Because of excellent parental training, I understood the importance of dental maintenance from an early age and was determined to look after my teeth and maintain a good smile. I had no fear of my dentist who was a sympathetic, friendly and skilled man and I was fascinated by the equipment in his office. At the age of fourteen, my school gave pupils the opportunity to ‘shadow’ a professional to help us choose a career. I chose dentistry without hesitation and shadowed a dentist who was as skilled and kindly as my own. I soon became aware that his skills could be applied to turn groans of pain into smiles of relief and I greatly enjoyed seeing such transformations. I also became aware that his skills could actually be life-changing in that he could transform appearances and so give confidence and life chances that might not otherwise be available to patients. 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 and then made applications for dental studies at Canadian universities whilst, at the same time, worrying about the funding of my studies because of family problems. At this time, I met a dentist who had been 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, especially rural, population to dental and oral health provided very early exposure to a broad range of conditions and disease and that 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 in length involving extensive practical training and culminating in the submission of a thesis. I completed my studies and was awarded my degree of DMD this year.
My special interest is in oral surgery and especially implantology in which I hope, eventually, to specialize. 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 cases. I am currently ‘shadowing’, on a part time basis, a specialist and 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 generally, and oral surgery particularly, calls for characteristics such as confidence and empathy, and the ability to inspire confidence and cooperation in one’s patients. I greatly enjoy patient contact and in earning their trust and am blessed with a sense of humor. I am also aware that cross-disciplinary cooperation and teamwork are vital in maximizing effectiveness in the profession for optimizing outcomes.
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 research relates to regeneration of the alveolar bone and related immunology. This area of work is fascinating and is an excellent supplement to my dental education and in my special area of interest. My decision to study in Hungary provided advantages other than purely professional ones. The city of Debrecen is very beautiful and is in a beautiful part of the world. I was exposed to a new and very interesting culture and also had the opportunity to travel to other countries in Europe and the Middle East. The experience certainly broadened my mind and provided insights that I would, otherwise, have lacked.
I have happily studied, worked and socialized with people of many ethnic and social backgrounds. I enjoy learning about new cultures and sharing knowledge of my own, Arabic, culture. I am fluent in English, Arabic and Hungarian. I have been involved in assisting refugees to adapt to a new culture and it is my intention 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 in giving them the benefit of my skills and knowledge.
I believe that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, that 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 take part. I also swim, jog and attend a local gym regularly.
To summarize, I have been equipped with dental training that is both excellent and comprehensive. I have proved myself to be a flexible and determined in pursuing my passion for dentistry and, I believe, that I have the natural characteristics that will enable me to become an excellent dentist and specialist. I am sure that I can ‘add value’ to the program and look forward to sharing the insights and experiences that I have gained and benefitting from those gained by my fellow students.