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Letter of Appeal, International Dentist Program

A dentist from India, a woman and most of all a mother, I was six months pregnant with my daughter when I learned that I was accepted to the dental program at XXXX. While I was elated, it turned out to be disastrous timing. My pregnancy had been very complicated and I began dental school fearing that I was going to lose my baby. I had previously suffered a miscarriage and so much rode on this pregnancy that the stress levels during my first two months studying at XXXX International Dentist Program were enormous.

My daughter was born quite ill and the fear of losing her continued during her first two months of life. My mother-in-law, who was helping me with my baby, unexpectedly fractured her arm after only a few weeks after I began dental school, just when I needed her the most because my new-born was still quite ill. Stress-related complications became so acute that my judgment became clouded and I became disoriented, sleepless, crying, a total mess of anxiety, all while struggling day and night to care for my baby. At this moment, unaware that all I needed to do was to tell my faculty advisor that I needed to take the first semester off, out of desperation to meet a deadline, I submitted research work that was not entirely my own and was expelled from the ID Program at XXXX - my appeal was denied.

Since this incident, I have engaged in much self-reflection. Why did this happen? What I was thinking back then? I have worked on handling pressure and unexpected challenges and learning how to time manage in more mature ways, attending counseling sessions and doing meditation. I learned that my biggest shortcoming was my failure to discuss my problems with others; instead, keeping them bottled up inside. My daughter is getting bigger and more independent day by day, breastfeeding is drawing to a close and I hunger deep in my heart for a return to full time dentistry, the full pursuit of my profession, my life.  If accepted to your DDS for International Dentists Program, I intend to leave my daughter with my mother in India so that I will be able to focus exclusively on my studies in dentistry..

I envision having a professional engagement with dentistry for the rest of my life, both here in the USA as well as back home in India, with the latter efforts being of a voluntary nature. I hope to largely fund and manage a practice geared towards the underserved in India, based on my success here in the USA, where I also look forward to decades in private practice, flying back and forth; I love to fly. There is no insurance system for dental care in India and dental treatment is simply unaffordable for roughly half the population. When I am an older woman, I also look forward to teaching dentistry in India.

I have long had a fascination with and profound concern for homeless people. I would hug and kiss them as a little girl sometimes, just finding them alone on the street. Now, as a dentist, I realize that my childhood dream of finding them a place to live, to sleep, is overshadowed still by the joy that I feel providing them with oral health care. If one has a toothache, where one sleeps is of secondary importance. My city, Punjab, back in India, has enormous problems with drug addicted youth, in particular, who live on the street – most of them children and adolescents. I day dream about putting my DDS to work on their behalf if I am granted the exception for which I plead and given another chance to prove myself in a DDS program for international dentists.

I have served my community as an oral health professional for more than five years, mostly in India but also here in the USA working as a dental assistant for long periods of time at several dental clinics. I have helped to effectively treat a broad variety of patients and I have also had a share in treatment planning and diagnosis. I especially look forward to research in dental materials, always with an eye towards cost and the development of materials that make dental care more affordable.

I always wanted to do something in my life which moves people, leaving a long-lasting and highly positive impact on their lives. I was perhaps most moved as a child when I got my own teeth fixed and the result was my own smile – hitherto my biggest insecurity. Thus, in search of a noble profession with unsurpassed human fulfillment, dentistry was for me a most natural choice.

I learned quickly and discovered that healthy and clear communication between a patient and dentist is the central key to successful treatment. Over the course of five years, I passionately provided my sincere services to the community, and was overwhelmed with the gratitude I received from those whom I served.

I love dancing, cooking, and travelling. I was basketball team captain at my high school and I am good at acting. Along with my team, we won first place in an acting competition with a play dealing with female fetocide. As a female, a woman dentist, I will always be especially sensitive to the special oral health challenges of underserved women in my community, as well as the underserved generally speaking.

I thank you for considering my application.


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