I graduated second in my class from Universidad Nacional San Luis Gonzaga de Ica in Peru in 2008. Upon graduating, I gained over seven years of clinical experience in private and government public clinics serving as a general dentist. I also continued my studies, in orthodontics, to enhance my professional knowledge, searching for the specialty I wanted to focus on. As an Indigenous woman dentist originally from Latin America, earning a doctoral degree in the USA was a remarkable accomplishment in my professional dental career. With advanced training in Orthodontics lying ahead, I am thrilled with how my firmest dreams are taking flight.
I began focusing on Orthodontics as my area of specialization shortly after I started dental school in Peru. When I finished dental school, I was convinced that Orthodontics would be my destiny. In Peru, I made a lot of removable and mixed dentitions, Hawley arches and Interproximal Reductions. I took postgraduate orthodontics classes; one year of fixed orthodontics techniques, four months of malocclusion planning and treatment, and five months of evidence-based straight arch technique approaches. I finished ortho treatment with the edgewise process, MBT, and Roth prescription brackets with faculty supervision as part of my course requirements. Students were allowed to attend the postgraduate clinic until their cases were complete. In private practice, I took on simple orthodontic cases with the hope of taking on more complex cases as my experience and knowledge grew.
My acceptance into the International Dentist Program at XXXX University was a humbling experience. At once, I found a new appreciation for how dentistry was practiced back home in Peru and quickly realized the intensity of the XXU dental program. I was thrilled at the opportunity to refresh my dental knowledge and learn to refresh new things. Upon completing a residency program in Orthodontics, I hope to begin my private practice in Orthodontics, which I look forward to balancing with family life in increasingly creative ways that gradually allow me to incorporate community service for the underserved, helping marginalized communities in the USA as well as Peru.
I have witnessed how life-changing a functional, symmetrical, and beautiful smile can be. The impact this creates, especially in the life of a young person still developing self-esteem and confidence, is crucial. As I come to the end of my program for international dentists, the experiences that I have had only continue to confirm my passion for orthodontics. Recently, as part of my social service, I had the privilege of attending to people in rural areas in VA, close to the Appalachian regions. As part of my social service, I recently helped to provide essential oral health for the community. I was reminded of the time I spent working in the Andes of Peru, where I sometimes had to walk 8 hours to reach an isolated village of the underserved. My work has taught me perseverance, commitment, and resilience. Also, as part of Christian services in Jamaica, I had the privilege of attending to patients and performing several complex treatments. I was grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate my skills and humbled to be asked.
Mission work is central to my identity, and I look forward to participating in various missions in the future. In Peru, during the earthquake of 2007, I served as part of a group that helped in the aftermath. These were, for me, foundational memories that I will carry for a lifetime. One day, I will return to my native Peru, where I can practice orthodontics in my native Quechua, the most common language in Latin America's underserved populations, if not the world.
My extended visits to Chile and Ecuador have enhanced my appreciation for diversity in dentistry. I have had momentous experience serving the oral health needs of various social or economic classes, cultures, and backgrounds. I am especially pleased that being a native Spanish speaker will allow me to help Spanish speakers as a resident.
I thank you for considering my application to an Orthodontics residency program.
Orthodontics Residency Personal Statement Missions