I was born in the coldest city on earth, Yakutsk, Russia, also home to large diamond mines. Thus, my area is also referred to as ''The Diamond Valley.” Diamonds are created under great pressure and eventually form into the world’s most durable and precious minerals. I too have been shaped by great pressure along the way, the most strident of which was a serious injury to my back during my third year of dental school which left me at risk of being paralyzed. It took me nearly a year to make a full recovery and I had to make up that year of my dental education. Yet, I had time to do a lot of thinking about the fragility and sanctity of life and the importance of health care professionals. In the end, this experience greatly reaffirmed my commitment to becoming a health care professional myself. Now making America my permanent home, I hope to be accepted to a DDS/DMD program for international dentists.
I was especially close to my grandfather growing up; he had always wanted to become a physician but was unable to do so as a result from being from a humble family and unable to afford a medical education which is very expensive in Russia. From my very early childhood we played doctor and patient; thus, the honor and integrity that I attached early on to becoming a doctor was another major factor in the formation of my professional trajectory. My mother ran a beauty salon and from her I learned about and embraced the importance of aesthetics, especially facial beauty. By the time that I was in high school witnessing the transformation of my best friend - from a shy and mostly invisible teenager into a beauty queen on her way to a successful career as a model – I set my sights firmly on dentistry, at once fulfilling my grandfather’s prophecy and at the same time building upon my appreciation for a beautiful smile. I love the way in which dentistry is an integral and indispensable part of physical health, at the same time that it also raises self-esteem, resulting in the smile that I have come to crave as a professional. After completing a doctoral program, I intend to focus further study in the area of Orthodontics.
I was especially proud to be granted a scholarship to become a dentist by studying at the Moscow State Medical and Dental University. I excelled in dental school until I had my accident and had to postpone my third year, but I kept learning and stayed busy, launching a blog, for example, about Yakutia and our local culture and the religion of the people of Sakha. I continued my education in dentistry by reading countless dental articles. This is the time when my interest picked up in Orthodontics and I began to think about furthering my education in America after completing my dental program at home.
I returned to school fully recovered and became a group leader, learning to be responsible for my classmates in addition to myself. I went on to become President of the Philosophy club and also joined the Association of Dental Students and Young Dentists where I was soon chosen to serve as Secretary General. I helped our association to expand from 1000 to 10000 members by promoting our mission: providing future dentists with opportunities to study abroad, attending seminars, and volunteering. I learned a great deal about business ethics during meetings with our sponsors such as P&G, Colgate, etc. My teamwork and time management skills were also enhanced by this experience.
After graduating from dental school and coming to America, I was invited to serve as an intern shadowing Dr XXXX in his practice at Rockefeller Plaza, New York. I got to know Dr. XXXX through connections in the Russian Dental Association. I was sincerely touched by observing how he treated his patients, as if they were a family member or dear friend. Later, I began working part-time as a dental assistant. Working alongside Dr XXXX taught me a great deal about how to overcome language barriers and communicate with people of all different cultural, backgrounds. This experience also encouraged me to begin my study of Spanish at which I continue to make steady progress. Later I was recommended to Dr XXXX by our office manager and began serving at XXXX Smiles as part of a team of 10 professionals. Working alongside Dr XXXX has helped me to better appreciate the critical role of the office environment in the successful delivery of dental care since his practice was especially well organized with ample resources on every level. I currently work in support of Dr XXXX at XXXX Dentist in Los Angeles, California.
One patient that will always stand out in my mind because my memory of her continues to spur me forward was Sara, a six-year-old girl who was terrified when she came into the office because she previously had experienced a severe gagging reflex while taking impressions. I built a special rapport with her and proposed the purchase of a iTero 3D scanner to send the digital records to the lab. I was told that it would take 3 weeks to deliver the appliance but was thrilled at my success at getting our hands on it in only one week. I will never forget Sara and her mother smiling and thanking me for resolving this issue. I hope to continue going that extra mile for my patients.
I thank you for considering my application.