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General Practice Dental Residency, GPR, Egyptian

Growing up in a family of surgeons, physicians and pharmacists, I feel most fortunate to have listened to health care discussion my entire life. This is the primary reason why I became an extremely highly motivated and hard-working dentist.

My father is a Genito-Urinary surgeon and my mother is an Obstetrician-Gynecologist. My first intention as a child was to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a surgeon; but my vision changed from medicine to dentistry largely because of a bicycle accident that injured my upper right central incisor as well as breaking my right arm. I lived with a broken tooth for the next 7 years because the few dentists that there were in our small town in Egypt did not perform endodontic procedures.

My joy was indescribable when my tooth was finally restored to its normal shape, once we were able to save up the money to travel to Cairo so that I could be treated by an Endodontist. The restoration of my central incisor was a transformational, watershed moment in my life; and it is from this moment that I date my dedication to the cause of becoming the finest dentist possible, so that I could bring this kind of joy to others.

Getting accepted to and completing dental school in our native Egypt, however, was made more difficult by the fact that I was born into and raised in a Coptic Christian household. Egypt is a majority Muslim country and Christians – a small minority making up only 10% of the population – are discriminated against. As a Christian, I was considered an infidel by Muslim majority. I am convinced this is why I was denied entry to dental school in Egypt after my first interview nine years ago. I had excellent grades; I was rejected on the basis of my religion.

I decided to immigrate to the USA for a variety of reasons and did so in 2008; most of all, I wanted to become a dentist and to receive my education in the country where dentistry is on the cutting edge, the most advanced in the world. Completing my undergraduate studies at Middle Tennessee State University, I did well on the DAT and was accepted to Meharry Medical College’s School of Dentistry. I honestly believe that I am the hardest working student in my dental school class. I study for my classes constantly with almost no leisure time at all because I am driven not just to earn the degree but to excel and to achieve a high rank, practicing a broad variety of different clinical procedures: including fixed and removable prosthodontics as well as endodontic and periodontic procedures. First, I spent long days in the laboratory practicing procedures on a manikin. Once I began helping real live patients last year, then I more fully realized how those long hours in the laboratory were paying off.

I want to be a general dentist because I truly enjoy doing all sorts of different procedures so I am considering simply making general dentistry my permanent professional focus without choosing an area of specialization. Throughout dental school at Meharry, I have served as a volunteer with multiple organizations helping to raise awareness of the importance of preventive oral health care, helping out with numerous community-based initiatives, providing screenings, cleaning, filling, and extractions - at no charge for the underserved.

I see myself as a particularly good candidate for a GPR program that is hospital based because I feel most comfortable and want very much to have the opportunity to continue to develop my expertise in the hospital environment. I look forward to gaining vast, advanced expertise in the performance of complex Endo procedures and implants in particular, rotating within multiple interdisciplinary healthcare teams in a hospital-based environment. I see this as ultimate preparation for a lifetime of practice in the future, perhaps within time as a dentist with my own practice.

I am grateful that I was able to come to the United States and build a new life far from the discrimination to which I was subjected in Egypt. I feel indebted to America for taking me in and providing me with the enormously beautiful opportunity of a state-of-the-art education in dentistry. The difficult circumstances to which I was subjected in Egypt helped me to grow up quickly and assume responsibility early on. Growing up in a small town in a rural area in Egypt, I also paid very close attention to the fact that we had only the most primitive and inadequate of dental services available, and even that was still outside the financial reach of a large part of the population. This served to inspire and motivate me to work very hard at my studies: because of my thirst for helping people in my community and making them confident about their smiles.

I will be finishing dental school next year, 2018, and I especially look forward to contributing to the diversity of your distinguished GPR Program as someone fully fluent in both Arabic and French as well as English. In the future, I keenly look forward to taking part in dental missions where I will be able to use my Arabic and/or French as well as English as an oral health professional committed to global dentistry.

I thank you for considering my application to your GPR Program.

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