I come from a culture in which dental treatment is not regarded as a priority and I saw many, often comparatively young people, with missing teeth who, it could be assumed, followed no dental or oral hygiene regime and whose visits to a dentist would arise only if driven by extreme pain. The evidence of the importance of dentistry was all around me and instilled an interest in pursuing it as a career. Experiencing the satisfaction of turning grimaces of pain into smiles of relief during my clinical training and having the opportunity to provide basic dental hygiene education to people who may have had none previously, gave me immense satisfaction and firmly confirmed me in my career choice.
It was always my hope to specialize and, during my training to qualify to practice in the US, I had the opportunity to assist in the Orthodontics Department at the College of Dentistry of the University of XXXX. I shadowed residents and fabricated removable appliances for pediatric patients. I was greatly impressed at the skill and dedication of the residents but what left the greatest impression was the dramatic difference that treatments often made to the patients’ confidence and self-esteem. I am also excited at the prospect of being involved in a specialty in which new materials and techniques are constantly evolving and I certainly hope to play a part in assisting in the achievement of further advances.
I am currently working as a general dentist and clinical director and am aware of the high demand for specialist orthodontic treatments, especially for children. Having worked with patients who have recently completed their orthodontic regimen, I have again been impressed by the positive, and sometimes dramatic, impact that such treatments provide especially for the young. It is now my hope to acquire the specialist skills and knowledge to enable me to become an excellent orthodontist and to enhance these as far as I am able throughout my career. I am aware that particular skills and characteristics are called for in this specialty, such as critical thinking, planning skills and an awareness of the need for cross disciplinary co-operation as well as an ability to communicate technical and complex matters in simple language to patients. I am also conscious that patients will naturally seek a specialist in whom they can place exceptional levels of confidence and trust where long and complex treatments may arise. I am confident that I have such skills and characteristics and the potential to develop them further.
I have research experience that is of relevance to this application. I worked as a research assistant in the team of Dr. XXXX, a professor at the University of XXXX School of Dental Medicine. I worked on the Dental Registry and DNA Repository project for 9 months in 2012. I had the opportunity of working with experts in various dental specialities and acquired significant knowledge, research experience and related skills. I also had the opportunity to pass those skills on to undergraduate students under my supervision. I greatly enjoyed this teaching experience and it would be my hope to be able to teach students of orthodontics part-time when I have acquired the necessary amount of experience to equip me to do so.
I have been involved in various outreach programs and free clinics as a dentist and see this as an obligation rather than a choice having been so personally fortunate in life. I realize that orthodontic treatments are not easily accessible to very many who would benefit from them. It would be my firm intention to devote some of my skills and time to treat those, especially children and young people, who might otherwise go untreated. I am also interested in dental and oral hygiene education and will seek to further these throughout my future career through related projects.
I have happily studied, worked, treated and socialized with people of many cultural and social backgrounds. I enjoy learning about new cultures and sharing information about my own. I get on easily with people and am happy working collaboratively to achieve a common goal. I am an experienced general dentist with the necessary characteristics, skill base, research experience, potential and, most importantly, a genuine passion in the specialty to enable me to ‘add value’ to the program and to become a skilled and effective specialist. I undertake to apply an exceptional level of commitment and diligence to the program, if selected.
Thank you for considering my application.