In my last year of school, I was ranked third of all students nationally. Consequently, many career paths were open to me but I had decided, while still a child, to become a dentist and orthodontist. I suffered a class II malocclusion with severe crowding and was highly self-conscious. At the time, there were only two orthodontists in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and I was very lucky to be a member of a family that could afford the fees. I wanted to give others the benefit of improved self-image and confidence from which I had benefitted including those who were not as fortunate as myself and I have never regretted my decision.
After earning my DDS in Syria, I undertook specialist orthodontic training in France and practiced in the specialty in Saudi Arabia working in a poly-clinic. I expanded the orthodontic department from a single chair to 6 and demand for our services continued to increase and, happily, we had the resources to provide treatment to a significant number of patients who were unable to meet the full cost.
I found enormous satisfaction in practicing the specialty and especially guiding and teaching my juniors but my aim of teaching in academia in Saudi was thwarted by restrictions on non-citizens. For this reason, I decided to move to the US to acquire the qualifications to enable me to achieve my goals which are: to qualify to practice the specialty in the US and to gain local clinical experience and, ultimately, to undertake research and to teach.
I started my journey in the US by attending the International Advanced Standing Program (IAPP) at XXXX. I graduated with a DMD degree in June 2018 with a creditable GPA of 3.875 and ranked 2nd in my class. My program director and the faculty recognized my passion for the specialty and for helping my fellow students resulting in the offer of a full-time post as faculty on graduation. I gratefully accepted that offer and currently teaching undergraduates in class, the lab and the clinic.
I am applying to XXU because of its long and prestigious history of teaching the specialty, the renown of the faculty and of the high professional regard in which its graduates are held. I shall determinedly seek to ‘add value’ to the program bringing insights into the practice of the specialty in the Middle East. I also recognize that I have much to learn, especially in such a dynamic specialty in which innovations in techniques and materials occur at such an exciting rate. I am certain that the SLU program is a unique opportunity to expand my knowledge. It would also allow me to remain united with my family as my wife is preparing a master’s degree in health data science in XXU. I am hoping that the program will prepare me to take the board exams and be a board-certified orthodontist which will pave the road for further progress in my career in teaching as a full time instructor.
I have significant experience in the specialty; I have leadership and management experience; I have informal teaching experience and am now acquiring formal exposure. However, my main recommendation is a genuine passion for the specialty and in sharing that with the next generation of specialists.