DDS Applicant, Ethiopian, Community Dentistry

Whether or not I must forget all that I saw growing up in Ethiopia is immaterial; I know that I never will.  My seven sisters and brothers all suffered from periodontal diseases, and carry the scars to this day.  While their conditions could have easily been treated, even in our emerging nation, primary dental care was a luxury we simply could not afford.  Given the scarcity of preventative and primary care in Ethiopia coupled with crushing poverty, it is little surprise that so many suffer needlessly from periodontal diseases and the untreated complications thereof.

 In the midst of all of this, my parents impressed upon all of us the value of education in today’s competitive world, that we must reach our potential and not squander our natural gifts.  My frustration with the human diseases I saw afflicting the people around me, unsanitary dental health practices, and misconceptions about preventative dental care inspired my pursuit of and fueled my success in the natural sciences, a choice that was later refined and focused upon the practice of Dentistry.  And so my dreams were set, wanting to bring healthy, confident smiles to the faces of those that so desperately needed them.  Moreover, I see the dentist’s mission as being an ongoing, progressive fight, one that I will strive to contribute all that I am to winning.

 To date, I have seen a distinct and growing need for quality research and qualified dental professionals versed in the causal relationships between gum disease, heart disease and stroke.  What is more, more needs to be done to educate the public and have dental professionals who impress upon the community, not just immediate patients, about the benefits of preventative dental care; sustainable community educational programs need to be established, executed and maintained.

 Earning my DMD will allow me to bring my goals, ambitions, indeed my dreams of professional public service, to fruition.  I anticipate serving my community in Kentucky, reaching out to underserved areas, and more specifically alleviate the fears and suffering of dental patients.

 I bring with me to the DMD program and student body a solid academic foundation in Biology and Chemistry, a foundation made all the more solid by my active tutoring incoming undergraduates in chemistry, organic chemistry and biology.  These experiences built my interpersonal abilities, maturity, sense of responsibility and ability to quickly establish a rapport with people of all backgrounds.  At the same time, I am no stranger to research work either, beginning with my membership with ‘Model Institutions for Excellence and Research Experience for Undergraduates’.  The work built my problem solving abilities, analytic thinking as well as research skills.

 A community dentist holds a trusted and sacred role, and is a role model.  To this end, I volunteer regularly with Touched Twice Ministry, a group that aims to meet the physical and medical needs of people in the community.  I feel that my having been born, raised and educated in two diverse countries, indeed continents, that I have walked more than a mile in the shoes of the immigrant and am more sympathetic to their unique needs.  This sensibility, cultural competency and understanding of socioeconomic differences cannot be taught in a lecture hall, yet is so incredibly important, particularly given the influx of diverse patients into America’s healthcare system.

 XXXX is my sole choice for further education.  I am eager to contribute and interact with an accomplished student body and excellent faculty.  My heritage and experiences have developed my distinct understanding of what it means to, even in America, in Nelson County, Kentucky, to be medically underserved. 

 To my patients’ tomorrow and my own, I will give all that I am to the only profession that can bring me the greatest personal, spiritual and professional satisfaction.

 Thank you for your time and consideration.

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