A sensitive and compassionate woman, now 34, a Pakistani American, I have already completed dental school in Islamabad, Pakistan (2009) and now I hope to also complete dental school in the USA, so that I will be prepared and qualified to practice global dentistry, in the USA as well as in Pakistan. Born in the USA, I grew up flying back and forth between the USA and Pakistan and I attended school in both places. I completed my undergraduate studies at XXXX Community College NY, USA. Then, I went back to Pakistan for dental school followed by 3 years of residency and practice in Islamabad.
Following my graduation from dental school in Pakistan, I stayed for several more years because I wanted the experience of practicing dentistry in a developing nation with great challenges in oral health. I was raised in both places, New York as well as Islamabad; and I take pride in being fully multilingual - English, Urdu, Punjabi, and Hindi - and multicultural. This drives my desire to complete dental school in America as well. At some point after earning my DDS Degree in America, I hope to use all of my languages as a dentistry professional, and as a volunteer. New York is my home and there is a great need for multilingual dental professionals.
I come from a family of health care professionals and they have always been and continue to be very supportive of my career in dentistry, especially my three sisters, two physicians and one oral surgeon. When the four of us are together, typical subjects that dominate the conversation are dental community clinics, research in diagnostic and biomedical sciences, and craniofasial birth defects. I have been especially inspired by my extensive work as a resident in the Children's Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan working with children suffering from cleft lip and palate. This has me enormously excited about the prospect of continuing to pursue my research in the area of craniofasial abnormalities both as a DDS student and beyond.
I am currently serving as a volunteer researcher for the Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences at the University of XXXX. I have also been employed since January of 2017 as a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA), since I received my certification.
I love the way in which dentistry is global and professionals in the Developed World feel compelled to go on missions to the Developing World to assist with the great need that exists in poor countries like Pakistn. Thus, I look forward to having things of value to contribute to discussions in my DDS program based on my professional experiences as someone who completed dental school and practiced for three years in one of the poorest countries in the world with vast challenges in the provision of even the most basic of oral health care services. These challenges are especially great in rural areas plagued by political violence and natural disasters with much of the country regularly flooded and many thousands of people displaced for long periods of time, their homes destroyed. All of these factors have dire consequences for oral health.
My background in the Developing World and my full time immersion in the dental challenges of practice in Third World cities like Islamabad and Lahore, has also left me inspired to always do what I can as a volunteer to help the underserved, here in the USA as well as Pakistan. While working in as a dentist in a Children's Hospital in Lahore, I was able to gain a great deal of exposure to and experience with children with cleft lip and palate. This was the only hospital of its kind in all of the Punjab province of Pakistan. People traveled for days – sometimes for many hundreds of miles - to bring an infant only a few weeks old. These poor mothers from the countryside with nothing but a crying infant on their laps struck to the very core of my heart and sense of professional duty, making it seem natural to spend such long hours on my feet. I relished the complexity involved, and struggled as best I could against long odds, since cleft lip and palate children are not even supposed to breast or bottle feed without specially designed nipples. This provided me with a great opportunity to serve these children with special needs.
In Pakistan, given the limited availability and high cost of oral health care, few children other than those with cleft lip and palate ever see a dentist. All of the children that I was able to treat in Pakistan, however, touched my heart profoundly and inspired in me the desire to continue to develop a specialization in Pediatric Dentistry, continuing my education in this area after earning the DDS Degree.
While studying at XXXX Community College, my mother developed a tooth ache and since we had no dental insurance I took her to the local community clinic that was free of charge. There, I fell in love with the advanced technology, the spirit of cooperation, the volunteers and their profound sense of community and belonging, and the profession of dentistry.
I thank you for considering my application to your distinguished DDS Program for internationally trained dentists.