I believe that I merit consideration for being included in the International Dentistry Degree Program because I am a person with a unique background and outlook on modern dentistry. I am committed to following the career path of being a dentist in Canada. My passion for dentistry started when I was in high school. I became very interested in dentistry because it is such a crucial but overlooked aspect of health, and the chance to examine the role of dentistry as a medicine held an intrinsic interest for me. I searched for many nearby dental schools and facilities that would offer me the chance to watch dentists perform their medicine. I took the first opportunity to begin shadowing dentists at their work. It was during this time that I realized that I appreciated the work and the overall professional atmosphere of dentistry, and I knew that I wanted to become involved in this field.
Having established a powerful connection with dentistry on a personal and academic level, I commenced my clinical dental experience at Manipal College of Dental Sciences in my third year. During this time, I was able to connect with patients and begin working with them in meaningful ways. At the time, I resided in the town of Manipal, a large town that seemed to have a constant flow of patients who were seeking treatment at our dental office. In addition to these residents, I found that people from all over Southern India were coming to our dental service area to seek proper treatment. A vast majority of our patients had never been in a dental office or were educated on the basics of oral hygiene. I was very interested in working with individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and providing them with help and information that would have an impact on their lives. Working with these people reaffirmed my belief in using dentistry as a means of having a positive effect on the world.
During the five years I spent in India, I also had the misfortune of witnessing many botched dental treatments that had occurred in other areas of the country. These mistreated patients came to our facility to obtain proper treatment and re-treatment. Some of the more egregious errors I saw were patients in which the radiographs would clearly indicate gutta-percha heavily extruded beyond the apex, failed implants holding dentures, and complete dentures fabricated using cold cure straight on the mucosa. These “mistakes” were made by people impersonating dentists. These incidents gave me a glimpse into the mistakes that I would need to avoid as a dentist as well as how patients are physically affected by long-term malpractice. ,.This exposure allowed me to scrutinize my own professional treatments and showed me how vulnerable patients can be when they believe that they are in the hands of a proper professional. Still, I consider this valuable experience in the sense that I can see the necessity of the training and clinical experiences.
Obtaining my Bachelor of Dental Surgery Degree at Manipal College of Dental Sciences played an immense part in my self-growth and propelled me towards my goal of becoming a dentist in Canada. My interest was further cultivated by the importance of developing dentist-patient relationships. I believe that a good relationship between a dentist and a patient allows me to better connect with and educate patients about their illness and prompts the ability to speak about self- management.
After graduating with honors at Manipal University of Dental Sciences I began a rotating internship for one year. Progressing through the nine fields of dentistry for four weeks provided me an incredible opportunity to learn more about root canal treatments, extractions, observations and various other procedures. In addition, I was able to participate in a few surgical procedures for oral submucous fibrosis, ameloblastoma mandibular hemisectomy, periodontal surgeries, pemphigus cases, and several others. I was privileged enough to be able to observe and treat some of these “tropical diseases.”
Experiencing these “textbook diseases” had a profound impact on my life. Not only was this important to my development as a learning dentist, but it also showed me unique aspects of dentistry that helps me bring a unique perspective to my education in North America. Relating these past experiences in India, to my future experience in Canada, I firmly believe that the International Advanced Placement Dental Program is for me because I can bring my experiences with me to share amongst my fellow classmates as well as my positive attitude. Education is an ongoing process, and in the extensive curriculum that dentistry has to offer, there is always more to be learned and to be taught. I believe that this is the most exhilarating aspect of education in dentistry and why I qualify for the advanced program at Saskatchewan University.