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Sample 1st Paragraph for the DDS, International Dentist, Iranian Raised in Sweden

I am a young Iranian woman who grew up in Sweden. I became a dentist in Poland and I have practiced dentistry as well. My life circumstances have resulted in my becoming a very international person and a dentist. After spending my first 3 years in Iran, I would spend the next 22 in Sweden and then 6 years in Poland. I have also spend long periods from weeks to months in the UK, Greece, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Egypt, Mexico, and the United States. My English is almost as good as my Swedish and my Farsi and I keenly look forward to contributing my all to the celebration of diversity in your distinguished program. I am very close to my brother is now working for an American company in New York. Most of all, however, my finance is a medical doctor who will soon apply for residency positions in the USA; he also has family there. We have decided, therefore, to build our home and raise our family in the United States and I keenly look forward to being admitted to your program so that I can continue practicing dentistry in America.

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What I would have done different in my International Dentist Program.

Many international dentists are turning to Canada to advance their careers these days because of the way that the Government of Canada is funding a project that helps internationally trained dentists put their knowledge and skills to work sooner. 

The Canadian Dental Regulatory Authorities Federation (CDRAF) receives over $790,000 in Foreign Credential Recognition Program funding each year for its project entitled Assessment of Internationally Trained General Dentists from Non-Accredited Dental Programs.

"Our government is helping internationally educated health professionals enter the labour market to improve the quality of life of all Canadians," said Minister Finley. "Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, we are working with partners to develop a common approach to foreign credential recognition. This project contributes to a fair, efficient and timely system that will help internationally trained dentists find work in communities across Canada."

The CDRAF's project will establish a national process for the assessment of internationally trained dentists. Prior to this initiative, the majority of foreign-trained dentists, who come from non-accredited dental schools, would have been required to undertake additional training and education.

This new process will evaluate whether these individuals already have the same knowledge, skills and competencies as a graduate from an accredited Canadian dental program.

Successful completion of this assessment process will enable them to take the national examination through the National Dental Examining Board of Canada. Candidates who pass the exam can then register to practise as a dentist anywhere in Canada.

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada is working with the provinces and territories and other partners, such as employers, to address barriers to foreign credential recognition in Canada. This partnership directly contributed to the development of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, which was announced in November 2009.

This project is one example of how the Framework is bringing meaningful change to the way that newcomers' qualifications are assessed and recognized by regulatory bodies in key occupations.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca

Additional Information for DDS International Dentist Program Application Questionnaire, Turkish Applicant,


  1. Please explain why you selected dentistry as a profession.

Since childhood, my greatest joy has always been found interacting with people. An outgoing child, I like to think that I am compassionate by nature and that this is my greatest gift. My uncle is an otorhinolaryngologist and I enjoyed spending time at his clinic as a child. I admired and looked up to him as a trusted public servant and I formed the goal early on of being like him and serving my community.Like my uncle, I strive to be a great communicator with my patients so as to provide them with the best treatment possible.

My first experience with a dentist as a patient was when I was a high school student. I had dental caries that needed to be treated and my first treatment was rather stressful. The fact that I admired my dentist helped to calm my nerves.First she talked to me for a while to calm me down and only then did she begin the treatment. I remember to this day watching her hands. I especially love how Dentistry is a totally hands-on profession because the process results in healing, total recovery, and prevention where possible.

I also like the material aspect of dentistry, working with ‘concrete’ things like fillings, crowns, bridges, implants, etc. I selected dentistry for the above reasons, because I am a problem solver who loves to make people smile and provide a service that lasts throughout their lifetime.

  1. If you were employed while obtaining your dental degree, how many hours a week did you work, and what was the nature of your employment?

I worked as a volunteer when I was a student in dental school student, mostly in my hometown, Eregli, Turkey. Often, I worked as long as 15 hours a day assisting and observing dentists since as a student I was not yet able to practice. I was responsible for providing information about oral health, how to prevent caries and periodontal problems as well as promoting and educating people about the difference between cariogenic and anti-cariogenic diets. I was able to learn a great deal as a volunteer, especially about dentist-patient interaction and what a patient expects from a dentist. I especially appreciate the teamwork that we cultivated in my volunteer position, working alongside dentists, technicians, hygienists, and other coworkers. This intensive hands-on experience helped to provide a smooth transition from pre-clinic to clinic courses.

