I was 11 years old when my Armenian-Iranian parents migrated to the US. I suffered a severe culture shock compounded by a lack of English, and a period of confusion and anxiety followed. I understood that I was facing significant challenges that called for determined and methodical responses if I were not to be overwhelmed. I count the rapid overcoming of these challenges as a great achievement and doing so has provided lessons that have served me well in facing all the lesser challenges that have arisen since which have been faced with the same single-mindedness and determination.
I come from a culture and family in which education is highly valued and it was an attitude that I happily adopted. I keenly sought to extend my understanding and knowledge of the world and to absorb everything taught to me. My father is a structural engineer and I have inherited his creativity and curiosity about the way that things work and how they can be repaired if they fail. Though a highly practical person, he also emphasized that something that is useful should also be as esthetically pleasing as possible. But, perhaps more importantly, I was taught that it was necessary to be useful in the world and to seek to make a difference for the benefit of others rather than merely make a living. To this end, my older sister had chosen dentistry and had specialized in treating pediatric patients. She was a skilled and caring practitioner who clearly gained great satisfaction in her work and so I decided to follow her into dentistry. It is a decision that I have never regretted.
At the very beginning of my introduction to orthodontics in my dental training I was immediately and strongly attracted to the specialty because its meld of the esthetic, the necessity for creative and practical skills and the particular need to gain the ready confidence of patients. I am also immensely drawn by the opportunity to provide genuinely life-changing treatments that improve self-esteem, confidence, dietary choice and communication. All these aspects of the specialty match my own interests, skills and characteristics very closely. I am also very excited at the possibility of entering a field in which so many advances in materials and techniques are being made and I hope to apply my own practical and analytical skills to play my part in future innovation.
During all my training, and especially now, being an Orthodontic Selective Student, I have sought as much exposure to the specialty as possible with this application in mind. Apart from assisting colleagues in the review of orthodontic records and cephalometrc tracings, and the detailed review of many case studies, I have shadowed Drs. XXXX and XXXX. They have introduced me to the methods and considerations involved in the creation of complex, individualized treatment plans for challenging cases. They have also emphasized the application of sound biomechanical principles. I worked with them to analyze landmarks and angles and observed the use of ITERO scanner in Invisalign cases. I also learned something of the cross-disciplinary cooperation that is necessary and how it arises and is organized. I found all of this exposure to be fascinating and each step has increased my passion and determination to become an excellent specialist. I undertook a poster presentation on the future of orthodontics at UXX’s Annual Research Day Symposium to raise awareness of innovations and potential innovations in the specialty for the information of students and dentists.
The scholarships, honors and awards achieved will provide an assurance to the reader that I am a diligent and enthusiastic student who seeks to excel rather than merely succeed. I earned an MA in Medical Sciences while awaiting dental school acceptance and this provided a firm basis for my subsequent training. The knowledge gained assists me in taking a holistic approach to patient care and provides a sound basis for understanding cross-disciplinary aspects of treatment.
Once qualified, I hope to work with experienced, skilled and dedicated specialists and acquire significant experience under their guidance and then to open a dual practice for orthodontics and dentistry with my sister, a pediatric specialist and my brother in law, a general dentist.
To summarize: I have an excellent academic record; I have some research experience; I believe that I possess the characteristics, skills and interests which will enable me to add considerable value to the program and the potential to become a highly skilled and effective specialist. However, my main recommendation is a genuine passion to pursue the specialty.
Thank you for considering my application.