I grew up determined to use my life to improve the lives of others and initially decided to pursue psychology to reach this goal. However, I was always attracted to dentistry and this attraction grew as I met those finding great satisfaction in the profession. I am attracted because of the opportunities it offers to provide so many benefits, speedily healing discomfort, and pain, widening dietary choices and, most of all, repairing or creating a pleasing smile and so enhancing confidence with all the advantages in life that this brings. After careful consideration and significant exposure to the world of dentistry, I have now decided to seek to acquire the skills and training in dentistry to enable me to enjoy the benefits in terms of job satisfaction and in providing life enhancing benefits to patients.
My goal is to become a first-class dentist in general practice. General practice is my favored specialty because of the opportunities to create and maintain long-term relationships with patients and indeed, whole families and communities, and to provide education in oral and dental health to patients and others, especially children and young people. I am fluent in Korean and English, and I am studying Chinese and Spanish to enable me to communicate with a wider range of patients.
I majored in Psychology for my bachelor's degree and hope to apply the knowledge acquired both in understanding the feelings of patients and in finding and applying ways to soothe and treat fearful, especially child, patients. I would be extremely interested in assisting in research in this subject. One of my ‘minors’ was art which I enjoyed and excelled in. This exposure has developed my esthetic sensitivity and manual dexterity which are both relevant transferable skills that I hope to bring to my dental studies and work.
In order to prepare myself for this change of direction I have sought as much exposure to dentistry as possible. I have taken a one-year course at Harvard Extension School for those seeking to make a career change into dentistry and have been working part-time as a Dental Assistant for the past six months. I have also recently provided research assistance to third year Harvard dental students at Dr. Oyama’s lab. I am also a member of ‘Dentists for Humanity’ and have undertaken dental related volunteer work both in the US and in Haiti, where I assisted in triage, provided fluoride treatment to child patients, sterilized instruments, and provided other assistance as required. It was highly gratifying to see grimaces of pain turn into smiles of relief and gratitude. I am also extremely excited at the prospect of working in a field in which so many exciting advances in techniques and materials are being made.
All these exposures to the profession have totally confirmed me in my career choice. I was raised to regard voluntary work as an obligation rather than a choice and it is my firm intention to give some of my time and skills to the underserved throughout my career.
I am very aware that a dentist must be culturally sensitive and aware. My own experiences have been useful in creating these characteristics. I came to the US from Korea at the age of seventeen and quickly reached fluency in English and adjusted to a new and fascinating if, occasionally baffling, culture and environment. I have great empathy with those sharing these challenges. I have happily worked, studied, and socialized with people of many ethnic and social backgrounds. I get on easily with others and have an amiable personality. I am curious about other cultures and enjoy sharing knowledge of my own rich heritage.
To summarize: I am academically able, I have demonstrated flexibility and determination in my life to date, I have a very strong work ethic, I have acquired significant exposure to the profession, I have skills and training that are directly applicable to this career and I believe that I possess the interpersonal skills that make me an excellent candidate but, most importantly, I have a deep, genuine and passionate desire to become a caring and highly skilled dentist.
Thank you for considering my application.
Personal Statement Dentists for Humanity