  1. Please describe your experience in dentistry

After graduation from dental school, I began working as an Associate Dentist at a clinic in my hometown, from October of 2007 through May of 2009. I especially appreciated the interdisciplinary character of our clinic and found this cross-disciplinary collaboration to be most useful for providing our patients with optimal care in a broad variety of areas in addition to dentistry, including pediatrics, ophthalmology, surgery, and otorhinolaryngology. I was the only dentist at the clinic and I enjoyed serving as a spokesperson for my field in conversations with my doctor colleagues. Thus, I am highly experienced at the diagnosis and the development of treatment plans involving prosthodontic, endodontic, and periodontal treatments, tooth extraction, including impacted third molars, as well as pedodontic treatments developed in response to the special needs of children.

From June of 2009 through November of 2012, I worked as an Associate Dentist at a dental clinic in Istanbul. Our clinic stayed very busy; with six dentists, we attended to an average of 50 patients a day. I mostly attended to soft tissue surgeries using diode laser and electrosurgery, endodontic treatments and retreatments using apex locater, extraction of impacted third molars, fixed prosthodontics such as all ceramic and zirconia restorations, inlays, removable prosthodontics, periodontal treatments, pedodontic treatments, esthetic dentistry such as bleaching, smile design etc. During this time, I also earned certificates in implantology and radiology.

  1. Have you ever received any awards for outstanding academic/scholarly achievements, athletic/musical talent, or community service? Please list and explain.

I don’t have any awards.

  1. Please list any publications for which you were an author and research projects in which you participated.

I don’t have any publications.

  1. Are you proficient (written or conversational) in language(s) other than English? Please list them.

Turkish is my native language.

  1. If you observed a classmate cheating, what if any action would you take and why?

The practice of cheating makes me feel really annoyed and uncomfortable; thus, I have never been involved in cheating. If I realized that someone was trying to look at my paper or ask me the answers to questions, I would definitely cover my paper or change my seat. I would never let anyone involve me in any way with cheating activity. This dishonest activity must not be allowed because it threatens the integrity of our profession and our educational system. No one would want to be treated by a dentist who cheated while he or she was a student in dental school. Because of my respect for my profession, I might very well feel a responsibility to report anyone who I saw cheating. While I have no desire to spy on my fellow students, at the very least, any attempt to engage me in such activity would meet with a hostile response.

  1. After receiving your DDS, how and where do you envision your skills being employed?

After receiving my DDS, and gaining additional experience, I plan to enroll in a postgraduate program and specialize in Endodontics. Endodontic treatments are my special interest because I find the greatest joy in dentistry in saving the tooth rather than replacing it. If I were to realize my goal of publishing in my field at some point in the future, it will probably be in the area of pain management in Endodontics. I feel most happy when my patient is happy with their treatment. At some point in my career I hope to establish my own clinic at the service of my community and build lasting relationships with whole families and even neighborhoods.

  1. Please state briefly why you should be selected for admission to the XXXX IDP over other applicants with similar qualifications.

Always open to learning new things and most enthused about education, I will serve to foment teamwork among my classmates so that we all do our best in our relentless quest for excellence. My motto is to never stop learning by experience. I graduated from one of the top dentistry schools in my country. After graduation, I worked nonstop for 5 years in my country. During these years I gained a lot of experience and had the opportunity to perfect my dentistry skills by providing a range of treatments from soft tissue surgeries and pedodontic treatments to retreatments of roots and canals and all ceramic restorations.

I have much to contribute to your program in terms of diversity since I am from Turkey which is a melting pot and has many different cultures: Mediterranean, Middle Easter, and European; and I have now lived for over one year in the Bay Area in California which is the primary reason why UXXX is my first choice for dental school. I have made friends with numerous dentists from all over the world—Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Armenian, Greek—in the Bay Area who will service me as a support group and inspire me to excel. I have spent the last 7 months in Dublin, Ireland learning and exploring culture and its implications for dentistry on a global scale, with special attention to effort to assist the underserved.I feel strongly that my multicultural background and experience will make for a smooth transition to my professional life as a dentist in the US.

