A naturalized US citizen (2015) originally from Bucharest, Romania, I look forward to contributing to the diversity and inclusivity of your Advanced Placement Program for International Dentists, not only as a dentist from Eastern Europe but also as a gay man who is happily married and active in the area of human rights for members of the LGBT community. I hope to be selected for your exceptionally competitive program based on my language skills, passion for dentistry, and dedication to helping the underserved.
In addition to my mother tongue, Romanian, I am fully fluent in Italian and English and speak conversationally in Spanish and Mandarin. I lived in Italy for several years as a child and recently spent three years in China with my husband XXXX, an American diplomat, and we mainly spoke Mandarin in our home together. I hope that Mandarin and Spanish since they are such widely spoken languages, inside and outside of the United States, will help me excel at celebrating and promoting diversity in Dentistry.
I look forward to volunteering my time to help the underserved as much as possible here in America and in the Developing World because that brings me the greatest joy and sense of human fulfillment. I share in common with my American husband a facility with language, which is one of the primary reasons I fell in love with him. He is also fluent in Mandarin and Spanish, the two languages we targeted to learn together, especially Spanish. Alongside English, we probably speak more Spanish than anything else these days. He fully supports me because he knows that the underserved in America tend to speak Spanish and that helping them is my foremost dream.
Born and raised in Romania, where I also completed dental school and gained several years of experience practicing dentistry, I was excited to relocate to China and then to America with my husband. However, I was devastated when I realized I could not work as a dentist in China due to employment restrictions. But, the three years I spent there enabled me to acquire conversational ability in the language, and I also kept up my learning in dentistry the entire time. I continued attending international dental conferences to network with dentists in Asia, immersing myself in Chinese culture and language for three solid years, collaborating with local dentists in my community, and helping out. I also created a networking platform, Gay and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA), focused on helping unite the LGBT community in Beijing and expand their visibility. We raised funds for the city’s LGBT center and advocated for equal rights for the marginalized HIV/AIDS community. I’ve continued to spearhead projects and help the organization grow.
Widely read about HIV issues as they impact Dentistry; I have a solid background in studying the virus that causes AIDS, helping me think creatively about handling new virus pandemics. Experts suggest that COVID-19 may be with us more or less permanently, in a similar way as HIV remains among us. Of course, the extreme urgency of our situation rests in how this new virus can spread through casual contact. I hope that my extensive background and knowledge base in HIV, especially concerning oral health issues and the practice of Dentistry, will enable me to make essential contributions to the program that selects me, standing at the front of our institution’s struggle against COVID-19 and its aftermath.
After three years in Beijing, I convinced my husband to move back to the United States in 2017 so that I could restart my career in dentistry. After taking the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exams, I worked as a dental assistant for Dr. XXXX, my current employer, and mentor, assisting several dental specialists, including endodontists, periodontists, and oral surgeons. I have gained experience working with many patients and have become highly competent in patient billing and insurance questions. Now making our first permanent home here in America, I am excited to give back to my community and maximize my contribution to my profession. Hence, my application to an advanced placement program for international dentists.
I have created sustainable community outreach programs and repeatedly demonstrated an ability to connect institutions with communities. Dr. XXXX, my employer and mentor in Romania throughout dental school and several years after, guided me through various dental experiences, including medicine, pediatric, endodontic, and dentoalveolar surgery. Since I was seen as having a natural talent for working with children and their families, I was assigned the bulk of pediatric patients, which inspired me to create an oral health program focused on schoolchildren, confirming my passion for working with pediatric patients and their families. During the two years working with Dr. XXXX, I met my husband and left Romania to join him on his next posting in Beijing, China.
Thank you for considering my application.