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Indian Dentist, Father as Role Model

I was raised in a family in which several members were successfully and happily engaged in medicine and dentistry. My father was a dentist and there was an assumption in the family that I would follow in his footsteps, however I was not particularly drawn to dentistry. At school I had a vague hope, like most young people, to earn a living in a way that would be of benefit to others but had no firm idea as to how this might be achieved. I chose the ‘pre-medical’ academic path in grade 11 only because of an interest in Biology but was still unsure what career to pursue.

One day, my father’s assistant was called away from the clinic because of a family emergency and I was asked to help out for several days. It was a life-changing experience. Seeing grimaces of pain being rapidly transformed into smiles of relief and gratitude was very impressive, as was the caring professionalism I witnessed and the resulting trust and confidence shown by the patients. By the end of that few days, my mind was made up and I have never since regretted my choice of career.   

My goal is to qualify to practice in the US and, ultimately, to specialize in orthodontics and craniofacial anomalies especially the treatment of cleft palates which cause such distress and can be so radically repaired.

Having a highly experienced and skilled dentist as a father was an enormous help during my studies. He was always there to help, to advise and encourage and my vacations were mainly spent in his clinic helping and observing.  As a consequence, my practical skill always exceeded that of my fellow students who would sometimes seek help from me. I was always happy to share my skills and knowledge with them and found great satisfaction in doing so.  

After dental school, I served one year of internship in a government teaching hospital working under the guidance of expert and caring professionals which I completed in 2007. I dealt with a high volume of cases and consequently I gained exposure to a very wide range of dental and oral disease which enabled me to hone my techniques and to develop vital high level diagnostic skills.

Following completion of my internship, I started practicing under my father’s supervision with the object of providing affordable dental care as widely as possible in the local community. I set out to develop interpersonal skills, creating positive relationships with patients. I made a firm decision to treat each patient as an individual worthy of respect rather than as a set of x-rays and notes and was particularly successful in reassuring and treating fearful patients. Leading a team and being responsible for all the commercial aspects of the practice was highly challenging being so young but I created a happy and effective team and received excellent feedback from patients.

I have undertaken significant voluntary and subsidized work with underserved patients, in providing oral and dental health education both in my home country and now the US. This exposure has been humbling and highly satisfying, and has made me realize that providing free or subsidized treatment and education to those who have lacked opportunities in life is an obligation rather than a choice.

After arriving in the US in 2012 to join my wife, I faced significant challenges. Working full-time while preparing for the National Boards in a new culture and environment called for substantial reserves of determination, resolve and time management. At times, it has been necessary for me to take relatively unskilled jobs to help support my family but I have chosen ‘customer facing’ roles to acquire experience of relating to people of a wide variety of social and ethnic backgrounds and have greatly enjoyed doing so. I have also had the opportunity to undertake observerships and to work as a dental assistant for a general dentist and a highly skilled and experienced orthodontist. This last experience confirmed me in my own choice of future specialty. I am an enthusiastic amateur artist and the aesthetic potential in dentistry has always been appealing to me, I hope to combine my technical skills, knowledge and understanding of aesthetics for the benefit of my future patients.

I believe that my excellent academic records, wide and deep experience in dentistry in varying environments along with the stated objects of your excellent curriculum, will serve me in good stead as an excellent candidate for your prestigious program. Thank you for considering my application.

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