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Orthodontic Residency, Hispanic Applicant, Latina

I am a woman who adores the human smile, which I see as our window to the soul and our most effective form of communication. I am fully dedicated to life-long education in searching for ways that conventional methods and techniques of orthodontics and orthognathic surgery can be enhanced to further improve our facial profile, primarily through technological improvements. I look forward to bringing the perspective of a seasoned practitioner to your esteemed program, having already served as an Associate Dentist for long hours with three different dental offices since September of 2009, following my graduation from Dental School at UXXX. I can communicate exceptionally well with patients since I always place a top priority on gaining their trust. I am a sensitive woman with a proven track record of community service.

 My parents immigrated to America from Mexico 34 years ago. Neither finished grade school and to this day, they continue to work in the produce industry. I am the first in my family to pursue higher education. Being a Latina, raised in a Latino community where it is much more common to become pregnant as a teenager than to go to college, I feel a profound duty to reach out to younger generations, serving as a role model, encouraging them to prepare for and achieve a college education, setting and reaching professional goals.  To this day, in my hometown community, there is not a single Latino orthodontist. I look forward to continuing to educate Hispanic patients and addressing any questions or concerns they might have in their native language.  

My sister suffered from severe Cl 2, div 1 malocclusion, and her dental care also inspired me to become a dentist, witnessing her dramatic physical transformation and the subsequent improvement in her self-esteem. I was also inspired by my parents, who worked extra hours on top of already long shifts to correct her smile so that she could be confident. This is also one of my inspirations that accounts for my profound dedication to providing free dental care to people with scarce economic resources. I have long had a particular interest in orthodontics, focusing on orthodontic case studies during my time at UXXX. While I deeply enjoy the practice of general dentistry, I feel something is missing at the end of the day. Observing orthodontists in my community has further solidified my passion for this field. I especially appreciate the level of profound communication with patients to which the orthodontist is privileged and the unique joy of being able to contribute so much to the patient's self-esteem. I have been incredibly inspired to pursue this area by orthodontists XXXX and XXXX.

Probably the most competitive aspect of my credentials is my track record in service to the underserved. Despite the rigors of dental school, I made the time to serve as UXXX´s Community Dental Clinic Coordinator from 2005 through 2008, providing free dental care to San Francisco´s homeless population. My duties included networking with shelters, screening, and scheduling, recruiting providers, maintaining inventory, etc. It was my privilege to serve as Treasurer for the American Dental Association from 2006 through 2007, developing and executing fundraising events and managing our budget. I also served as Secretary for the Hispanic Dental Association from 2007 through 2008. I was responsible for taking meeting minutes and uploading them to our website, attending numerous national meetings, and keeping our members informed concerning our organization´s activities on a national level.

From 2006 through 2009, I worked with the ADEA´s High School Outreach Program, serving as a guide and mentor to high school students from all over Northern California, educating them on careers in the health field. I have worked with the St Joseph Dental Clinic, providing dental care and education to children and teenagers in Santa Rosa County. I am still assisting the XXXX County Department of Education as a Dental Adviser for the migrant program, helping the local community of farm laborers, providing education concerning the causes of tooth decay and periodontal disease, proper oral hygiene, and nutritional counseling. In addition to helping XXXX´s Mobile Clinic, I also continue to assist with the XXXX Community Dental Clinic, visiting elementary schools in XXXX County, providing exams and cleanings, in addition to traveling to farm labor camps to provide care to young laborers who otherwise would not receive oral health care. I have volunteered in convalescent homes, providing residents' exams, cleanings, restorative procedures, and prosthodontic care. And I have helped the WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) center, providing dental screenings to pregnant women and their children.

 I especially love how, practicing orthodontics, people are happy to be in the dental chair, as opposed to general dentistry, where patients often do not look forward to coming in for treatment. While I have not yet had orthodontic treatment myself, once I am accepted into an orthodontics program, I look forward to improving my smile as well and sharing my joy with colleagues and patients, as well as my sister, who suffered so from teasing in school about her buck teeth: we will always share our beautiful smile in unique ways. I hope to have the profound privilege of giving my all to your program, serving, in the words of my mentor, Dr. XXXX, as a "life coach" to younger generations. I thank you for considering me for your program.

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