I hope to be accepted to your competitive DDS Program for International Dentists on the basis of my intense drive, noble ideals, and determination to make a difference with respect to access to oral health care in my country, Pakistan, especially for poor women who are unable to see a dentist as a result of religious and cultural prohibitions on contact between women and men. Still only 25 years old, I feel strongly that I am mature for my age and I look forward to many decades of service to the underserved in my home country. A licensed and experienced dentist in Pakistan, I myself have already heard about situations where women have been denied access to dental care by their families-even in the hospital where I worked since we attended to many of the underserved, people of the poorer classes, mostly from the countryside, because there was no female dentist available to attend to them. The best answer that I have to this situation is to spend a large part of my time in the future promoting the acceptance of greater numbers of women to dental school. The strength and prestige of earning a DDS Degree in America would help me enormously to accomplish this central professional goal.
I strongly believe that oral hygiene and oral health awareness and education are the foundational aspects of dental care of which we are in the greatest need in Pakistan. Mothers, in particular, should be helped to realize the immense importance of oral health care, especially for the long term and particularly for their children. Women, men, and the society in general also need to be educated that dental care itself is much more important than the gender of dentist. Religious beliefs must be respected, especially in a conservative and fundamentalist Islamic culture such as ours. This must inform to some degree the dentist who seeks to serve because it is critically important to gaining the trust of a patient and making her comfortable with the procedure. I see that as my foremost responsibility. Since women who are not provided with dental care because of a shortage of female dentists live in rural areas; thus, mobile dental clinics just for women seem like a good idea, especially for screenings. In addition to rural areas, there is also great need on the outskirts of large cities where the rural poor have fled in search of a better life, generally living in most squalid and unhealthy conditions. Pakistan is teeming with the underserved for a variety of complex reasons, the chief of which is poverty.
I have been flying back and forth between Pakistan and Boston for the past 3 years now, preparing for advanced study in dentistry here in America and I am currently volunteering at a church on Newbury street which runs a food pantry for homeless people, with special outreach to women in particular. We find them on the street, tell them about our program, and provide them with the whole dining experience as a result of our volunteers, cooks, servers, dishwashers, etc. We also attend to the basic health concerns of these women, helping them to find assistance as needed. This program, aiming to provide a psychological and social uplift as well as free food, is an excellent model or example of everything that I love about the USA.
In addition to the USA, I have also spent extensive periods of time in the UK as well as China. I look forward to contributing to the diversity of your program as a Pakistani woman who is well traveled and well read. I am also eager to compare notes with fellow dentists from around the world, especially with respect to helping the underserved. I am currently completing a 2-month International Dentist Preceptorship (March-April 2016) at XXXX University. I have also completed a one-week externship in Diagnostic Sciences at the XXXX School of Dental Medicine and will be completing a one-week externship in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Michigan during the last week of April. 2016. This will be followed by one-week externships in AEGD for the first week of May and Endodontics for the second week at the University of XXXX HCSA.
As I entered Logan International Airport in 2013, a whiff of cold air bought with it the sweetest scent of freedom and growth. I felt it like an electric current running through every nerve in my body. I feel empowered. My experience at XU, in particular, although short, has put things in a very clear perspective for me. The rich and diverse educational culture in dentistry at XU has helped me to broaden my mental horizons and capabilities. I now see much more clearly how pushing the envelope beyond the comfort zone is the crux of human growth. My longing for excellence in my profession has been greatly enhanced, in particular, by learning new clinical techniques from Drs. XXXX and XXXX on topics including Planning and Grafting in Complex Implant and Evaluation of Fixed and Removable Prosthetics. I was left in awe and very ready to give my all to a DDS program here in America.