My native land, where I was born, Yemen, is one of the poorest and most politically turbulent countries in the world. This is illustrated, most recently, by the country making President Trump’s list of 7 no-fly nations. Because of an acute lack of resources perpetuated by political unrest and destruction, oral health resources are extremely underdeveloped. Thus, it was the highlight of my life so far when a few months ago, in December of 2016, I was able to accompany a dental mission to Yemen, serving as a translator and assisting with extractions and fillings. I hope to contribute to the diversity of your general residency program as someone with fresh experience from the front lines of one of the most difficult dental missionary assignments in the world. Obviously, I could not be more pleased that dentistry is a global profession characterized by a great deal of human solidarity.
Earning my BS in Biology in May of 2013 and devoted to research since early on, I published a research paper in a scientific journal while still an undergraduate student and worked as a Dental Assistant for an Endodontist for 5 months in the beginning of 2014. I was also paid to do academic research as an undergraduate student and also during the summer of 2016. Currently working towards the completion of my DDS Degree at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry, I am now very keenly looking forward to giving my all to a general practice residency program.
Early on in 2016, I started doing research at XXXX Medical College into tissue and saliva as sentinels of exposure to toxicants. In the summer of 2016, I was employed as a professional researcher at the University of XXXX, working on the role of TLR2-/TLR4- genes to bone resorption in mice. I was also accepted after my first year of dental school into the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a Public Health Dentistry Scholar. I am especially passionate about doing research pertaining to preventative dental interventions that can prevent oral diseases. I am particularly proud of my role as IT tech for our dental school class, always making sure that our equipment is working properly. When it doesn’t, they call me and each time this happens I feel a special joy. I have also served as an Academic Vice President for our class and for the past 3 years I have been President of out Student Professional Ethics Association.
This past December, providing free dental care in the city of Aden in my native Yemen, my home, I came to more fully realize the gravity of the responsibility that I feel to help these people. The UN has recently issued a hunger crisis for the increasing number of children dying from hunger in Yemen and conditions are rapidly deteriorating. I am fortunate to be here in America and I would like to be able to one day open up my own free dental clinic in Aden. I also look forward to a professional lifetime of research into issues in preventative oral health interventions for many oral diseases. If accepted into your general practice residency program, I hope to distinguish myself in particular in assisting with medically compromised patients.
I am part of the Yemeni American Leadership Association. We try to serve as positive role models for young people in America’s Yemeni community. While in dental school, I have also volunteered to help with oral health screenings and education, with Head Start, going into different elementary schools, at the annual health expo, and at the Elam Mental Health Clinic. I have also helped out with RAM (Remote Medical Area) weekend events in different locations with as many as 1000 patients seen and treated at each event: mostly extractions, fillings and cleanings. Meharry is heavily focused on helping underserved communities so we have many opportunities to help.
I will be very pleased to be the first member of my family to earn a graduate degree. I attribute my success mostly to a lot of dedication and hard work. 10 years from now, I plan to be shuttling back and forth between my two dental practices, one in America and the other in Yemen. In both countries, I hope to have a special focus on the underserved, especially in the land of my birth where the underserved are the rule rather than the exception.
I thank you for considering my application.