Note: The name of the applicant, as well as the name of her academic institution has been withheld or changed, to protect her identity.
How It All Began
As I write this, a grown woman, I can’t help but reflect on the early events that irrevocably placed my feet on the path of Dentistry.
One of my earliest interactions with the field of dentistry was as
a mere eleven year old. No thanks to pop culture and the stereotype embedded deep in most childrens’ minds of a visit to the dentist being equivalent to that of voluntarily participating in a horro movie, I entered the clinic full of apprehension, though coupled with the abounding curiosity is typical of so many kids of that age.
Even though I had to have extractions, with wide-eyed fascination I watched as the kindly doctor not only successfully put my mind at ease, but
also deftly handled all his glinting, metallic equipment. These visits became my first learning blocks of the field. Once I discovered that experiencing positivechanges that the treatment brought about not only in my smile but also my self-esteem, I knew I had found my calling in this noble profession.
And thus was born my lifelong love affair with dentistry.
Beginning My Journey As A Dentist
With this goal in my mind, I have taken great strides towards securing good scores in one of the most competitive entrance exams, and thus gaining admission into the _______________ dental school, which is considered amongst India’s prestigious medical and dental universities. A daily 3 hour commute was a necessary sacrifice that willingly made, and I am also a recipient of my family’s unwavering support, being the first individual in my family to pursue the medical profession.
I bring with me to the DDS program a solid academic foundation in various fields like prosthodontics, endodontics, pedodontics, periodontics and many other courses, coupled with numerous volunteer experiences, observer-ships and direct-patient contact that has only solidified my certainty that I am exactly where I need to be.
My Experience Of Dentistry In India
These courses provided me not only with extensive theoretical knowledge but also helped me put it to practical use. Since the university hospital is located at the outskirts of the city, it saw a huge influx of patients from the neighboring villages, where dental treatments were not readily available.
The most poignant imagery that I often carried from the interactions in the hospital, was the disparity in the lives of the people who lived around us. While we, the privileged ones, complain about the wires in our teeth, our fellow Indians were in much worse circumstances, with many children and adults alike enduring enormous pain, and being forced to wait even longer as a result of being unable to pay for the treatment that they so desperately needed.
I hope to have the opportunity in the future to contribute to the design and implementation of massive, well designed, oral health campaigns in India. Thus, my humanitarian interests and dreams for the future rest on dual pillars, my training in public health along with the world-class education in dentistry that will be afforded by completing your highly esteemed program.
Another Anecdote That’s Pushed Me Towards Pro-Bono!
In particular, I clearly remember another experience with a little 10-year old girl, that bolstered my ambitions. She came to the university hospital with her mother, suffering from a huge swelling and in agonizing pain. She was hesitant at first to let anyone examine her but once I to spoke to her, she warmed up towards me and let me help her out. After a few sessions, once I completed her root canal procedure, she agreed to get her complete treatment done only with me. Her appreciation solidified my confidence and changed my focus from practice-based dentistry to pro bono dentistry
My Research And Accomplishments
Along with honing my academic skills, dental education also primed my research sensibilities. I independently participated and presented papers and posters at various dental conferences and inter-collegiate festivals. I presented a paper on ‘Temporomandibular Disorders’ at the International
Student Dental Conclave 2014, the abstract of which was published in the Archives of Craniofacial Sciences. Along with it I also got an opportunity to present a poster on ‘Botox In Dentistry’ at the India International Dental Congress. Participated in the inter-college scientific debates and 3-D
models and secured 2nd place for the topic intra oral lesions due to tobacco consumption (2015).
My research orientation got further impetus when I conducted a research through survey methodology regarding denture-cleansing habits in Mumbai and Navi-Mumbai. This has been published in the GLOBAL JOURNAL of Medical Research: Dentistry and Otolaryngology. The focus of this study was on dentist communication practices not communicating denture hygiene practices adequately to patients and the consequence of these lacunae.
My Future Endeavours
My academic, professional, even philanthropic ideals go beyond the clinical, expanding my base of knowledge and contributing to the future of Dental research. Moreover, I want to continue an active
research regimen, working from a university, bringing practical, contemporary research to burgeoning dental professionals.
My experiences in this highly diverse country has increased my self-confidence, self-efficacy, interpersonal abilities and teamwork ability as well as bringing me into contact with people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds and I can confidently promise that this makes me a promising
candidate, armed with a cultural competency that is so necessary in dealing with the patients of today’s highly globalized and diversified world.
Through all of my experiences, I have learned that Dentistry is not only a career but an ideal, one that inspires helping all who need dental care, rich or poor. I hope that by the time I am an old practitioner, dental care will be much more accessible and widespread in my country and that the inspiration for change will spread to other nations with people in dire need of dental care.
I look forward to my DDS program with great eagerness. No other field ever could offer me the same level of personal or professional satisfaction, nor the outlet from which I can make sustainable impact on the lives of my community.
Thank you for your time and consideration.