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DDS Korean, Japanese, New Zealand

August 14, 2015

I am a Korean, born and raised in Korea and spent some time in New Zealand before I moved to the US in 12th grade. I hold the B.S. degree in Biochemistry, magna cum laude, awarded this year by UCLA. I speak Korean and English and basic Japanese. My short term goals are to join the program, excel in it and to qualify and to practice as a dentist. My long term goal is to become an excellent and expert practitioner.

I will honestly admit to feeling no particular attraction to a career in healthcare but, before moving to the United States, I spent some time in New Zealand. I worked on a sheep farm and was housed with a dentist and his family. My host often spoke about his work and invited me to help him at his surgery on weekends and I thoroughly enjoyed the work. My host encouraged me to consider a future in the profession and I began to give the suggestion careful thought. I love to cook and, even more, I love to eat. In New Zealand I once offered something that I had cooked to an elderly lady but she was unable to eat it because of the poor state of her teeth. It occurred to me that enabling people to enjoy a normal diet was an important reason in itself to pursue dentistry. This confirmed something that my host had also taught me, that is the importance of oral and dental health is to the general health and well being of patients, something that had never occurred to me previously.

 I became aware that dentistry called for a number of skills and characteristics that I am sure I possess.  I like people and they like me.  I love ‘hands on’ work and have manual skills which are highly developed as I have played the cello regularly from a very early age. I am genuinely seeking a career that will enable me to help people and there is an esthetic element to dentistry that also appeals to me. One of the very first things we notice in others is their smile and this can make a great difference to people’s confidence and success. I would love to have the skills and knowledge to improve health, dietary choices, appearance, and life prospects. What more could anyone ask of a career?

Since January 2010, I have worked as a volunteer and intern in dental practices and this has deepened my determination to pursue this work. It has also provided me with some basic, but very useful, dental knowledge and related skills. This work included an internship with the Korean American Dental Association. I come from a culture where dental health is not considered to be a high priority. I would love to be able to assist in changing attitudes and in improving dental and oral health of those who share my Korean background and this is part of the motivation for my application. I would also hope to help those who are prevented from having regular check-up’s due to financial constraints.

I have happily worked and socialized with people of many different cultural and social backgrounds. I relate well to others no matter how different our life experiences and I look forward to variety in my fellow students and future patients.

I was 17 years old when I moved from Korea to the United States.  A move at such an age presented me with challenges of various kinds. I had to quickly accustom myself to being educated in English and to new educational and social environments. I believe that I successfully overcame these obstacles and that, in doing so, I have demonstrated those qualities of intelligence, diligence, adaptability and determination that are very relevant to any program of study. I undertake to fully apply those qualities in the program, if my application succeeds.

I am aware that this program will attract many well qualified applicants. However I genuinely feel that I am an excellent candidate. I have some relevant knowledge from the studies for my Bachelor’s degree. I have some basic dental knowledge and skills acquired in my volunteer activity.  I am a determined and diligent worker, proven by academic success in the face of considerable obstacles and, most importantly, I have a real passion for dentistry that will be hard to match. I am sure that I shall be able to share useful insights to my class from my experiences to date and look forward to doing so.

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