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DDS Advanced Standing International Dentist, Indian

If you were to look into the waiting room of a typical US dentist’s office, you are likely to see several relaxed-looking patients reading magazines. If you look at those queuing for treatment at a free dental clinic in India, you will see many swollen faces, pain-filled eyes, and smiling faces of treated patients leaving the clinic. This experience leaves little doubt about the utility of the dentist’s work and the good they do.  In India, dental hygiene is given a low priority in the lives of many and often ignored altogether. Total loss of teeth in early middle age is accepted as an average effect of aging. During my undergraduate studies, I spent a great deal of time working on various educational projects and screening camps. In my view, the most valuable were those conducted in rural schools and orphanages to teach those young enough to fully benefit from information about the importance of basic dental hygiene to dental, oral, and general health.

There is a habit in many rural areas in India known as ‘reverse smoking’; this involves smoking from the lit end of the cigarette and is extremely dangerous to oral health, carrying a high risk of perforation of the palate and malignancy of the oral mucosa. One day an older man came to our community clinic; when I was undertaking rural rotations, his main complaint was a small hole in his cheek which he asked us to repair. The spot was, in fact, a complete perforation of the palate and buccal mucosa. This was the first of many similar cases I saw in my rural rotations. The provisional diagnosis, in this case, was Squamous Cell Carcinoma caused by reverse smoking. I was shocked, but I was to discover that this man’s problem was not particularly unusual.

On one rural rotation, I suggested that we put on a play instead of giving the approved health talk to get the message across. I wrote the script and organized the cast and bus transport. Village leaders and elders were given personal invitations. The event was very successful and attracted a large audience. The play was about the dangers of reverse smoking, and we established that many of the audience were completely unaware of the risks. Many came forward at the end to request further information or to be examined. I regard this as one of the most valuable things I have ever done and believe that we started a process in that area that will save many lives.

After graduation, I was fortunate to be offered a post in the dental wing of the most prestigious private hospital in my locality, one of the Yashoda group of hospitals. I worked as a Dental Surgeon under the direction of the Chief Prosthodontist and Implantologist, Dr. XXXX.  I was also mentored by other excellent experienced dentists and was able to use the most advanced equipment such as wand-like intra-oral cameras and caries detector lights. I am interested and excited about such valuable and exciting technological developments and look forward to seeing many more. I worked in an environment that was wildly contrasting to the free clinics I knew as a student; money was often no object to our patients, and expensive crown and implant treatments were common. The experience of having worked at ‘both ends of the spectrum has been extraordinarily informative and has made me determined to give part of my time and skills to those unable to pay for treatment. Dentistry is a prestigious and well-rewarded profession, and I believe that this places an unavoidable responsibility on me to ‘give something back.

Since arriving in the US, I have been ‘shadowing’ an excellent and highly experienced practitioner, Dr. XXXX. I have familiarized myself with the dental environment in the US and now feel ready to join the program to enable me to practice here and am very excited at the prospect of doing so.

I know the importance of cultural awareness and sensitivity in healthcare provision. I speak some Spanish and intend to extend my current knowledge. I am interested in other cultures and look forward to being part of an interesting ‘mix’ of students in the program and exchanging experiences with them.

I know that the program will attract many well-qualified applicants. However I genuinely believe that I am an excellent candidate. I am passionate about dentistry; I am very interested in learning about and applying the most modern techniques and treatments available; I am determined to become an excellent practitioner offering excellent treatment; I look forward to working in free clinics to provide treatment to the underserved; I also believe that my experiences in rural India will enable me to bring some interesting insights to my class.

Thank you for giving my application your attention and consideration.

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