I help international dentists and students of dentistry from all over the world to be selected for admission to advanced education programs in English-speaking countries, especially the United States and Canada. 

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NYU Dentistry International Programs

Pakistani General Dentist, Oral Surgeon, Prothodontist, DDS/DDM, Arabic as well as Urdu

I have significant experience as a Dental Surgeon, General Dentist and as a lecturer in Prosthodontics. This experience has been gained in Pakistan, the UK and Saudi Arabia over nearly 10 years since qualifying. Prosthodontics has become a passion because of the technical challenges it presents along with the opportunities to radically improve lives by improving facial and dental aesthetics, dietary choices and improvement in speech. I am also very excited by the rapid advances in techniques and materials in the specialty. It is my goal to acquire the skills, knowledge and experience to enable me to be a part of future advances while working as a Consultant and sharing my passion and expertise with students in the specialty.  

During my training, I assisted at a number of ‘Dental Camps’ in rural areas of Pakistan. These were highly rewarding, instructive and inspiring experiences.  I was exposed to a very wide variety of problems at an early stage and, apart from the invaluable practical experience that I gained, I learned the vital importance of effective instruction in oral and dental hygiene. Seeing so many grimaces of pain turn into smiles of relief and gratitude, demonstrated that dentistry provides satisfaction that few alternatives can offer and I have never regretted my career choice. It is my intention to give some of my time and the benefit of all my skills to those who cannot afford to pay for them throughout my future career and to encourage others to do so.

I qualified from the prestigious University of Karachi Dental School in 2008, and undertook a twelve month House position that provided me with broad basic dental experience. From that point, I undertook a mix of practice and teaching. Always seeking to broaden my experience and pursuing Prosthodontic work where the opportunities to do so arose.  

At this point, I would like to explain the fact that a move to the UK to undertake a post-graduate course in Prosthodontics was curtailed because of a serious knee injury (from which I am now totally recovered). The fact that circumstances completely outside my control caused me to leave before completion did not diminish my great disappointment. However, I did learn much during my seven months in the program which is directly applicable to your own program and it also provided me with an insight into the dental environment of a third country. I also undertook a useful Prosthodontics research project the results of which were published.

The teaching opportunities were offered to me because of my technical skills and knowledge and, most importantly, an ability to communicate easily and effectively and I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. It is clear to me that there is a considerable ‘overlap’ in the skills that excellent teachers and excellent leaders possess. I have always carefully studied the techniques employed and qualities displayed by the successful teachers and leaders that I have met and always seek to emulate them. Apart, of course, from an excellent grasp of their subject, they have been approachable, amiable, supportive yet challenging and demonstrate flexibility and a readiness to test and, where appropriate, to embrace innovation.

I am aware that dentistry in general calls for excellent communication skills but that this is especially true in Prosthodontics where there is a need to explain complex treatments to patients in simple terms and to co-operate with other specialties to attain the optimum outcome. I also know that excellent planning is the basis of success. Clearly not every dentist possesses these particular skills and special characteristics which are vital for a Prosthodontist and I would not be making this application if I were not convinced that I do possess them.

I have worked in three contrasting dental environments and bring can bring insights from each of them. I have happily studied, worked with and treated people of many social and ethnic backgrounds. I am fluent in Urdu, Arabic and English and have travelled fairy extensively. I believe that it is important for a busy professional to have outside passions and interests. I love challenging physical exercise which I regularly undertake, especially running.

To summarize: I am an experienced dentist with significant exposure to Prosthodontic treatments to the extent that I have been trusted to lecture in the specialty; I am a diligent and amiable person who possesses the basic skills, knowledge and characteristics to excel, rather than merely succeed, in the program. However my main recommendation is a genuine passion for the specialty and a firm determination to achieve my goals for my own benefit and for that of my future patients and students.

Thank you for considering my application.

