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Saudi Pediatric Dentist Residency

May 25, 2013


I look forward to becoming one of the best Pediatric Dentists in my country, Saudi Arabia. A firm believer in the profound importance of the practice of preventive medicine and dentistry, I very much look forward to working together with your team to enhance our international understandings of the vast hurdles that we face in our field, at the same time that we labor together to better understand how to most effectively utilize the enormous resources that are also available to us as we struggle to meet these enormous challenges. I look forward to a long and most productive career in Saudi Arabia as a Professor of Pediatric Dentistry, inspiring students and staying constantly engaged in cutting-edge research concerning the status of our noble art and world-class science as it develops in Saudi Arabia. Being selected to become part of your team at your renowned institution would serve me well as a springboard from which to realize my highest dreams for the well being of our nation’s children.

 I was assigned clinic number 45 for my first pediatric clinical course. Shocked and dismayed as I opened the door and saw nothing other than a dental chair in the center with a few drawers of dental materials, I remember with great fondness how I labored mightily to transform the dreary room into a cheerful, welcoming environment for children, a place that would put them at ease, raise their spirits, and make their treatments as effective, fluid, and painless as humanly possible. After being granted permission to proceed with the transformation, I added funny stickers, meticulously placing each cartoon character in its place. By the middle of that semester, as I was completing my clinical requirements, I learned with great joy that there was a waiting list of parents who had specifically requested that their children be cared for in number 45. I was overjoyed that I had gone a long way to discovering many of the key components of the successful attraction of the child to the dental chair. I have also worked very hard for a long time at building upon a solid academic background in child psychology so as to better understand children and their behavior, fears, anxieties, and even special gifts: so that I can facilitate their leaving the dental clinic with a big smile on their faces.

 I want to serve my community and country by becoming a faculty member in the Pediatric Dentistry Department of my alma mater, where I already have the privilege of serving as a clinical instructor.  I will use my position in the University to assume a leadership role in my field through participation in the Saudi Board of Pediatric Dentistry for the Eastern Region of KSA, as well as contributing to ongoing research for our specialty.  Through active research and involvement in the extended dental professional community, I will be able to establish my university as an academic leader in the prevention of dental disease and public health awareness, and not just for Saudi Arabia, but also throughout the Middle East. In this way, I hope to have the opportunity to improve oral health awareness through medical mission work to many of our most needy neighbors, especially Arab-speaking countries like Yemen that are in desperate need of support and solidarity as they struggle to bolster their public health care systems.

 Studies have shown us that about 92% of young patients in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia are caries positive. One of my major long term goals, therefore, is to radically decrease that percentage through the design and implementation of preventive programs. After attaining board certification in Pediatric Dentistry, I hope to further advance my capacity and qualifications to aid and protect the children of my country by attaining a Ph.D. in Public Health. I see children as the flowers in bloom of our society and could not possibly imagine greater joy than I find in laboring on their behalf through the development of public health education initiatives that embrace and propagate the critical importance of maintaining good dental hygiene habits from the very beginning of life.

 The Saudi government faces a major problem in providing dental care to its people for a number of reasons. First, there is a critical shortage of dentists even for general practice and this is especially true with respect to those who have special training in pediatric dentistry. Furthermore, there are many rural areas where dental services are virtually non-existent and delivery faces vast practical obstacles. Perhaps most critically, however, is the paucity of critical public awareness concerning the importance of oral health, especially preventive measures that need to be taken into account and made a part of the daily routines of adults and children alike. The greatest contribution that I might be able to make to society would be to work to change this by assuming leadership roles in the development and funding of research into how to break the generational cycles of neglect of our people’s oral health, especially in our eastern provinces, bringing dental health care to the rural areas where few to no dental services are available, especially through the use of mobile clinics, and by fulfilling leadership roles in professional associations and organizations that make children’s health a top priority, particularly the Saudi Dental Society. Finally, I will always maintain prevention as my own top focus, so that the pain of children can be avoided rather than mitigated.

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