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DDS International, Egyptian Dentist

June 15, 2016

 


Probably the strongest aspect of my application to your competitive DDS Program for international dentists is my devotion to the underserved. As an Egyptian dentist who maintains ties to his country of origin and the Middle East in general, I feel deeply for the increasingly large numbers of political refugees, both internal and international, that are seen throughout the region. I myself, for example, frequently saw Syrian refugees in Egypt and we helped as many of them in need as we could in our clinic and elsewhere. But in a country where most citizens cannot afford adequate dental care, there was not much that we were able to do for them. It was so sad to see Syrian people begging for food on the street. I would like very much to someday help these refugees. In fact, as a dentist, I feel that it is my duty. Thus, in addition to practicing dentistry here in my new adopted home, America, to support my family, I also look forward to doing dental missionary work in the Middle East as much as circumstances allow.

A veterinarian before I became a dentist, I first completed a degree in Animal Medical Science and then went on to complete my degree in Dentistry and Oral Surgery in 2008, both in Egypt. In 2005, I won a green card in the lottery and for several years I traveled back and forth between the USA and Egypt, primarily in order to maintain my residency in the USA. 7 years ago I married my American wife and our oldest child just turned 5, the little one is 11 months old. I became a US citizen in February of 2013. My family is the primary driving force in my life and they provide both the inspiration and the support base that I need to excel in dentistry in America. My 5 year old son is already enjoying watching me train on the typodont and tells me that he wants to be a dentist like his Daddy.

My American wife chose to live with me in Egypt for several years for a variety of reasons. My little sister was still a legal minor and in need of my help, especially since my mother passed away in 20XX. We both loved Egypt until it turned violent. We made our home in South Carolina and are now most comfortably settled in. Getting my wife and son away from the violence of Egypt since the uprising against Mubarak was a powerful motivation to make the USA my permanent home. I want to show my gratitude to America by excelling in your DDS Program. While I want to stay home with my children and practice dentistry here in America, I fully intend to increase my own awareness and engagement not only in Egypt but also Jordan, Lebanon, and most of all Turkey, along the borders where Syrian refugees suffer the most. When I saw the now famous picture of the small Syrian child frozen in the now a few weeks ago, I thought of my son. I want to spread the word, fundraise, network, from the comfort of our living room.

My long term goal is to distinguish myself as a clinical instructor and to pursue a specialty program in oral surgery. Of course, I do not necessarily need the DDS Degree to help refugees; I do, however, need the DDS Degree in America to be able to support and properly educate my American children. Still, the DDS Degree would also be extremely useful for me in my international efforts. At some point, especially when my children are older, armed with a DDS from your distinguished institution, I might find myself selected to go on humanitarian missions to the Arab-speaking world as a member of UN teams.

I am thankful for the fact that I had the opportunity to gain extensive professional experience while I was still in Egypt, including several months in 2009, right after graduating from dental school, working with the government’s Health Department until I decided to resign and work in local private clinics. During my internship in Egypt I purposefully scheduled my clinical rounds in between 2 university hospitals in 2 different cities so that I would encounter the broadest variety possible of dental challenges, taking advantage of the unique strengths of our finest institutions, surgery at Alexandria and restoration at October University. I also served as a medical correspondent for a small magazine and would sometimes go the orphanage that my uncle built to look after the oral health of the street children who were there.

Here in the USA, I first worked as a Dental Hygiene Assistant in Florida before we moved to South Carolina where I have been serving as a volunteer for over a year as a Dental Assistant at the XXXX South Carolina Free Clinic. I assist dentists and XXXX students who come for rotations as part of their training. I do patient screenings, translate educational material from English to Arabic, and serve as the clinic’s Arabic interpreter.

My grandfather was a highly distinguished surgeon and I am pleased that I had the opportunity to follow in his footsteps. After all, he was the one who first took me to a dental clinic, the one in his hospital, and let me observe some of the procedures when I was about 10 years old. Sometimes, I smile and suggest to myself that my fate was already sealed by the sound of the drill on those occasions.

I thank you for considering my application.

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