Since entering dental training, it has been my intention to pursue Pediatric Dentistry and this ambition was increasingly confirmed as my training and career has progressed. I sought as much exposure to the specialty as possible carefully observing the techniques applied and characteristics displayed by professionals in the specialty. I was hospitalized in my early teens for a significant period and witnessed the positive effects that caring, empathetic medical staff had on seriously ill child patients. It is clear that Pediatric Dentistry calls for special characteristics, in addition to high levels of specialist skill and knowledge: endless patience, profound empathy, a practiced ability to inspire trust and confidence and, most importantly, a genuine and deep affection for children. I would not be making this application if I were not convinced that I possess these characteristics.
I began working with children as a volunteer, helping to organize and manage Special Olympics events while I was still a high school student; and have continued to work with children over the years collaborating with a variety of projects with a focus on young people and oral health care. In my last year of Dental school, I applied for a Pediatric Dental Residency position in hopes of fulfilling my special dream right away, working with the demographic that keeps me smiling. I was not selected. I did MATCH, however, when I applied to AEGD residencies and was overjoyed to be selected for service in a Public Health Clinic where I fell head over heels in love with Public Health Dentistry. My professional focus is now firmly focused not just on children, but children of scarce resources. This position gave me the invaluable opportunity to hone my skills and gain confidence in all aspects of Dentistry in preparation for outstanding excellence in Pediatrics.
The clinical experience of my AEGD Residency, complete with lectures and a variety of additional training courses, helped me to become proficient in Endodontics, Periodontics, Pediatrics, Prosthodontics, practice management, and evidence-based dentistry generally speaking. I also have a long history – even prior to entering dental school - of shadowing dentists and assisting them to the extent to which I was able. My favourite experience prior to dental school was assisting at the XXXX County Organization for Rural Needs (ACORN) in the Children’s Dental Clinic. It was a long drive but I enjoyed it immensely both ways: the anticipation while on my way, and savouring the memory of the day during my drive home. Nothing had yet brought me as such joy as my interactions with these children, helping to calm them down and explaining the procedures to them.
I have been involved in child-related volunteer activity since 2007; and since 2014 this has taken the form of providing dental and oral health education to children, including pro-bono treatment to underserved children. I was raised to believe that charitable endeavor is an obligation rather than a choice and I could not be happier to help children who might otherwise have gone untreated or suffered from further delays in treatment. My focus on children has helped me to better appreciate the critical importance of early education in the adoption of effective dental and oral hygiene regimes. I look forward to a lifetime of ‘spreading the word’ as widely and as early as possible to children and those who care for them.
My AEGD training was undertaken under the mentorship of highly trained, caring and skilled professionals and involved a full year serving in a clinic that attended to an ethnically diverse and underserved population. The program also involved research projects and emphasized the making of decisions on the basis of a thoroughgoing analysis of all available evidence. This experience gave me the opportunity to develop the advanced diagnostic and treatment-planning skills that are so vital in dentistry and which I constantly seek to cultivate further. I very much look forward to again having broad exposure to research as a result of a dynamic, state-of-the-art residency experience - part of your team in Pediatric Dentistry.
Since 2012, I have been working as a Pediatric Dental Specialist alongside XXXX DDS, serving as her right hand and learning all that I can from one of the finest Pediatric Dentists around. After 5 years at her side, I am well versed in almost all of the details of running a successful Pediatric Dentistry Clinic. In addition to my work alongside Dr. XXXX, while still in Dental School, I met another Pediatric dentist, Dr. XXXX, who has allowed me to shadow and assist her for the past several years as well. From Dr. XXXX, I have gained a lot of exposure to a variety of techniques for treating children, including sedation. One of my two public health rotations during Dental School also happened to be with a doctor who sees primarily children. Treating children, I always end the day with a smile on my face. After completing your program and gaining additional experience on the cutting-edge, I hope to open my own clinic as a Pediatric Dentist and ‘make a difference’ with every child that I see.