classes and have fired a passion for improving education in oral hygiene and helping to bring dental services to under-served communities. It has also given me the desire to assist in developing new techniques and materials to deliver effective and low-cost treatments as widely as possible. I am especially interested in preventing oral carcinoma, which is highly prevalent in India. I aim to acquire expert skills and knowledge and become a researcher and teacher. In addition, I hope to work for an organization that provides opportunities for dental students and dentists to join ‘dental missions’ in underserved communities worldwide.
My decision to study in India was initially made with the primary intention of experiencing the country my parents and ancestors came from and about which I had heard so much. However, I discovered that studying dentistry in India provided distinct advantages. I was exposed to a much more comprehensive range of dental and oral diseases than might otherwise have been the case. Three months of my one-year internship were spent in a Rural Health Center providing treatments and education under challenging conditions. The balance was spent in a hospital with both a private and a general clinic - with a stark contrast between the two concerning conditions treated and the patients' levels of oral hygiene awareness. This brought home the need to prioritize early treatment and adopt a regular and effective oral hygiene regime. This part of my career has left a deep impression on me. I will always be grateful for the opportunity to relieve poor patients suffering severe pain and enable people to smile and eat painlessly.
I have happily worked alongside, studied with, and treated people of many ethnic and social backgrounds. I enjoy sharing information about my own culture and experiences and learning from others about their own. I am learning Spanish, which I very much enjoy.
Since coming to the U.S., I have had the opportunity to shadow a highly skilled and compassionate dentist in Texas who has generously given significant time to extend my informal training here. This has provided me with insights into the dental environment in the U.S. and exposed me to the latest techniques and equipment. I have attended dental conferences and extensively read professional journals to stay abreast of the latest developments in a fast-changing professional environment. I am also enrolled in a preceptorship program at XXXX University which will last one month and commences in March of this year and will further extend and broaden my local dental education.
A busy professional in any field benefits from having outside passions and interests. I hold a degree in Classical Indian music and have been awarded ‘Sangeet Bhushan’ because of my skills. I was also an enthusiastic member of my university’s Indian contemporary dance team, which I headed for a year.
To summarize: I have gained extensive experience, which was acquired in several countries and dental environments; I have earned impressive grades in my professional education and, indeed, in all those fields of study in which I have engaged; I possess a naturally outgoing and empathetic personality. However, my main recommendation is a genuine passion for providing excellent treatment and auditing patient treatment with innovative and effective techniques, materials, and equipment. I believe I can add value to the program and look forward to doing so.
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