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Sample Personal Statement for Residency in Endodontics, Korean Applicant, Military

Updated: Feb 1

Immediately after I qualified in 2014, I joined the army as a military dentist but was not aware, at that time, what a wise professional decision this was. I was given very early responsibility for the dental health of a large population of patients, gaining comprehensive general dental experience over a short period. I also found that the core military values aligned very closely with my own, emphasizing personal integrity and ethical behavior. The army has also provided me with excellent post-graduate specialist training, with a significant amount devoted to endodontics. I am now a Senior Captain Dental Officer and have been assigned as a Clinical Mentor to recent graduates from Dental School. I regard this appointment as a recognition of my professional ability, communication skills, and potential. I greatly enjoy helping the junior Captains develop their knowledge and diagnostic and clinical skills.

Because of a growing interest in endodontics and increasing experience and skills in this area of work, with the permission of the dental detachment commander, I began to manage an increased number of patients with endodontic lesions in the clinic, as there is no endodontic specialist within the CAF. I have witnessed many restorable teeth with endodontic lesions being extracted for implants and seen many of those implants fail and recognized the need for expert treatments which I now seek to become equipped to provide.

I undertook only 6 RCTs during my undergraduate studies, which was the minimum to qualify, and then I had no particular interest in endodontics. However, as endodontic treatments became a significant feature of my military dental work, including over 200 RCTs, I wanted to learn about endodontics, which often provides immediate and dramatic pain relief and the saving of teeth and so affords particulars professional satisfaction. This interest crystallized into a decision to specialize in this area during a two-week course run by three impressive AEGD. I learned a great deal about the different aspects of endodontics, re-treatments, and surgery.

I am drawn by the prospect of specializing in a field with frequent advances in techniques and materials. I hope to participate in those developments by assisting in research. I am particularly interested in regenerative endodontics and undertaking evidence-based treatments. I have no research experience and know that even an excellent practitioner is not necessarily a good researcher. However, I believe I possess characteristics and potential that will enable me to assist in research projects. I have demonstrated an ability to think creatively and initially when forming treatment plans since my military training has emphasized a measured, disciplined, and carefully planned approach to my work (and indeed to my life generally). I possess determination and intellectual curiosity and am happy to work collaboratively to achieve common goals.

My ultimate goals are to provide high-quality endodontic treatments working in an underserved community, preferably in a multi-disciplinary clinic handling particularly complex cases/endodontic failures. I would also donate my time and skills to those unable to pay to avoid extractions. Because I have been an influential teacher and have enjoyed this aspect of work, I would also seek to pass on my skills to other dentists and students. I know that providing medical services requires a high cultural awareness and sensitivity. I have studied, worked, and socialized with people of many cultural and social backgrounds and enjoy learning about new cultures and sharing knowledge of my rich heritage. I seek to be a ‘well-rounded’ person and pursue several hobbies, including marathon running and playing guitar. The digital sensitivity I have acquired as a string musician greatly assists my work. I am the representative for my military unit in the United Way Fundraising charity, which seeks to help disadvantaged people within the local community. My parents have had financial struggles over the years, and I feel an affinity with those suffering similarly. Thus, I find my voluntary endeavors highly satisfying.

I believe that my professional background and personal characteristics will enable me to add considerable value to the program and assure the reader that I shall apply myself with exceptional diligence and enthusiasm for my fellow students' benefit. I aim to excel rather than merely succeed.

To summarize: I have acquired significant general and endodontics experience and training since graduation; I have achieved the status of mentor to other dentists in a short period, demonstrating the trust of my superiors in my professional ability and personality; and I have had the advantage of practical and expert post-graduate training provided by the CAF. However, my most important recommendation is a genuine passion for the specialty and my determination to become an acknowledged expert practitioner and teacher of the thing.

Thank you for considering my application.

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