A sensitive and compassionate Pakistani American woman, now 34, I have already completed dental school in Islamabad, Pakistan (2009), and now I hope also to 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, attending school in both places. I completed my undergraduate studies at XXXX Community College, NY, USA. Then, I returned to Pakistan for dental school, followed by three years of residency and practice in Islamabad.
After graduating from dental school in Pakistan, I stayed for several more years because I wanted the experience of practicing dentistry in a developing nation with significant challenges in oral health. I was raised in New York and 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. After earning my DDS Degree in America, I hope to put my language ability to good use as a dentist. New York is my home, and there is a great need for multilingual dental professionals.
I come from a family of healthcare professionals that have always supported my career in dentistry, especially my three sisters; two are physicians, and one is an oral surgeon. When the four of us are together, typical subjects that dominate the conversation are dental community clinics, diagnostic and biomedical sciences research, and congenital and craniofacial disabilities. My extensive work has especially inspired me as a resident in the Children's Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan working with children suffering from cleft lip and palate. This makes me enormously excited about the prospect of continuing to pursue my research in craniofacial abnormalities s a DDS student and beyond.
I am currently s volunteer researcher for the Department of Diagnostic and Biomedical Sciences at XXXX University. I have also been employed since January 2017 as a Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) since I received my certification.
I love how 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 in developing countries like Pakistan. 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 significant in rural areas with frequent political violence and natural disasters. Thousands of people have been displaced for long periods, 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 have inspired me to do what I can as a volunteer to help the underserved in the USA as well as by serving as a dentist in a Children's Hospital in Lahore. I gained much exposure to and experience with cleft lip and palate children. This was the only hospital of its kind in the Punjab province of Pakistan. People traveled for days – sometimes 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 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 children with cleft lips are not even supposed to bottle-feed without specially designed nipples. This provided me with the opportunity to serve these children with special needs.
Given the limited availability and high cost of oral health care in Pakistan, few children other than those with cleft lip and palate ever see a dentist. However, all the children I treated in Pakistan profoundly touched my heart. They inspired me to continue developing 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 toothache. Since we had no dental insurance, I took her to the local community clinic 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.
Thank you for considering my application to your distinguished DDS Program for internationally trained dentists.