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Scholarship in Dentistry Personal Statement

June 29, 2016


Like most of my colleagues, I graduated dental school unsure of my career path yet highly motivated me to seek opportunities through various internship and externship programs, hoping to further explore various facets of dentistry. Upon graduation from the University of XXXX in 2010, I attended the XXXX Institute for Oral Health in XXXX, where my passion for implantology developed. I was especially fascinated by the multidisplinary approach requiring an in-depth knowledge in both surgical and restorative dentistry. Through various lectures and hands-on workshops in implant dentistry, I was amazed and intrigued by the complexity and need for precision in this field. Following my residency, I have worked in private practice for 2 years where I have continued to develop my interested in implantology through CE courses and simple implant cases. In 2013, I entered a well-rounded periodontology residency program at the University of XXXX and I am currently completing my last year of training. I have had the opportunity of working alongside talented and dedicated faculty members, becoming increasingly enthusiastic as I perform more and more procedures in this fascinating field.

As a dental student, I participated in several summer research internships, which ignited my passion for research. During my AEGD residency in XXX, I completed a research project on the detection of stem/progenitor cells in human salivary glands, which earned the Basil G. Bibby Award for the best presentation. This accomplishment has encouraged me to complete an MS at XXXX University focused on the tissue engineering of salivary glands. Currently, as a resident in periodontology, I am working on a new approach for biofilm decontamination of titanium implant surfaces, which is a fundamental component in the treatment of peri-implantitis.

Since dental school, I have always been fascinated by academia and interested in pursuing an academic career. Throughout my training, I have been involved in several research projects and have held multiple leadership positions as a dental student, a resident and a graduate student. I also have teaching experience as a Clinical Instructor in Oral Diagnosis and Periodontics at XXXX University, as well as teaching Dentoalveolar Surgery at the University of XXXX. My long-term goal is to obtain a tenure-track faculty position in periodontology as I aspire someday to start a residency program in Montreal. Montreal is ranked as one of the best cities in North America to attend university, and has two renowned dental schools. There is currently no residency program in periodontology, the closest ones being in Toronto (English) or Quebec city (French); and Montreal is strategically positioned where it can attract applicants throughout Quebec, Canada, the US, and even Europe. I see this as a vital opportunity that I hope to develop someday in my hometown.

Even before beginning my current residency position in periodontology, I had already set my sights on the ITI Scholarship Program at XXXX University, first learning about it during my AEGD residency at the XXXX Institute for Oral Health. A close friend of mine had the privilege of receiving the scholarship and has shared many of his amazing experiences with me. Since then, participating in the ITI program has been foremost on my mind. I especially appreciate the way in which the ITI takes the lead in implantology as a multidisciplinary field; promoting advancement in implant dentistry through research and teaching, and nurturing vital networks through exchange between clinicians, scientists and specialists. I believe it is only by working together that we will be able to advance the knowledge and achieve the best possible treatment for patients. 

Participating in the ITI scholarship program will enable me to gain further experience in implant dentistry, as well as devote time to research and teaching at one of the leading dental institution in the world. I firmly believe that having an in-depth mastery of both implant surgery and prosthetic restoration will make me a better clinician. I am confident that this scholarship will help me enormously to advance my career and assist me in becoming a better clinician, researcher, and teacher. If selected for your competitive program, I would anticipate spending at least 40% of my time engaged in clinical activity, complemented by another 30% spent in research, 15% in the classroom as a student, and the balance of my time spent as an education provider.

My two preferred ITI centers are the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and the University of Toronto. The ITI scholarship at XXXX University is a world-renowned center with state-of-the-art facilities. HSDM has always been at the forefront of research and is the ideal environment to foster great researchers and academics. Furthermore, working alongside Dr. Gallucci, dually trained in prosthodontics and periodontics, is a most singular opportunity.

The University of Toronto is also one of the best dental schools in Canada and offers a unique program that exposes clinicians to dental implants in children, adolescents and young adults, along with a wide variety of unique craniofacial syndrome patients, cleft lip and palate patients, post-tumor ablation patients and patients with post-traumatic defects. Being selected for this center would also represent a once in a life time experience.

As a clinician, a scientist, and a teacher, I aspire to disseminate knowledge concerning all aspects of implant dentistry, with a special focus on tissue regeneration. I am applying to your extremely competitive scholarship program because I feel that I am a strong candidate based on my vast training and experience. Born in Canada to parents from Vietnam, I am fluent in Vietnamese, French and English, and I am also rapidly making progress in Spanish so as to be fluent in this language within a few years. Your ITI Scholarship is the perfect springboard for me to continue to excel in preparation for my maximum contribution to dentistry.

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