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DDS Applicant, Dental Hygienist, Vietnamese

The youngest of eight children, I am the first to attend college because my parents developed such high hopes for me and worked so hard that we might have at least one professional in our family. I studied biology in the university in my home country of Vietnam for three years until we immigrated to the United States when I was 21. Here in the USA, I completed a BS Degree in Dental Hygiene in preparation for my dream of going to dental school.

 I worked especially hard improving my English so that I would be accepted by and do well in the Dental Hygiene Program. I worked as a Dental Hygienist Assistant at the same time that I studied full time for four-and-a-half-years. I have seen many teeth and I have learned things from my job. I was determined to become a caring, compassionate dental hygienist and I am pleased with what I have accomplished professionally in preparation for dental school and I am proud of the Clinical Achievement Certificate that was awarded to me by the Dental Hygiene Program at the University of New Haven, CT.

 Since 2009, I have been employed as a Dental Hygienist and can’t wait to start work each day, I genuinely love my work. I relate well to my patients and receive excellent feedback from them. I have undertaken the whole range of work which my qualification permits and have assisted in all kinds of procedures and treatments undertaken by dentists. I regard my work as a vocation rather than a job and I find it enormously fulfilling on a human level.

 In 2005 and 2008, I returned to Vietnam as a volunteer and worked with several organizations. I spent time in remote, rural communities teaching children to read, repairing houses and providing general assistance. I also worked, for a time, in the Hospital for Tropical diseases as a patient representative amongst other duties.

 Earlier this year I volunteered to work with ‘Los Medicos Voladores’ (LMV) a ‘flying doctor’ service to the poor in Mexico, Central America and areas of southeastern California with high numbers of migrant workers. In March of this year, I was part of a team treating 1,500 patients seeking free medical, dental, and optometric care as well as, physical therapy, acupuncture and other health services at XXXX High School near Indio, CA.  I have also worked in extremely challenging and basic conditions in various locations in Huachinera, in Mexico, last May 2011, also with LMV, where I had the privilege of personally attending to 40 patients, all with very poor oral hygiene.

 One day at the XXXX High School, I treated approximately 36 patients in one day alone; and have never felt so elated at any other time in my life. The only regret that I have for that especially busy day was that I was unable to do any more than cleaning; there was a desperate need for filling and extraction and I desperately wanted to be able to do this as well and I thought about it for the entire 8 hour drive back to my home. I mark that drive home in my mind as the moment of no return: I would become a dentist and give my all to helping care for underprivileged populations.

 I find that when I help those who are in most desperate need of my help, I can sleep better; I feel better about myself and am revitalized. I hope to spend a lot of time in the future helping to develop programs in the Developing World, especially my native Vietnam, and I hope to serve as an important role model, as a dentist, to young Vietnamese girls and to always work to convince them of the importance of professional service, for women as well as men, recent immigrants included.

 I know that cultural awareness and sensitivity is especially important in health care provision. I have personally experienced the challenges involved in adjusting to a new cultural environment and so I can empathize with others in this situation. I have happily studied, worked and socialized with people from many different cultural and social backgrounds and look forward to extending these experiences in your program.

 I am aware that there will be many well qualified applicants for the program but genuinely regard myself as an excellent candidate. I am a hard working person, very dedicated, driven, passionate, and caring. I have significant and relevant experience and I am dedicated to the improvement of dental health, especially among those who most need education and treatment. I think that my experience coupled with my determination and dedication gives me a chance to excel in your program and I want to thank you for considering me for that privilege.

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