Since I started dental school, I have been intent on the pursuit of Pediatric Dentistry and this ambition has been increasingly confirmed as my training and career have progressed. I have sought out as much exposure to the specialty as possible, carefully observing the techniques applied and characteristics displayed by professionals in the specialty. 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 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 for underserved children. I began working with children as a volunteer in high school, helping to organize and manage Special Olympics events; 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, most recently HeadStart. My professional focus is now firmly focused not only on children, but children of scarce resources. I was raised to believe that charitable endeavour 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.
The first time I applied for a residency in Pediatric Dentistry and was rejected, I was still in dental school. So, I applied to and completed an AEGD residency. The clinical experience of my AEGD Residency, complete with lectures and a variety of additional training courses, helped me to become increasingly more proficient in Endodontics, Periodontics, Prosthodontics, practice management, and evidence-based dentistry generally speaking, in addition to Pediatric Denstistry. 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.
After completing my AEGD Residency, I worked in private practice so as to be able to supplement my public health experience gained during my residency, as well as to apply everything I have learned and provide comprehensive treatment to a very different demographics. It was reconfirmed during this experience that my true passion is to work with children full time. I reapplied to Pediatric Dental residencies and unfortunately did not get in once again. That was a difficult day; but for me the glass is always half full never half empty. I was indeed most grateful, however, to be given the opportunity to keep my dream alive as a result of being selected for an internship position in Pediatric Dentistry, which I have been enjoying to the fullest degree imaginable.
My central hope my third time around lies in the extensive experience that I am now acquiring in the provision of dental treatment to children in a variety of settings, including extensive exposure to and practice of behavioural control modalities such as the operating room under general anaesthesia, using IV sedation, oral sedation, and in the regular clinic with the possibility of doing nitrous. I have also broadened my horizons and contribution as a volunteer, serving with HeadStart, providing what is for many children their only chance for oral health care.
I cannot wait to get to work each day in my current position and go to sleep at night thinking about it. Nothing brings me greater joy than Pediatric Dentistry and the marvellous opportunities that have been afforded to me. Now, since I am proficient in most aspects of child dental care, I have more hope than ever before. I have done many stainless-steel crowns, strip crowns, composite and amalgam fillings, extractions, space maintenance, and tooth replacement where necessary and I have provided these services to numerous children, including many who have been severely medically compromised.
After completing your program and gaining additional experience on the cutting-edge, I hope to open my own clinic as a Pediatric Dentist with a heavy focus on underserved children.
I thank you for considering my application.