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DDS International Dentist, Endodontics, Indian

One of my most definitive moments as a dentist and a human being took place the day that a frail older man walked through the door of our dental clinic in India, covering his cheek with a piece of dirty cloth, the excruciating agony written all over his face. First, I saw the horrified look on the faces of my fellow interns. Then, I saw the gaping hole in his cheek, passing through the mandible into the oral cavity exposing the postero-lateral part of his tongue.  The right side of his mandible was infested with maggots, and he suffered from osteoradionecrosis. I stepped forward and calmly reassured the man that his problem would be taken care of and set to work patiently and remove the larvae one after the other. At the end of his treatment, the patient grasped my hand with tears welling up in his eyes, and he thanked me. At that moment, I knew who I was, and I was so very thankful that I had become a dentist.

My passion for dentistry began as a patient as a little girl. Until that time, I thought that dentists were the people who made my grandmother’s dentures. I took special note early on of the sophisticated intricacy of dentistry tools and the way it is held in an almost mystical esteem by patients and their families. Along with doctors, dentists are especially revered in my native India, which was one of the reasons that I made this career choice. As an adolescent, I was mesmerized by all the different facets of dental care; I began reading everything that I could find about dentistry because it was my first choice for a career path, my unique dream. Before making my final decision to apply for dental school, I visited the dentist who had done my own dental work over the years, and they were very encouraging about my decision.

My country, India, is famous for its masses of poor. And those of us who have become professionals in the service of our community feel a special responsibility to provide outreach to those who are in most desperate need of our efforts. I hope to return to India at some point in my career to organize dental camps in areas where little-to-no dental care is available for low-income patients.

I was admitted to dental school based on academic merit. That day, holding the letter of acceptance in my hand, was the happiest day of my life. My mother was very proud of me and very supportive as well. As a single parent who always worked extremely hard to help me advance in my education, it was a triumph for her as well. I did find my first year of dental school to be incredibly challenging. I was particularly, pleased, therefore, to see my grades steadily improving, culminating in solid 'A' grades on my pre-clinical Prosthodontics exams. I became especially adept at cavity preparations, which I see as an art form. By my third year of dental school, I was performing at the top of my class, which was recognized by the college's dean.

Throughout dental school and later in my internship, I performed numerous complex and most challenging root canals, which further enhanced my confidence in the excellence of my work. At this time, I realized that I had a particular passion for Endodontics. I participated in many dental camps conducted by the dental college in the remote parts of the country. My volunteer service is perhaps the most critical part of my identity as a dentist, especially my leadership of the orthodontic team that took part in a community health program. Attending the annual Indian Dental Conference was also an invaluable learning experience; seminars, symposiums, and presentations were by dental professionals from all over India. The International Trade Fair at the conference helped to expose me to state-of-the-art dental technology and equipment. Being multi-lingual helps me to communicate well with a wide range of patients and better understand their needs. I also attribute my success in dental school and later in my internship to my ability to manage stress and to multitask. I am grateful to this day for the vast amount of hands-on experience that I accrued in this position with a broad diversity of cases, since our patient pool was huge.

After adjusting to my immigration to the US, I began preparing for the National Board Dental Exam (NBDE) and passed Part 1. Then I took a break to enjoy motherhood. After which, I also gave the NBDE part 2. I relax through music and have won competitions on my instrument, the Ikebana. I enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes, and I stay fit through tennis.

I feel strongly that excelling in the practice of dentistry here in America is my destiny because of my passion for creation and innovation in the area of dental esthetics. I am now in a position to devote my all to dentistry, especially since my husband is very supportive and an excellent caregiver for our child. I look forward to total immersion in a rigorous program such as yours so that I may become a highly competent practitioner here in the land that sets the standard for dental care worldwide. I thank you for considering my application.

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