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International Dentist Personal Statement, Syrian Applicant, Christian Minority Fleeing Persecution

Updated: Mar 21

Like many others, I chose dentistry because of positive personal experiences. As a child I had a gap between my front teeth which affected my confidence and made me reluctant to smile. After many consultations, an X-Ray was taken and the problem was identified, a diastema caused by an extra tooth which was pulled. I was then referred to an orthodontist for the fitting of a removable appliance. After several months, I was left with a great smile, undying gratitude to the dental surgeon and orthodontist with a strong desire to provide others with the confidence that comes with a pleasing smile. 

My final high school examination score was an exceptional 96% which meant that I would be accepted into any school to study any major but I never wavered in my decision to pursue dentistry. I was awarded my BDS degree at the prestigious dental faculty of Aleppo University. The training was highly challenging and comprehensive provided by an impressive faculty of very skilled and dedicated dentists and specialists. The program provided early and constant exposure to patients presenting with extremely varied problems and symptoms, there was an emphasis on the development of diagnostic skills, treatment planning and cross-disciplinary cooperation and I was provided with exposure to all the specialties. I thoroughly enjoyed the program and sought from the outset to excel rather than to merely succeed and my results provide evidence of my success in achieving this goal, I graduated top of my class with a GPA of 3.67.

I practiced in Syria for only five months when I had to leave the country because of the dangers that Christians such as myself faced and the destruction of my home. Since coming to the US, I have sought as much exposure to US dentistry as possible, initially by shadowing dentists and dental assistants in several practices and, currently, by working as a volunteer dental assistant in a very large and busy practice. During the last three months, I have been working as a Dental Assistant coordinator, I have learned how to organize and store charts, have become familiar with several dental software programs, gained experience working with a periodontal specialist and an oral surgeon. This exposure has provided me with a good understanding of US dentistry and related administration and has also broadened my knowledge of implants which is an area of special interest to me.

Voluntary work of various kinds began in my high school days and I have been raised to regard such work as a duty rather than a choice. I was involved in a Christian youth organization that provided activities for orphan children and visits and activities for the elderly in care centers. After graduation and the onset of the civil war, I volunteered for the Red Cross and was involved, with a number of my friends, in moving patients and bodies and, occasionally, in providing basic treatments to victims. I have been left with deep impressions of those experiences that have made me even more determined to undertake voluntary work for those less fortunate than myself in the future. Since moving to the US, I have again been working as a Red Cross volunteer in the Blood Drive Center and sometimes acting as an interpreter for Arabic speakers.  It is certainly my intention, in the future, to sacrifice some of my time in providing free treatment to the underprivileged members of society to repay the US for its kindness in providing a safe haven for myself and my family.

I have had the opportunity to work and socialize with people from many social and ethnic backgrounds since arriving in the US. I enjoy sharing knowledge of my own culture and learning about others. I get on easily with people and have a well-developed sense of humor. 

My ultimate goal is to open a community dental clinic where people will feel both confident in receiving first class treatment but will also know that they are regarded as an individual rather than a set of notes. I would seek to become a real part of the local community and to extend preventative training in oral and dental hygiene, diet etc. through creating close and positive relations locally, especially with schools.

My graduation research project related to suture types and the healing process after oral surgery. I am particularly interested in implants and periodontal dentistry and hope that I might assist in research in one of these areas within the program.

I can confidently assure the reader that, if selected, I shall apply myself enthusiastically and diligently to the program and believe that my academic and professional career will provide an assurance of my exceptional potential to excel within it.

Thank you for considering my application.

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