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DDS, Competitive Ice Skater, Russian

September 11, 2017


I joined a program called ‘Young Medic’ in Russia during the last two years of high school which provided opportunities to observe physicians and to provide basic assistance to them and their staff. I was deeply impressed by the dedication and skill of the professionals I met and was confirmed in a decision to enter the field of healthcare. After graduating from high school, I worked for a year in the Department of Maxilo-Facial Surgery and Pediatrics in a Russian medical school and I was invited to observe surgeries and attend lectures. Seeing what a dramatic difference that dentistry makes in so many people’s lives, I made a firm decision to pursue a career within it. However another path opened up causing my decision to be delayed.

I came to the US as a competitive ice skater and was set to pursue a successful, if short term, career in this field but injury prevented me from doing so.  I was helping to support my family and so I had to work, I trained and qualified as a Registered Dental Assistant. Once qualified, I worked for an agency which exposed me to many practices and specialities for seven years, including:  general practice, orthodontics, oral surgery, pediatric dentistry and endodontics.  I was also pursuing a degree in Biology & Biochemistry with an emphasis on pre-med. Studies and became involved in skating again by joining a program to encourage disadvantaged youngsters to use their energy, and increase their confidence, through skating.  Working with the disadvantaged young and listening to their stories fired an interest in psychology and I started to undertake some informal study.

Having gained my degree, it had been my intention to join a DDS program but fate decided otherwise. Because of illnesses and deaths in my family in Russia, I was obliged to continue working. I decided to pursue formal studies in Psychology and gained a Master’s degree and a further Master’s in Family and Marriage Therapy. I practiced as a counsellor which was a rewarding and interesting experience but I longed to return to dentistry.

By this time I was married with 2 year old twins and my husband was asked to move to England by his employer.  I decided to apply for entry to a Dental degree course in England and was admitted to the UK’s most prestigious dental school and graduated in July 2015. The program provided excellent, comprehensive training and patient contact throughout. I was involved in providing preventative education to the financially disadvantaged especially regarding the link between smoking and periodontal disease and taught oral health hygiene and proper cleaning techniques to in-patients with brain damage. I was also selected to be a guide at college open days in recognition of my enthusiasm and ‘people skills’.  It is my firm intention, once qualified to practice in the US, to regularly sacrifice time to give free treatment to the financially disadvantaged to ‘pay back’ for my own fortunate circumstances and for the welcome that I have been accorded in this country.

We moved back to the US shortly after graduating and, since then, I have sought as much additional exposure to US dentistry as possible by attending lectures, assisting dentists at free clinics and by visiting various colleges and undertaking research to evaluate the training and facilities offered to students and it is for this reason that this application is made to your program.

In order to reach the high standard that I reached as a skater, it was necessary from an early age to show uncommonly high levels of determination, commitment and diligence.  I have done so in all areas of my life and I will continue to do so. These characteristics have been further demonstrated in the award of several degrees whilst working, and later, while being the mother to two infants. I am confident that these characteristics will also enable me not merely to succeed but to excel within the program. 

My background and life experiences have provided me with many opportunities to interact with with people from other ethnic and social backgrounds. I love to share knowledge of my own culture and to learn about others. I get along easily with people and have a well-developed sense of humour. I am an empathetic person and my psychology training has provided an excellent basis for understanding others. I believe that my background in psychology can be usefully applied in Dentistry, I am particularly interested in the ‘fearful patient’ and in finding methods to establish the causes and seeking effective ways to alleviate them. I hope that an opportunity might arise in the program for me to assist in research in a related area of study.

I am confident that I have the potential to become a first class dental practitioner in the US. I am sure that I possess the natural characteristics, experience, education and training that will enable me to ‘add value’ to the program and, ultimately, to ‘add lustre’ to its already prestigious reputation. I can assure the reader that I, if selected, I shall apply myself with exceptional enthusiasm and diligence.

Thank you for considering my application. 

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