As an applicant to residency programs in Pediatric Dentistry, earning the Master’s Degree at the University of ____ would be my finest possible scenario. I see U_ as unsurpassed in the areas where I hope to develop the most solid grasp, including the biological bases of oral surgery theory and especially the rapidly developing role of technology in oral surgery. As an Indian woman raised in Thailand, I thrive in multicultural and multilingual settings. After becoming a dentist in Thailand and gaining significant experience, including an internship in China, I came to the USA to advance my career. Since then, I have taken advanced courses in Esthetic and Operative Dentistry at ____ University (2019-2021).
An inquisitive global citizen, I aspire to make my mark in dentistry focused progressively on helping to increase access to oral health care at the grassroots level, especially in Asia. My quest to become and excel as a pediatric dentist has more inspiration than I can remember. Foremost amongst them is Som, a little girl from the Hmong tribe in the northern highlands of Thailand. I was volunteering as an English teacher in her rural community, and while the entire class cheered and chatted, she only mumbled a few largely incomprehensible words. Whenever I questioned her, Som’s replies would be limited to a nod or a blank expression that stemmed from the fear of becoming the class’s laughingstock. Over six weeks, I watched as this bright girl remained wrapped in a cocoon of disengagement. Eventually, I learned from a volunteer dentist that Som’s timid personality stemmed from insecurities about her cleft palate. This was the first moment I felt like my destiny had just caressed my cheek, and I have been on an oral surgery track ever since.
I entered heaven when I started dental school in Thailand, soaking up both the practical and the theoretical. I also embraced several opportunities that came my way to participate in collaborative research, assessing and evaluating data. I am incredibly thankful that my experiences before coming to America gave me a solid foundation to build after my arrival, especially concerning dental technology. It was an enormous privilege to have contributed to “A Morphological Study of the Third Cervical Vertebrae from Digital Panoramic Radiographs,” which took two years to complete. When I presented our research study at the FDI World Dental Federation in Poznan, Poland, in 2016, it was the zenith point of my career.
While interning at a clinic in Shanghai, China, I assisted with a sinus lift surgery, cutting a bone window and lifting the inner membrane of the sinus using a piezoelectric handpiece. The precise nature of this procedure felt like peeling the shell of an egg without destroying the inner membrane. This enabled me better to understand the complexities and challenges of oral surgery and reaffirmed my already intense joy that I had chosen the right field.
In Thailand, I have seen members of several tribal communities writhing in agony from lack of access to care, leaving an indelible impression that will drive me to the end of my days. The value of my existence on this earth shall primarily be measured by how much I can help them and those like them.
I would also like to teach Pediatric Dentistry at some point in my career and envision doing so in Thailand, where my efforts could result in the highest yields. My experience of tutoring dental students at ____ has boosted my confidence, and I have especially enjoyed helping them to master a variety of techniques. My studies in esthetic and operative dentistry at ____ have enabled me to focus on research in anterior restorations in orofacial clefts patients, living out my long-term dream for Som.
The absolute highlight thus far was in 2017, when I volunteered at Operation Smile and assisted surgeons in treating kids with cleft lip and palate surgeries. I love to explore different techniques and materials used for pediatric patients in the never-ending quest to safeguard, protect, and restore their smiles.
Thank you for considering my application to the Pediatric Dentistry Program at the University of ____.
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