Samples of My Work on Behalf of Indian Applicants to Dental School

The international dental community is very much concerned with the way in which huge differences exist with respect to access to oral health care according to the economic status of population groups in India. This is mainly attributed to differences in socioeconomic status. In India, health care is mostly provided by the private sector and in part by the public sector. Treatment for oral diseases is expensive and therefore, many patients are unable to receive any care. Dental safety net is defined as “the facilities, providers, and payment programs that supplement dental care specifically for underserved populations”. Dental safety net providers are public and private nonprofit organisations that provide comprehensive oral health care to children, adults and elderly. Examples of dental safety nets are rural safety net (targeting rural populations) and informal safety net (clinics, private physicians, traditional healers, etc.).In India, the formation and inclusion of dental safety net in public health services may significantly reduce oral health differences and meet the characteristics of primary care services. 

I think the best strategy for the personal statement of a dentist from India who has permanently immigrated to America is to express a desire and hopefully some well thought out plans for helping the underserved in both places, practicing dentistry in both places, with the focus of one’s work in India, in particular, being probono or a charitable, volunteer activity.

Few people know exactly how the selection process works for international dentist programs because it is not public information. At least, all information having to do with ethnic quotas is kept strictly confidential by the school because it is legally sensitive information, they could be sued. I enjoy trying to figure it out, trying to guess, and I think a lot of it is just very logical. Let me tell you several things that I do know for sure.

Diversity is important. The admissions committee wants people from all over the world to attend an international dentists program, with each corner of the planet represented. And, it just seems to make sense to me that they are not going to like the idea of any one group being greatly overrepresented. About 17% of the world’s population is Indian, and for this reason I doubt very much if the percentage of Indian students in any given dentistry program ever exceeds that percentage.

Now, I can tell you just from my own experience that Indians are way overrepresented in the ranks of applicants to International Dentist Programs. I know this because while they are only 17% of the world’s population, at least half of the people who turn to me for help with a statement to an International Dentist program are Indian. This leads me to the conclusion that you are probably going to face the stiffest competition from other Indians.

There is no shortage of dentists in America generally speaking. The USA is not in need of large numbers of Indian dentists to practice here; and the primary focus of the admissions committees is selecting applicants who are going to help the underserved. And where are the underserved? You need to make this part clear. I think you want to make a convincing argument and have creative ideas about helping the underserved both here in America as well as back in India.

It is for this reason that I feel strongly that we need to focus on your long term plans for the underserved. Most people are weak on this point, saying only general and vague things like I want to help people in developing countries. If you want them to accept you, I think it would be a very good idea for you to have more specific and concrete, creative ideas for the long term, and in this way show greater maturity and dedication than your competitors.

India is the second most populous country in the world with an extensive rural population (68.8%) and according to projections, India will overtake China within the next several decades as the most populous nation in the world because China controls its population growth and India does not.

In India, Children less than 18 years constitute about 40% of the population. Approximately, 23.5% of the urban population resides in urban slums. The extensive rural population, school children and the urban slum dwellers are denied of even the basic dental services though there is continuous advancement in the field of dentistry. The dentist to population ratio has dramatically improved in the last one to two decades with no significant improvement in the oral health status of the general population. The various studies have revealed an increasing trend in oral diseases in the recent times especially among this underserved population. Alternate strategies have to be thought about rather than the traditional oral health-care delivery through private dentists on fee for service basis. Mobile and portable dental services are a viable option to take the sophisticated oral health services to the doorsteps of the underserved population. The databases were searched for publications from 1900 to the present (2013) using terms such as Mobile dental services, Portable dental services and Mobile and portable dental services with key articles obtained primarily from MEDLINE. This paper reviews the published and unpublished literature from different sources on the various mobile dental service programs successfully implemented in some developed and developing countries. Though the mobile and portable systems have some practical difficulties like financial considerations, they still seem to be the only way to reach every section of the community in the absence of national oral health policy and organized school dental health programs in India. The material for the present review was obtained mainly by searching the biomedical databases for primary research material using the search engine with key words such as mobile and/or portable dental services in developed and developing countries (adding each of these terms in a sequential order). Based on the review of the programs successfully implemented in developed countries, we propose a model to cater to the basic oral health needs of an extensive underserved population in India that may be pilot tested. The increasing dental manpower can best be utilized for the promotion of oral health through mobile and portable dental services. The professional dental organizations should have a strong motive to translate this into reality.

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My name is Dr. Robert F. Edinger.  I help dentists and students of dentistry from all over the world to be selected for admission to advanced education programs. 

I only do my best, taking the time to reflect on your story as well, usually doing some internet research on your behalf.

I especially enjoy working on behalf of those clients whose stated long term goals represent a significant contribution to helping the underserved.

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