A dentist who finished dental school and gained experience in my native Albania, I have lived and worked extremely hard in the USA for the last two years to advance my career and prepare myself for a lifetime, maximum professional contribution in Orthodontics. I have worked full-time as a dental assistant for a year-and-a-half and have finished parts 1 and 2 of the NBDEs. I hope to be accepted to a residency program in Orthodontics here in America.
Immediately upon finishing dental school in Albania, I completed a one-year series of theoretical/practical seminars and clinics organized by the university. The program encompassed theoretical and hands-on training, including orthodontics treatment and bracket placement. I met distinguished Orthodontists from across Europe, learning many special techniques and creative approaches to the orthodontic profession. Here in the USA, I have had the opportunity to shadow and assist several different orthodontists, learning cutting-edge techniques and practice. For example, I had a unique opportunity in New York to spend seven months helping Dr. XXXX treat patients in Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics. Seventy-five years old and still going very strong in Orthodontics, I admire Dr. XXXX’s holistic approach and dedication to Orthodontics, which he taught at XXXX for a quarter of a century.
Next, I moved to Boston, where I continue to enjoy the opportunity to serve in the Orthodontics practice of Drs. XXXX and XXXX are both excellent doctors. Dr. XXXX, who specializes in lingual braces, went to dental school in India yet was selected for and completed her Orthodontics residency at Harvard - she shared many of her exciting stories with me. Dr. XXXX, 78, taught Orthodontics at XXXX for 35 years. Dr. XXXX is a master of wire banding, creating archwires for each patient. Working alongside Dr. XXXX, I appreciate providing highly personalized Orthodontic and Dentofacial Orthopedics treatment. I have recently learned a lot about special appliances, training, and jaw exercises for patients with TMJ clicking, locking, clenching or bruxism, etc.
Not only have I worked as a general dentist for several years already, but I have also assisted professors with research projects, especially during my time at the University of Tirana. Since then, I've coordinated and participated in continuing education courses in orthodontics and prosthodontics, pediatric dentistry, and oral surgery. In addition, I've planned events that demonstrate oral care techniques and practices. I have worked as a dental assistant in New York and Boston and learned much about orthodontics and general dentistry. My experience working in an orthodontic practice has helped to fully confirm my realization that orthodontics is my true passion and life calling. My work has allowed me to appreciate better the vast gambit of aspects or facets of the practice of Orthodontics. The better I understand the complexity, the more determined I become to specialize in Orthodontics. I have seen patients from the start to the conclusion of their treatment. This holistic perspective has allowed me to see the beneficial impact proper orthodontics can have on an individual.
I have been exposed to all aspects of orthodontics and understand the importance of paying attention to every detail of the day-to-day work involved. I have learned how important it is to partner with the patient, especially since orthodontic treatment is comparatively long-term. My time in orthodontics in the U.S. has been a great experience and has given me the confidence to pursue orthodontics as my vocation to balance my professional life in dentistry.
I spent many weekends as a volunteer dentist in Albania, providing dental services to orphans and needy families within the community, helping me to understand the complexity of the debilitating effects that poor oral health care can have on a person's personal and professional life, especially for the underserved – driven by poverty and exacerbated by the widespread and sustained political unrest endured by Albania in recent years. There is little to no advanced training available in Orthodontics in Albania. I am so thankful to be building a new life in the land of opportunity in dentistry.
Someday, I want to return to Albania and teach Orthodontics to new generations of dentistry students, opening doors to smiles in an impoverished country struggling very hard to smile. I will continue to depend on the international dentistry community's support to make future advances.
I thank you for considering my application to your distinguished program.