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 particular professional satisfaction. This interest crystallized into a decision to specialize in this area during a two-week course run by three impressive AEGDs. I learned much 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 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 represent 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.
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.
Thank you for considering my application.