The Humanitarian Side of International Dentistry

International dentistry can mean a number of things, but it often means studying a program within a specific country so you can also practice there. For example, perhaps you´ve just finished your residency program in India. To be able to work within the U.S.A, you´d need to study on an additional program there to get your license.

There are number of reasons why you might want to do this if you have an interest in humanitarian dentistry.

Firstly, learning alternative ways of practicing dentistry in a foreign country can help you creatively solve problems better and work with dentists from abroad more efficiently. Perhaps you´d like to work in an NGO, where you´ll work alongside dentists from all over the world. New skills related to expensive, state-of-the-art technologies donated to the NGO could really help treat the communities you serve, for example.

Secondly, there are people in need all over the world, not just developing and emerging nations. You experience doing humanitarian work while or after you study could bring you great joy and help attend to some needy individuals in your study region or country.

Where to Study

Study allows us to gain skills we use to help others, but making the decision to study at a specific institution is a tricky one! It´s not to be taken lightly, but there may be a few programs that just seem to suit you.

If you´d like to study on a two-year program designed for international dentists, the Doctor of Dental Surgery degree program at The University of California San Francisco might meet your needs well.

The program admits 28 foreign-trained dentists every year, and begins in June. Students matriculate into the existing third year didactic and clinical rotations and they are fully integrated into the existing fourth year Comprehensive Care clinical programs in the second year.

Students also attend selected predoctoral supplemental academic and laboratory courses to satisfy educational requirements. Admission requirements include: evidence of a dental degree from a foreign country, a pass on Part I of the National Boards, three (3) letters of recommendation (dean, faculty & candidate choice), eligibility for appropriate VISA, and evidence of financial support.

Candidates must also take the TOEFL examination and achieve a minimum score in one of the exam formats. The TOEFL exam must be taken within two years of the application deadline for that year. For more info, go to the UCSF program page.

The University of Buffalo, The State University of New York, also runs an International Dentist Program. The University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine offers this program specifically for internationally trained dentists who seek to practice dentistry in the United States. The International Dentist Program lasts two years, starting in May with an intensive preparatory summer course.

Graduates receive a DDS degree and are then eligible to take the various licensure examinations given across the country. The School of Dental Medicine accepts 24 applicants to this program each year.

Volunteering

The need for dental services in regions where there are underserved populations is so great that demand for oral health care volunteers always exceeds the supply.

Once you have completed an international dentistry program in the U.S.A., you could take advantage of one of the several worldwide volunteer opportunities for U.S. and Canadian licensed dentists the ADA Center for International Development and Affairs and Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) collaborate to offer.

HVO is a private non-profit organization which aims to improve health care in developing countries through training and education. They emphasize teaching rather than service to build an ongoing capability that will benefit the population long after the volunteer has departed. If you´re interested, there´s a list of current opportunities here. The ADA have just announced the inception of the ADA Humanitarian Award. Yes, you could win it.

Global Dental Relief is another organization that helps dentists by organizing missions to many locations around the world. Here´s more information, on their website.

Himalayan Health Project began with oral health care in a remote Himalayan region, and expanded to encompass vision, women´s health and general health, offered at the Lamdon Clinic at Leh, Ladakh. If you´d like to volunteer in this region of the world, find out more through their site.

International College of Dentists

The International College of Dentists (ICD) is the world’s oldest and largest honor society for dentists™. Founded in 1920, the College currently has over 12,000 members, in 122 countries, who have been awarded the prestigious title of Fellow in the ICD. Fellowship in the College is extended by invitation only: a nominated dentist must pass a rigorous, peer review process leading to the recognition of the individual’s “outstanding professional achievement, meritorious service and dedication to the continued progress of dentistry for the benefit of humankind.”

There are sections all over the world, multimedia presentations and publications listed and outlined on their website—take a look.

There is so much you can do as a qualified, licensed, trained international dentist. But accessing the knowledge through a well-structured program and highly motivated teaching staff is one of the easiest ways to make quick progress and achieve lasting results in your career. If you´d like help writing a brilliant personal statement of purpose, please let us know.