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DDS Admission, Mother’s Inspiration, Philippines

March 23, 2014


Growing up in the Philippines, I learned that using one’s time wisely was essential to survival, and since 2005, the pursuit of my very own American dream. My guiding principal in life has always been to utilize the resources that I might have to help other people, even in small ways, thereby achieving moral harmony and balance. I feel especially privileged that the Philippines will always be with me, since I like having a home country, somewhere that I can continue to return to, to practice free dentistry.

At XXXX, we help Chinese, Taiwanese people speak English and do mock interviews to help them prepare for their naturalization interview and exam. Closest to my heart, however, has been volunteering in medical/dental missions in the Philippines where we go to rural areas (hiking mountains) to provide free medical and dental services. Me and my friends are building a non-profit organization that we formed, the XXXX Foundation, shipping children’s clothes to poor families back home. Since I arrived in the US, I have worked incessantly, to move towards financial security for myself and my family—and more recently for children at www.achildsclothes.org. Now, I feel strongly that I have come to the right time in my life to focus on my own professional growth and, thankfully, my sister has now taken over the management of the family business so that I can concentrate 24/7 on Dental School.

I appreciate the fact that my mother’s dedication to fiscal sound thinking enabled her to send children that she did not even know to school, and this makes her happy. My mother passed away a few years ago and now, at 27, I have finally gotten strong enough to honor her rather than grieve her—she would be so proud to see me go back as a U.S. trained dentist. I look forward to honoring her spirit.

 I have learned a lot in the clinical, front, and business side of dentistry while working as a dental assistant. I have been a part of two dental office acquisitions and I have seen the challenges that come along with it. I have also seen some scary operatory room accidents like lose burs going in the patient’s throat, patients giving the dentist a hard time, employee-employer issues, hiring issues, and insurance issues. I have seen the doctors getting frustrated, exhausted, and even teary eyed. And I have assisted in rigorous treatments like multi-unit bridge and crowns, crown lengthening, simple and surgical extractions, Endo treatments, and simple restorations. I have also been fabricating temporary crowns, making surgical stints, custom trays, trimming and pouring models, taking impressions and fabricating bleach trays, etc. And I have worked at the front desk answering phone calls, walking out patients, processing payments, doing recalls, confirming appointments, processing insurance claims, and balancing and closing the day—always on call as the office IT for any communications issues that might arise. I also had the chance to assist a few temporary doctors and some of them were newly graduated from Dental School. They were so glad it’s over. And I know somebody who’s currently in dental school and I was told by her mom that she calls and cries a lot.  But I am not afraid. I have grown most comfortable and competent in Dentistry and I feel like I am now playing on my home turf. Perhaps most of all, it is my dream of returning to my country to provide free dentistry to less fortunate areas that makes me most excited. 

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