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Pediatric Dentistry Residency, Vietnamese Applicant

Since entering dental training, I have intended to pursue advanced training through a residency position in Pediatric Dentistry, and this ambition was increasingly confirmed as my training and career has progressed. The specialty has been neglected in my home country of Vietnam, with predictably sad results; according to the World Health Organization, Vietnam has one of the highest incidences of dental caries in children. I have sought as much exposure to the specialty as possible, carefully observing the techniques applied and characteristics displayed by professionals in the thing. It is clear that Pediatric Dentistry calls for particular and uncommon attributes in addition to high levels of specialist skill and knowledge, particularly: great patience, empathy, and ability to inspire trust and confidence, and, most importantly, a genuine and deep affection for children. I would not be making this application if I were not convinced that I possess these characteristics.

I have familiarized myself with the sad statistics relating to dental health in my country, especially in the field of pediatric dentistry. I have carefully considered the possible solutions to these problems. I am incredibly impressed by the work of Professor Francisco Ramos-Gomez, ‘Changing the Education Paradigm in Pediatric Dentistry, which provides much useful material that I hope to apply in my country in the future.

I qualified in 2014 at the University of Health Sciences in Ho Chi Minh City. I received several awards and honors, including the recognition of first place for my graduation thesis. My training included ‘outreach’ projects for the ‘East Meets West Foundation’ in 2012, during which we treated over 1,000 orphans with a full range of dental services. I worked with dentists and students from several countries, such as Canada, Hong Kong, and Sweden, who shared a highly challenging, satisfying, and maturing experience. My ambition to work with child patients was totally confirmed during this time.

I worked for two years as a general dentist in a clinic where I was fortunate to have had substantial exposure to child patients. Many patients in the country, including children, only visit a dentist when there is acute pain. There are particular problems in rural areas where the children are not exposed to fluoridation. ‘Dental Phobia’ is widespread, especially, again, in rural populations. Significant educational work was, therefore, necessary to encourage a regular and effective routine of oral and dental hygiene. There is no specialist Pediatric Dental Clinic in Vietnam, and the specialty is hardly recognized.  It is my ultimate goal to found such a clinic and, after that, to pass on my passion by training other specialists to replicate the clinic in various cities in the country. I also hope to create links with nurseries, schools, and youth organizations to educate children and parents in dental and oral hygiene to enhance dental health among the young as far and as widely as possible.

I was raised to regard voluntary endeavor as an obligation rather than a choice. During my training, I was involved in various voluntary projects, during which I sought and acquired beneficial leadership experience. I have acted both as a non-medical volunteer and as a Surgical Assistant for Operation Smile, providing cleft lip and palate repair. There can be few more satisfying areas of work that provide much joy to the patients and their relatives. In June 2013, I was involved in ‘outreach’ treatment for the Department of Public Health, during which we treated over 2,000 patients in rural areas. I was closely involved in organizing the annual ‘Welcome Fairs’ for new students at my college.

I have undertaken two published research projects, one of which was directly related to pediatric dentistry: ‘Fluoride Concentration in Nails and Hair of 5-year-old Children in Fluoridate and Non-Fluoridate Areas of Ho Chi Minh City. The other project was entitled ‘Oral Health Status and DMFS Index of Residents in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province in 2013’. I immensely enjoyed this work; I believe that the characteristics of an excellent researcher overlap significantly with those required of an excellent specialist, such as; an analytical approach to problems, creative and original thinking, determination, and cross-disciplinary cooperation to achieve optimum outcomes. I certainly hope to be involved in research in my future career.

Since arriving in the U.S., I have worked for nearly a year as a Dental Assistant in two clinics. This has provided me with an appreciation of the U.S. dental environment and has enabled me to observe the application of the most advanced equipment and techniques. This experience has also provided an insight into how a skilled assistant can ‘smooth the path’ of treatment and provide added reassurance to the nervous and young patients. It has been a beneficial experience and will aid me greatly in training and supporting my own assistants in the future.

I am pretty widely traveled. During my training, I visited Japan for one month as an exchange student. I was a tour guide for a group of 8 Vietnamese dental students visiting Singapore, having organized all the travel and accommodation arrangements. I also researched during a month-long visit to Thailand, working in the Oral-bio laboratory at Mahidol University. I am fluent in Vietnamese and English and have a basic understanding of French, which I intend to improve as time permits.

I believe that it is essential for a busy professional to pursue hobbies and interests. I am a skilled traditional dancer, and I have won medals in Karate and Badminton. I enjoy practicing yoga and am an enthusiastic and professional cook, and I am preparing a blog to share my enthusiasm and recipes.  I am also an avid reader with broad tastes in literature.

To summarize: I have enjoyed a successful academic and professional career to date; my work to date has, as far as possible, been aimed at the treatment of child patients; I have undertaken a substantial private study of the problems relating to pediatric dentistry and, most importantly, I am genuinely passionate in my wish to improve the dental education and health of children, especially in my home country.

I can assure the reader that, if appointed, I shall apply myself to my work and studies with exceptional diligence and great enthusiasm. Thank you for considering my application.

 See Successful Samples of Personal Statements in Pediatric Dentistry, Writing and Editing Service Examples for Pediatric Dentists, Certificate, Master

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