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Residency Pediatric Dentistry, Bangladesh

December 30, 2012

For almost a decade, I have worked as a medical professional in dental medicine.  While dentistry is my career and my chosen path, pediatric dentistry is my passion - where my heart lies.  I have found that my earliest experiences in southern Bangladesh have impressed upon me the need to address the unique needs of the pediatric patient.  Growing up in Bangladesh, we did not have pediatric dentists.  If my brothers, sisters, and I had toothaches, the general dentist simply pulled our baby teeth.  There was no emphasis on good dental hygiene, or diet counseling; baby teeth were simply not important.  Upon reaching college, I discovered the field of pediatric dentistry, the shock of finding that baby teeth are just as important as adult teeth, and especially, that mine could have been treated as opposed to being pulled.

 Along with my education, volunteer work, and three years of private practice, my externship with the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at XXXX University has given me great insight into the field, the American dental health system and first-hand experiences that supplemented my two pediatric dentistry rotations in Bangladesh.  In Bangladesh, I encountered many children from all walks of life, some with developmental difficulties and multiple systemic and dental diseases.  I quickly learned that Pediatric dentistry requires patience, a gentle demeanor and hand, as well as a solid grasp of pain management, the quintessential elements to being successful in this incredibly important specialty.  A pediatric dentist is a patient’s introduction to dentists in general.  The first experience a young patient has with a dentist will quite possibly shape their opinion of dentists for a lifetime.  It is up to me to make sure that their first experience is a pleasant one, and show them that a dentist is someone that can be trusted, a friend, and a person that cares.

 In terms of my academics, I would like to focus my research and exposure to craniofacial disorders in pediatric patients.  For the future, I anticipate working as an effective clinician, serving underprivileged and underserved children and conducting preventative dental health educational programming, diet counseling, and treating dental disease at the earliest stages possible, all with affordable pricing based on income.  I feel that my multinational experiences, and travels in the Middle East, India, England, Canada, and the US have developed my ability to interact effectively with people from a diversity of backgrounds, an ability I will bring with me to the field of Pediatric Dentistry.

 As a doctor, I realize the importance of keeping active in my community.  For the last thirteen years, I have kept active as a volunteer, at dental college, blood banks, and dental outreach programming.  As a doctor, I am firmly aware that prevention is better than cure, and I am proud of my volunteer career in educating children – including developmentally challenged - in good dental health, and screening and educating parents.  In addition to my volunteer work, I keep abreast of the latest developments in the dental industry by attending continuing education programming, reading dental medicine journals, and am a part of a number of professional associations.  Connecting with other dentists helps me keep current.  I have learned that being able to perform dentistry is just as important as being able to speak intelligently about the field.

 My fellowship – as a part of my MPH education - with the Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology at XXXX School of Dentistry has trained me to work with physically, mentally and intellectually disabled patients.  More than this, though, my three years living in Louisiana, the third poorest state in America, has impressed upon me that even in the US there are places with little or no access to comprehensive oral care.  This is wrong and I will address the healthcare disparities as a part of my professional career.

 I look forward to developing myself further as a specialist in Pediatric Dentistry.  For me, being a pediatric dentist is a great responsibility, creating foundations with patients that will last a lifetime.  No other field ever has, nor ever could offer me the same level of personal or professional satisfaction.  I thank you for your time and eagerly await your reply.

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