CAAPID Application Sample, International Dentist

Awarded the DDM degree in the Philippines in 2011, I was included on the Dean’s List five times and was the beneficiary of a corporate scholarship.  After qualifying, I initially worked as a General Dentist for several months in the Philippines and, since August 2011, have been employed as a Dental Assistant in the US. I now seek to qualify to practice as a dentist in the US. My goals are to become a highly skilled and dedicated practitioner working in the US but I also intend to devote substantial time to working in free dental clinics both here and in the Philippines. I hope to play a part in educating those who are unaware of the importance of dental and oral health to their general well-being in underserved communities. I have developed a special interest in clefts and other conditions requiring surgery and hope, ultimately, to specialize in orthodontics and surgery.

Although my mother is a dentist, my decision to enter dentistry was taken independently and after much thought. Dentistry’s appeal to me lies in its great breadth; involving, as it does, aesthetics, pain relief, corrective surgery and oral and dental disease prevention. It also calls for careful planning, openness to innovation, the ability to lead a team effectively and to deal sympathetically with each patient treating each as an individual with unique needs. I have sought to develop these characteristics throughout my training and work to date and believe that I have the potential to meet all the requirements necessary to become a truly effective dentist.

My work as a dental assistant in the US has provided me with a good grounding in the dental health environment here and in the contrasts in the dental health and treatment of patients here and in my own country. This has further enhanced my dental education.

I have assisted dentists in various complex procedures including implants and surgery and I am particularly attracted to this area of work because of the substantial benefit to patients in terms of a new and confident smile, the ability to resume a normal diet and the ability to speak normally. I have witnessed the life enhancing changes that a dedicated dentist can bring to patients by the application of skills and knowledge in these specialties and am eager to emulate these successes.

I have undertaken substantial volunteer activity in free dental clinics in the Philippines both as a student and following qualification. My last role was as head of a team providing services to rural communities including extractions, restorations, fluoride application and education in dental and oral health routines. In addition to providing much needed services, this activity provided me with enormous satisfaction and has contributed much to my professional education.

 I have taken great care to continue my professional education since coming to the US by reading professional journals and attendance at a number of seminars, workshops and certification programs. I am fully aware of the importance of keeping ‘up to speed’ especially in my areas of special interest in which new techniques and materials evolve at an exciting rate. It is my hope to assist in research relating to new potential advances.

I know that the aging of the US population will have substantial effects on dentistry in the future. I come from a culture in which the elderly are held in great esteem and I enjoy treating the elderly. My intention to specialize in surgery will enable me to offer a variety of relevant options to elderly patients.

It has always struck me that those most in need of dental treatment are often those least likely to seek it because of the natural fear of pain. I am fully aware that interpersonal skills, the ability to inspire confidence in patients and to empathize with them are almost as important as technical knowledge and skills. I believe that I have the natural characteristics of empathy required of a highly effective health professional and I have always enjoyed excellent relations with patients throughout my training, voluntary activity and professional work.

I have had the privilege of studying, working with, treating and socializing with people of many cultural and social backgrounds and look forward to extending this experience in the program. Having experienced some of the challenges of adjusting to a new culture, I can empathize with those undergoing similar experiences. I also believe that my background will enable me to ‘add value’ to my class in the program.

In summary, I strongly believe that I have the necessary academic ability and experience to enable me to excel within the program. I also have the characteristics of diligence and empathy that provide the potential for me to become a first class dentist. However my main recommendation is a genuine passion to acquire and to share additional skills and knowledge to enable me to provide the most relevant, current and effective treatments to patients both in practice and to underserved communities in a volunteer capacity and to help in the ongoing development of new and improved techniques.  

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