Raised in a small town in Punjab, India, I am a dentist from a family of hard workers who emphasized the importance of education, modesty, and service. My father served the community as a pulmonologist in the employment of the Punjab Government Health Services in India, giving 45 years of his life to caring for desperately ill patients. His unwavering dedication to his profession inspired me to share my all to care for my patients as an oral health professional, a dentist, an educator, and most of all, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Giving my all to the care of my patients as an oral health professional, a dentist, and an educator is the center of my world. My foremost goal is to give my all to oral health care, especially in the fight against oral cancer. In India, many, if not most, of the 1.4 billion people receive little-to-no dental care or oral surgery. In rural areas of my country, most people are unaware, for example, of the carcinogenic effects of tobacco and believe in myths about dentists and oral health care. For these reasons, I hope to be accepted to an International Dental Program in the USA, where Dentistry is practiced at the forefront worldwide, to help me make my maximum contribution to global dentistry.
During my clinical rotations in dental school, I developed a particular fondness for oral surgery; and realized early on that this would be my central focus. Thus, I went on to complete residency in OMS. The residency program at the XXXX Dental College & Hospital was a learning experience of vast foundational importance for me. I realized that socio-economic and cultural challenges in a developing country like India result in the enormous need for preventive and comprehensive surgical treatment of dentofacial conditions. I also became increasingly motivated to learn as much as possible about the rural and unprivileged people who do not have access to oral surgery.
My post-residency experience and training in one of the premier cancer hospitals in India helped me to realize better the burdens that are present as a result of our burgeoning numbers of people who have oral cancer, aggravated by a scarcity of oncologists in smaller cities, often leading to delay in diagnosis and missed opportunities for treating an early oral lesion, with treatment generally being sought at an already advanced, incurable stage. The surgical training I received as a fellow in Head and Neck Surgical Oncology allowed me to work with highly skilled Oncology teams and develop an integrated approach toward the patient in considering treatment options. I became especially attached to surgical planning and managing oral cancer and focused extensively on understanding this disease and its special relationship with the oral cavity. This, in turn, has helped me better understand reconstructive issues related to the dentofacial region.
In my present position at the University Medical Hospital, I now successfully undertake and complete a wide variety of simple and complex maxillofacial procedures. I have significantly benefitted from the profound sense of teamwork that we have cultivated as a new Head and Neck Oncology unit. Each day we labor to make oral cancer treatment as accessible as possible to those in need. Working in a state-funded hospital with limited resources and a primitive setup, I have learned to think on my feet, dealing with many patients with diverse dental needs. Rates of oral cancer in the state of Punjab have been skyrocketing for some time; for this reason, I was motivated to collaborate with a UK-based NGO, “World Cancer Care Charitable Society India,” and was instrumental in helping them to put their own oral cancer screening van into operation, the first-ever in Punjab. I designed and equipped the van with a dental chair and an intra-oral camera that facilitated the dentist’s education of patients regarding early signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer screening camps and tobacco cessation counseling are also regular features of my private practice. In this, I enjoy the loyal support of my wife, a dentist, and a passion we share.
I am convinced that dividing my time between US and India will give me an excellent opportunity to raise the standard of oral health care in India over the long term. I hope to establish a maxillofacial surgery & oncology center with particular attention paid to those in desperate need. Giving back to my community is central to my life on a professional and personal level.
We are fond of saying that an arrow can only be shot if it is first pulled backward in India.
Indian International Dentist, Head and Neck Surgical Oncology
International Dentist Head and Neck Cancer Surgery
Thank you for considering me for your advanced standing program.