It is often said life experiences shape who we become and it is equally true in my case. I was born and lived my early years in Jamaica which could not have been more different from the U.S. Things that we take for granted in the U.S. are usually luxury in Jamaica and accessible to only the few privileged ones. While growing up, being healthy to me meant simply not being sick. The concept of preventive healthcare was nonexistent in Jamaica due to poor education as well as lack of healthcare services. When I moved to the U.S., it was a totally different world where healthcare services including dental care were not only available but also accessible to everyone irrespective of their economic background.
Fortunately, the dental who provided services to my family understood the importance of education. He would not only provide us dental care but also educate us about the benefits of good dental hygiene and how it plays a vital role in one’s overall health. He would also encourage my parents to persuade others to adopt healthy dental hygiene habits and have regular checkups since most of the low-income groups are covered. My parents soon realized that mine and my siblings’ health had improved due to healthy dental hygiene and this practical experience only further motivated me to pursue a career as a dentist.
Healthcare costs continue to rise in the U.S. and I believe one of the most effective solutions to containing rising healthcare costs is greater focus on preventive healthcare in which I also include dental healthcare. I believe greater focus on dental healthcare will specifically benefit low-income groups. I and my family have benefitted from quality healthcare in the U.S. despite our poor financial background which is why I am inspired to become a dentist and let me personal experiences inspire me to improve the standards of healthcare among the low-income and underserved groups. I am particularly focused on pediatric dentistry because health habits acquired at young age have huge impact on one’s overall health status later in life. My sister’s slow developmental growth and how oral care goes a long way towards helping children facing similar situations has also influenced my decision to pursue pediatric dentistry.
Medical profession usually associates itself with the field of science. But dentistry has always seemed to me a blend of science and arts. Dentists do not only apply their scientific background in treating patients but also provide custom solutions after taking into account the patient’s unique circumstances or needs. This is especially true for dentists who provide healthcare to a wide variety of patient groups/
Jamaica and U.S. are world apart in terms of economic and social development and this may also be why I feel so fortunate and grateful to be in this country. This country and its people have treated me really well and have always provided me the financial and moral support to build a brighter future and one of my major goals as a pediatric dentist is to make valuable social contributions to the society, especially in improving the healthcare status of the children from poor and underserved backgrounds.
I am confident I will be highly successful in the residency program because in addition to strong work ethics, perseverance is also one of my major qualities. My father passed during my first semester of dental school and the fact that my premature sister was sick didn’t help either. As a result, my grades suffered due to stress but I didn’t give up. I worked hard to make up for the loss and my performance soon improved significantly. This experience taught me that life is nothing but a series of exams and challenges are part of life. But ultimately our life is determined by how we deal with the challenges and issues that come along our way. Fredrick Douglass understood it quite well when he stated, “Without struggle there is no success.” I could not have agreed more because struggles test our strength and perseverance. We also discover ourselves more during difficult times when circumstances force us into corner and we have no choice but to give it our all. Being a woman, I was always aware of the fact that I have to work harder to prove myself and break through the glass ceiling. Becoming a successful pediatric dentist will not only boost my morale but will also help me become role model for others, especially women from minority groups. I realize that the residency program in pediatric dentistry may be the most challenging phase of my life so far but I am excited because it will bring me closer to my goal of making difference in the society.
Through my work experiences, I have already discovered the joy and satisfaction one gets by being a positive force in others’ lives. Treating mentally and physically disabled patients at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and providing care to adolescent U.S. Army soldiers has helped me discover the true extent of my personal humility. My patients inspired me and made me realized that my struggles pale in comparison to the hardships they go through yet they face everything with bravery and unshaken determination. Similarly, I also have had the opportunities to treat children with traumatic facial injuries and I still remember how they would gain renewed confidence and passion for life after successful treatments. I continue to keep myself occupied with community volunteer services from time to time, especially those that involve providing care to and educating children. Recently, I raised awareness about the importance of oral care among children during the National Children’s Health Month. Thus, becoming a pediatric dentist would also be my way of paying back to the society that it helped me realize my true potential and now I am doing everything in my capacity to help others reach their true potential by staying healthy and developing an optimistic outlook on life.
I understand my ability to provide quality healthcare will also be dependent upon continuous education which is why I read extensively on emerging trends and new developments in the field of pediatric dentistry. I also have high confidence in myself because I am not pursuing pediatric dentistry just because it is a sound career choice and my skills and strengths are a good fit to the profession but also because I am passionate about it. As a result, I will look forward to my work every day.
I look forward to meeting you in person and discuss how I could use my backgrounds, skills, and strengths to take advantage of all that the residency program in pediatric dentistry has to offer. Please do not hesitate to let me know should you have any questions or suggestions. I assure you I will do everything in my capacity to become an exemplary ambassador of the college in the real world.