DDS Indian Wife, Mother, Endodontics

An experienced and very hard working dentist from India, I came to America with my family and wish to continue my studies so as to enhance my professional capacity to serve the community. Most of all, I seek to contribute to improved access to oral health services for the underserved and I look forward to doing this both here in the USA as well as in India. This is why I am now in the final stages of completing my MPH Degree so that I can become more than a practicing oral health professional, helping to make oral health services available to those who are in the greatest need. I am particularly knowledgeable in the area of oral cancer and I have developed this special interest for many years, especially highly motivated by the fact that India has some of the highest rates of oral cancer in the world. 

Born and raised in India, I have a high degree of multicultural competency and broad exposure to the health behaviors of diverse populations. I grew up observing my grandfather and uncle provide dental services to rural communities surrounding our home in the south of India, heping me to cultivate a great passion for serving underprivileged communities. I would love to integrate the skills and knowledge I gained through my MPH program and channel them into dentistry, conducting research and developing dental health programs that serve to address oral health issues in ways that are specific to target communities. I love educating and training the public on health related topics. Therefore, I would like to see myself as a practicing dentist contributing to both research and education in my field.           

I graduated from dental school in India in 2003, practiced full time for 8 months, and then married and moved to the USA in 2004. From 2004 through August of 2006, I was in the USA doing volunteer work, mostly as a chair side observer, sharing in the discussion of treatment options for various endodontic cases and assisting with endodontic procedures, both surgical and nonsurgical root canal procedures. This has enabled me to become proficient in the operation of high-tech, US dental equipment.

In 2006, I returned to India to practice dentistry for another 4 years, until August of 2010 when I returned to the USA. By the time that I moved back to the USA in 2010, I had a 1-year-old baby and was expecting another. With little support or help with child care and with my second little one needing extra attention for his GERD condition; I focused on my children as a stay-at-home mom until they were old enough to put into day care.  

In 2013, I began my MPH program. I hope to use the knowledge and skills gained from earning my MPH to plan and implement oral health programs focusing on low-income, underprivileged and/or high risk communities, both in India and USA, where high oral health care disparities, in particular need to be addressed. One of the central problems that we have is the fact that a majority of the Indian population perceives dental care to be a luxury unless they experience pain or discomfort. Thus, I hope to put the DDS Degree that I intend to earn in the USA to work, along with my MPH Degree, in the development of oral disease prevention programs for communities in need. In India, I plan to work in close collaboration with both the Indian Dental Association and the Indian Public Health Department, working to raise awareness and standards for oral disease prevention programs and tobacco cessation campaigns. My profound concern for Indian oral health inequities motivated me to pursue the MPH Degree to begin with and I would love to conduct research in India concerning oral-health-related behaviors so as to develop a scientific foundation for oral health interventions—particularly the prevention of specific oral health problems. I look forward to spending the rest of my life flying back and forth between India and America and practicing dentistry to the fullest extent of my ability in both places.

I have earned various certifications and credentials by completing continuing education courses related to both Public Health and Dentistry. I will complete my MPH this year and my public health school career service director, Dina Bergren, selected me to include in on the career service web page as a blog story illustrating the successful transition of dentistry from India to Public Health in the U.S. I am also completing an Associates Degree in Dental Sciences this year with a 4.0 GPA.

Dentistry is more than a vocation for me; it is my social service and my contribution to my community, society, and humanity. In addition to my 5 years of experience as a dental practitioner in India and years of service as a volunteer in my country of origin, I now have almost 2 years’ experience as a volunteer here in America: as a dental assistant, an Outreach volunteer at AACI for a domestic violence program, and a health educator intern for the American Heart Association, developing, planning, implementing, and evaluating a health program to prevent cardiovascular diseases among children and working employees.

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

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