I have wanted to be a dentist since I was ten years old. I found out I wanted to be a dentist by going into the dental office one day after school to help my dad with a patient, Jean who had an emergency. I remember she was in great agony, her hands were shaking and there were even tears in her eyes. As my dad got things ready to help her, I sat and talked with her. When he was ready to get started with his procedure, I noticed that Jean was clutching the arms of the chair very tightly. I reached for her hand, and she squeezed my hand back. I watched in fascination, listening to him explain what he was doing. At first, the patient indicated some irrational fears for the dentist, but it ended with gratitude when all was done. I felt so relieved when she sat up, smiled and not only thanked my dad but also thanked me for helping her get through her procedure. I felt so proud, and I knew at that moment, I could make a difference in peoples lives by becoming a dentist. Indeed, it is this situation that opened up my mind, and it created that interest in me of becoming a dentist so that I can help people who have the same teeth-related problems as Jean. With one accord, my heart and mind were set on joining dentistry, and I started laying down strategies to achieve it as early as in fourth grade.
Throughout grade school and high school, I continued spending time in my dads dental office. I watched him and his staffs treat patients and at times I worked at the front desk. I could see that most patients have anxiety about having dental treatment. I saw the relationships he and his staff created with their patients and the trust they put in them and admired to build the same kind of relationships as a dentist in the future. I knew I would achieve such a relationship due to my inquisitive interest in dental health, empathetic and caring virtues that would help build a calm and trustworthy environment for an excellent dental healthcare setting. Besides, I chose a major in Psychology to give me a better understanding of what causes anxiety in some patients. I feel that my psychology classes will give me an extra insight into my patients to help understand them better and offer them the best approach. Also, I chose Biology as my minor in my bachelors so that I could have an easy way to dentistry. With the dentistry and psychology knowledge, I want to be able to relieve patients stresses and make dentistry an enjoyable experience.
Working at my dads office has stemmed some experiences of using some dental materials and dental equipment. Also, observing my dad perform the complex operations seamlessly, I realized how precise a dentist needs to be in matters of spacing distally, mesially and interference with the bite. I am always diligent on my work and I usually take precautions before making a conclusive decision and I am confident I can reach such level of precision. Being part of the pre-dental club has also given me some additional insight into various dental approaches, preventive procedures, and root canal treatment. I found these experiences informative and rewarding and worth to lay a solid basis for a dentistry career. While working at my dads dental office, I could see him struggle to explain to the patients the reason some of his decisions were the best course of action. For instance, my dad would face a challenge explaining to the patients why tooth extraction would be better than filling cavities because most of his patients are usually in great pain. With my background knowledge and experience in psychology, I believe I will devise inventive ways of communicating with the patients in providing accurate explanations of my decisions as well as empathetically supporting the patients.
Besides the classroom and work experiences at my dads office, I have been involved in many co-curricular and community activities. I play volleyball and has been a volleyball coach and referee at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Additionally, at the College of Saint Scholastica (CSS), I have been participating in intramural sports. Even when I join dentistry, I hope to continue participating in games and sports because they will help me to be refreshed and alert when dealing with the patients. Regarding the community work, I have volunteered as a recess supervisor at a local Catholic elementary school. While living in Duluth, I also volunteered at Age Well Arrowhead and also family connection events for epilepsy. These co-curricular and community activities are helping me to become an all-rounded student fit to study dentistry.
As I think about my future, becoming a dentist fully embodies my desire to help people. Providing exceptional dental care will always be my goal, but helping my patients alleviate their fears and anxiety will be an extra bonus and satisfaction. Helping my dad that day and seeing the first-hand smile and the appreciation for the great dental care fueled me to gaining more joy that comes with giving back to the society. I believe I will make many more people smile as a dentist.
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