I have never really considered any other career than dentistry. I was fortunate to have an aunt who is an experienced dentist practicing in my home country of Vietnam, and I was allowed to ‘shadow’ her and provide some essential assistance to her while in High School. Seeing grimaces of pain turn into smiles of relief and witnessing my aunt’s skilled, dedicated, and empathetic treatment of her patients was genuinely inspiring. She continues to be a role model. I was especially impressed by her determination to educate her patients on oral and dental hygiene and the benefits of regular maintenance. So far, I have found great satisfaction in my work and have never regretted my choice. I now seek to hone and advance my dental knowledge and skills to provide excellent dental care and education to patients in the US. Admission to Dental Schools in Vietnam is highly competitive. The level of competitiveness ensures that only the truly determined and able gain admittance. I studied for the entrance examinations and graduated with honors in 2003.
I needed to work part-time while studying dentistry, which tested my dedication and determination. In these circumstances, merely qualifying was a great challenge, but I was determined not merely to succeed but to excel. I organized study groups to assist students in sharing and resolving problems which proved very successful for the participants. Because of my excellent academic results, I was among 15 students selected to submit a thesis rather than undertake a final examination. My idea was judged to be the third-best in my class and is stored as reference material in the library of the Medical and Pharmacy University of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, something of which I am very proud.
During my early years of professional study, I sought as many opportunities as possible to assist physicians and dentists in their research. I translated material from English to Vietnamese and assisted in clinical trials for various research projects.
When I graduated, I worked as an associate dentist in a hospital, readying patients for surgery. This instilled an appreciation of the cross-disciplinary nature of dentistry and provided an opportunity to work with experienced surgeons, foreign dentists, and patients, which enhanced my communication skills and knowledge. I worked in general dentistry in several public clinics in Vietnam, gaining broad experience in the day-to-day work of a public clinic. In addition, I volunteered to work half a day once a week in a hospital, assisting a surgeon and his team who performed free cleft lip and palate surgery for poor children—seeing appearances transformed and the increasing confidence and happiness of the young patients with their new faces and smiles was a great joy.
Since moving to the US in 2010, I completed ab ESL course and, since 2012, have worked as a Dental Assistant, learning as much as possible about how dentistry is practiced here and supplementing this with my independent study. This significant exposure has provided me with an excellent base from which to proceed to qualify to practice here. It has been challenging for several years studying full-time while working part-time and adjusting to a new environment and culture while raising a young child. However, it has also been delightful and instructive.
I have happily socialized, studied, and worked with people from many cultural and social backgrounds in Vietnam. I get on quickly with others and love to learn about new cultures and share information about my own. I aim to be a well-rounded person. I love singing and soccer and look forward to extending my limited international travel to see new people, cultures, and places.
I have the experience, personal characteristics, and proven academic ability to excel rather than merely succeed in the program. My working background and research experience will enable me to contribute to the diversity of the program with exceptional enthusiasm and diligence.
Thank you for considering my application.