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MS Prosthodontics Canada, Syrian Applicant

May 22, 2017

Statement of your academic and/or professional goals

I am the type of young woman who likes to finish what she starts and my academic goal is to earn the MSc Degree at the University of XXXX. Unfortunately, I was unable to complete my Master’s Degree in Prosthodontics before leaving my native Syria. I only had one year to go and leaving was the most painful thing that I have ever done, leaving my country, most of my family, my home. 3 years ago the violence in Syria had already become brutal and indiscriminate, increasing numbers of women raped, many people kidnapped including—even especially—health care workers, some for political reasons, others just for the ransom, often both. I did not want to abandon my studies in Prosthodontics in Syria but my mother finally convinced me to flee the country with her, coming first to the USA; we are now settled in Canada. My English has improved a great deal, my life is again calm and stable, and I am extremely hungry to return to dentistry, precisely where I left off, by earning the MSc in Prosthodontics. I love British Columbia, the cool weather and natural beauty. Clean and exquisite, I take pictures all the time.

I dream of someday returning to Syria to help set up a Prosthodontics Program once my country returns to a period of peace and stability, which I imagine will be a very long time. In fact I would like to have the experience someday of teaching Prosthodontics in Canada as well. I would especially enjoy supervising and assisting students with their research, this has long been my dream. Giving presentation in my Masters Program before leaving were the highest moments of my life, all frozen in mind as if it were yesterday. My intention is to meet my goals that have been formed by my love for dentistry from a very young age, following behind my grandfather and uncle who were dentists and asking questions about mechanics and materials, observing how they made their patients happy. My grandfather, XXXX, owned a dental supplies store and he was the first one to manufacture model jaws that students of dentistry used for training throughout the Middle East. Later on, my mother XXXX improved the design and function of her father's training jaw. She was also the first in the Middle East to manufacture and add gingiva to training jaws. My uncle XXXX, D.D.S., M.S. was the first in the Middle East to teach Implantology, in 1989. He received his diploma from Harvard University, and at the time was the only one authorized to teach other students this subject in the Middle East. My other uncle, XXXX, is a dental technician and he helped me to develop my laboratory skills. My uncle and mother used to tell me that I will be a great dentist because of my love for drawing and playing the piano, life as art and science at the same time. I was accepted to the dental program at XXXX University in 2004 when I was 17 years old and I was the youngest student in my class, earning many different academic scholarships and prizes and graduating in 2009 at the top of my class and beginning my MSc Program in Prosthodontics the following year.

I want to be able to come up with novel improvements in Prosthodontics and I am convinced that your MSc Program at the University of XXXX is the optimal springboard upon which I will be able to make my greatest professional contribution. It hurt me deeply the other day when I saw a beautiful young lady smiling with no teeth. I felt so powerless because I had such a great urge to help her. I wanted to give her my phone number so that she could come to my clinic, like I used to do in Syria. My long term dream which goes back many years now is becoming a founding member of a community clinic that specializes in Prosthodontics, where people with low income can come and have their smile restored (for free or at a greatly reduced cost). The cost issue is especially critical in Prosthodontics because it is generally regarded as a cosmetic treatment and, therefore, not covered by patient’s health care plans. I also aspire to become the principal author of clinical books and articles in the area of Prosthodontics, especially as it relates to TMD and perfect smiles; along with a lifetime of participation in dental conferences learning and sharing with other prosthodontists.

Reasons for wanting to be a prosthodontist and future career plans (500 words).

I have two immediate plans for the future, becoming licensed to practice dentistry in Canada for which I have been studying very hard, and earning my MSc Degree in Prosthodontics at the University of XXXX. When I was studying Prosthodontics in Damascus, I felt very happy every day despite the political situation. I simply love working with the materials that we use in prosthodontics; I love being there every day. I enjoyed every moment of learning everything that I learned about Prosthodontics. I am now looking at the curriculum of your program at the University of British Columbia and I could not be filled with greater passion and sense of readiness. I fully intend to excel in your program as a result of nearly completing my Masters in Syria. Many dentists that I have met here in Canada are amazed at how advanced Syria is in the area of Dentistry. They have expressed surprise at how familiar I am with materials and implant systems.

Helping out at several different libraries here in Canada with lectures and promotions of community oral health services could not have brought me greater joy. I love to convey ideas in very easy, joyful ways that listeners can remember, especially children. I cannot imagine not continuing to do this as well for the balance of my life. As soon as arrived in the United States three years ago, I started volunteering to help out at community clinics and I have continued to do this as many hours as possible. Windsor is a small town, and the transition was difficult. I am most grateful for Dr. XXXX for taking me under his wing and helping me to get situated and accustomed to my new environment. Just being able to spend time with another prosthodontist has been such a relief. He was most fascinated with my stories of my escape from Syria and could not have been more encouraging concerning my application to the University of XXXX.

I live in downtown Windsor and I am very surprised of the amount of people that have no teeth and need urgent cosmetic dental treatment. While I am not sure, I think many of these people are homeless, many coming from far away. I suffer from not being able to do anything for the millions of other refugees fleeing Syria, very few of which have been as fortunate as I have been. I am grateful to Canada, and I want to give something back by providing these people who I see on the street in Windsor with new teeth. I want to see them taking their first selfie with their cell phone, the ear to ear smile, for some the first in their adult lives.

Your program is my first choice for continued study, most of all, because of the research opportunities that you offer; the highly international flavor of your student body and your dedication to the celebration of diversity. I thank you for considering my application.

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