Because of excellent parental training, I understood the importance of dental maintenance early and was determined to look after my teeth and maintain a good smile. I had no fear of my sympathetic, friendly, and skilled dentist, and I was fascinated by the equipment in his office. At fourteen, my school allowed pupils to ‘shadow’ a professional to help them choose a career. I chose dentistry without hesitation and shadowed a dentist who was as skilled and kind as my own. I soon realized that his skills could be applied to turn groans of pain into smiles of relief, and I immensely enjoyed seeing such transformations. I also became aware that his skills could be life-changing. He could transform appearances and give patients confidence leading to opportunities not otherwise available. My mind was made up, and I have never regretted my choice.
I obtained a B.Sc. from the University of Western Ontario in 2010. I then applied for dental studies at Canadian universities while also worrying about the funding of my studies because of family problems. At this time, I met a dentist trained in Hungary. He told me that studying in Hungary provided some distinct advantages. The training is excellent, but the cost is much lower than in Canada, and, most importantly, the neglect by much of the mainly rural population to dental and oral health provided very early exposure to a broad range of conditions and diseases, and this would assist me throughout my career. I took his advice and gained a place at the prestigious University of Debrecen Dental Faculty which was recognized as a ‘Center of Excellence for dental training by the Hungarian government in 1996. The program was five years and involved extensive practical training, culminating in submitting a thesis. I completed my studies and was awarded my degree in DMD this year.
My particular interest is in oral surgery, especially implantology, in which I hope to specialize eventually. I am particularly drawn to this specialty because each case is different, providing various challenges and possible solutions. I enjoy exercising the necessary creativity in forming treatment plans for complex issues. I am currently ‘shadowing’ on a part-time basis as a specialist. I am very excited by what I have seen of the dramatic and continuing advances in techniques and materials in this specialty. I am aware that dentistry, particularly oral surgery, calls for confidence and empathy and the ability to inspire confidence and cooperation in one’s patients. I greatly enjoy patient contact and earning their trust, and I am blessed with a sense of humor. I also know that cross-disciplinary cooperation and teamwork are vital in maximizing effectiveness and outcomes. I hope to be accepted to a general residency program in the USA.
My decision to study in Hungary provided advantages other than purely professional ones. The city of Debrecen is terrific and lovely and is in a beautiful part of the world. I was exposed to a new and fascinating culture and had the opportunity to travel to other countries in Europe and the Middle East. After returning to Canada, I was invited by a professor to assist in research at the University of XXXX, having met him at a dental seminar when I discussed my interests with him. The study relates to the regeneration of the alveolar bone and is an excellent supplement to my dental education and my particular area of interest.
I have happily studied, worked, and socialized with people of many ethnic and social backgrounds. I enjoy learning about new cultures and sharing my own Arabic culture. I am fluent in English, Arabic, and Hungarian. I have been involved in assisting refugees in adapting to a new culture. I intend to seek opportunities to join a charity providing free treatment to those living in refugee camps. I have met several people who have done so and have been inspired by their reports and hope to emulate them by giving them the benefit of my skills and knowledge.
It is important for those working in demanding professions should be able to ‘switch off’ through recreational activity. I love all sports, especially rugby, volleyball, and American football, in which I participate. I also swim, jog, and go to a local gym regularly.
To summarize, I have been equipped with dental training that is both excellent and comprehensive. I have proven myself flexible and determined to pursue my passion for dentistry. I am sure I can add value to the program, and I look forward to sharing the insights and experiences I have gained and benefitting from those achieved by my fellow students.