Childhood experiences are formative, and I trace my interest in dentistry early in my life. I was born in a small village in India and was raised by an extended family until I finished my education through high school. I watched my grandfather struggling without his teeth while eating. In my teenage years, this made a big impression on me as I reflected upon what I wanted to study and practice as a professional in the future. Later, I remember him struggling with speaking and eating as he underwent dental treatment. In time, dental concerns would become my driving force toward my destination of Dentistry, and I began to daydream about the day I would pass state board exams. One of the proud moments was when I delivered my first ever complete denture removable prosthesis to my grandfather while attending Dental School. So far, my milestones in life include finishing dental school in India and practicing dentistry for over a year before moving to the USA. Earning my MPH Degree in Missouri was the accomplishment that has connected me to the community and assisted me in understanding various aspects of Public Health. I live in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, and am employed by XXXX Pharmaceuticals.
As I enrolled in my childhood dream profession, Dentistry, I was ready for commitment and hard work by being on the top of the merit list. My discipline focused on excelling and being in the big city of Gujarat state; I was exposed to many patients with various dental problems. As my dental school collaborated with non-profit organizations and outreach dental clinics, I had the opportunity to contribute to the local community, sharpening my clinical skills. I have acquired comprehensive knowledge by reviewing peer-reviewed journals, preparing me for class presentations and discussions. During the one-year internship rotation, I have guided third and final-year students by overseeing their preclinical and clinical assignments. In addition, I have organized as well as served in free dental check-up camps at government schools, factories, and remote areas. I have encountered multiple cases with pre-cancerous lesions during the oral health evaluation camps. After reviewing patients’ histories, I realized that many oral cancer-related problems in remote areas are grounded in poor hygiene, tobacco consumption, and smoking. I saw this desperate situation up close while serving at free dental check-up camps in India dedicated to promoting oral hygiene and health awareness. During my rotation in Public Health Dentistry in India, I got to know rural communities in Ahmedabad, India. I enjoyed our investigative conversations about their Dental problems.
As I am always curious about the latest technological advancement in the dental field, especially as they relate to oral public health, I decided to first earn the Master in Public Health at Missouri State University, where I enjoyed very much serving as a graduate assistant in Ozark Public Health Institute at Missouri State University. I was proud to be part of the “Grow Healthy” team that aimed to focus on reducing obesity rates in remote areas in Missouri, which the United States Department of Agriculture funded. I learned about important aspects of the community regarding socioeconomic classes and health behaviors, better equipping me to approach and understand the needs of people from different cultures. Acquiring an in-depth understanding of community health issues sharpened my research and analytical skills.
Shortly after earning my MPH degree, I accepted a position with a pharmaceutical company working on clinical trials. This has also advanced my research skills and attention to detail in an area closely related to my main professional interests. Since I have been working in cancer-related clinical trials, I cannot help but reflect upon what I perceive to be gaps in cancer research that I hope to participate in shedding light on in the future, especially concerning developing a better understanding of the etiology of oral cancers. At the same time, I devote my time at ASPEN Dental, observing, shadowing, and learning different treatment approaches.
I feel called, in particular, to acquire my dental license in the United States by completing an International Dentist Program. I recently participated in the course Fundamentals of Restorative Dentistry at Duggan Institute of Dentistry as continuing dental education. As I have been involved in extensive research, I sincerely hope this will help me excel in your program, mainly due to my keen passion for minimally invasive procedures. My long-term goals include advanced training in endodontic microsurgery. I look forward to giving my professional time to the study, investigation, and practice of dentistry and oral health care, meeting the needs of diverse populations from all walks of life.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for considering my application to your distinguished program.