Born and raised in India, I immigrated to the USA at 14, settling in New York. After completing my undergraduate degree, I went to dental school (2014-2018), where I fell deeply in love with my career and everything about dentistry, especially oral surgery. Thus, the highlight of my life was my clinical rotations in oral surgery, and I was on track to begin an oral surgery residency program in July of this year, 2018. But, my father suffered a stroke in May 2017, just as I applied for residency programs. Indian families are very close, and I was torn. I decided I could not commit to giving my all to a residency program for 4 to 6 years unless I first took some time off to help my family.
I decided to apply instead to a one-year general dentistry residency as required by the State of New York. I was fortunate to be selected by my first choice: New York Presbyterian at Columbia University Medical Center. This is a fantastic residency program where I will spend much time in the oral surgery department, gaining additional experience. After completing this residency program in July 2019, I hope to begin my second, longer, intensive residency program in Oral Surgery. My father is doing much better now, making a nearly complete recovery, and has returned to work. I am determined to give my all to oral surgery for the balance of my professional life, hopefully beginning next year in your distinguished residency program.
The operating room, instruments, and chair have become my world's absolute center, the picture-perfect place in my mind and heart. I thrive on control, and the systematic planned approach and pride myself on my ability to think quickly and decisively. During my first year of dental school, I had the profound privilege of observing an orthognathic case which made an enormous impression. I persistently returned to watch more orthognathic and other complex surgery cases for the next several years of dental school. I was always mesmerized by the chemistry of the surgical tea and the cutting-edge quality of the instruction that I was receiving. The OMFS department was exceptional, and nothing excited me more than engaging extensively with residents and learning all that I could from them. My entire dedication to the long-term goal of specializing in oral surgery was confirmed daily. I have studied the ties of dentistry with medicine and anesthesia very closely and the historical emergence of oral surgery as a unique discipline characterized by breathtaking, constant innovation and interdisciplinary advancement in alleviating suffering and restoring esthetics and function. My time with the OMFS department enhanced my understanding of the vast scope of treatments covered by OMFS. I will never forget the sheer awe that overwhelmed me when I assisted with my first total TMJ replacement and a partial neck dissection the next day.
Many unique life experiences have prepared me for a dynamic career as an oral surgeon. Early in life, my extensive athletic involvement set the stage for my adeptness at team function. As a varsity soccer player in high school and continuing in competitive soccer leagues as an undergraduate student and dental school, teamwork is my second nature. I want to make that goal, and it takes all of us to work together; teamwork has always been thrilling to me, both on the soccer field and in the operating room. I have played soccer for over 14 years and repeatedly encountered teammates and opponents that have pushed me to my limits, mentally and physically, providing me with the taste of defeat and victory and the wisdom that comes from both. I thrive on constructive criticism from the coach and teammates in soccer and our teams in the operating room. Determined, I am never discouraged; I try harder and carry on until each issue is resolved. My priority is always being a member of a team that can be fully counted upon.
I could not feel better prepared and more excited to begin serving alongside and in teams with like-minded colleagues and peers, learning from our mentors, and on our way to advanced professional standing. I firmly believe that human achievement is best gauged by how one can aid their fellow man throughout their lifetime. I can think of no other way that I could make such a significant contribution as I will be able to do as an oral surgeon by receiving some of the best training in the world in your program.
Thriving on diversity and multiculturalism, I look forward to treating increasingly diverse patient populations in decades to come and an increasingly broad range of oral diseases, especially those related to head and neck conditions.
Thank you for considering my application.