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Pediatric Residency, Special Olympics, Taiwanese

I am a Taiwanese-Canadian woman, and I earned my DDS last month in Canada, May, 2014. I have now relocated to the USA, and I am looking forward to being selected for a whole immersion experience in a residency program leading to a Diploma in Pediatric Dentistry. Having grown up in Canada, I have long been fascinated by the diversity of the USA and deeply admire advancements made in dentistry here as well. Thus, in particular, I hope to be chosen by a program that places a high value on diversity and a top priority on prevention in pediatric dentistry.

Probably the single most vital aspect of my application to your competitive program is my extensive experience with the Special Olympics Healthy Smiles Project, during my last two years of dental school in Canada. As a Taiwanese woman, diversity matters to me, and I feel strongly that it enhances our community events and ultimately helps to make our dental outreach more effective. Since I was raised in Canada from the age of 5 on, I have decided to continue my professional career development in the USA, a pediatric dentistry residency program in a new geographical and cultural context, for the sake of diversity itself and to cultivate my sense of self as a global dentist facing worldwide challenges.

I like to see myself as an Olympian dentist, in fact, because of the significant and unique challenges presented by the oral health care of special needs children, the cause that will always have a special place in my heart as a dentist, and the area of dentistry in which I hope to teach and publish when I am further along in my career. Thus, I seek intense contact with other like-minded professionals in my area, especially those who place a top priority as I do on preventive dentistry for children. I decided to pursue further training and experience in the US for various reasons, but because I especially enjoy getting to know people from all over the world. I particularly love the numerous cultural expressions and celebrations of diversity that occur in urban America.

My special wish is to be selected for a program that has a solid foundation in the area of preventative care for children. My experience with the child and adolescent athletes of our Special Olympics has taught me to deal with dentistry patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities in creative ways that celebrate their unique achievements and contributions through sports experiences. We did what we call a ‘health promotion event, “where I volunteered to give oral hygiene instructions and perform oral exams for the athletes. Most of the athletes were pediatric patients, and many told me that they had never gone to a dentist before. This relaxed environment as part of a sports event helped to create a comfortable and, therefore, effective clinical environment. As a result of my numerous consultations with parents, I soon came to appreciate better how many parents and guardians of exceptional athletes face an uphill battle to provide adequate dental care to their children. Some patients simply did not have sufficient motor skill development for effective oral hygiene habits; some could not hold onto a toothbrush. After volunteering for two consecutive years at these events, my passion increased incrementally for the cause of facilitating access to adequate dental care for special needs patients. By being allowed to complete your distinguished program in pediatric dentistry, I will be significantly furthering my capacity to provide exceptional care to special needs children for the balance of my professional life, and many decades to come.

I keenly look forward to beginning your program so that I can think about little other than pediatric dentistry. My pediatric rotations during my junior and senior years of dental school in Canada were among the most enriching of my life. Working as a volunteer at the Downtown Peds Clinic and as an intern in another position have helped me to feel relaxed with experience, and always at ease even in the face of our greatest challenges.

I thank you for consideration of my application to your program.

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