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"The personal statement is important as a way
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Hamid Jahankhani, University of East London.

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Dentistry - Edited

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I am fascinated with dentistry because I love to network and build computers.

If I spoke these words aloud, many people would scratch their heads and appear confused. At first glance, this statement appears absurd. On a closer look, however, it makes perfect sense.

When I work on computers, I must operate within a tiny space inside a computer cache, taking extreme care to avoid damaging the delicate
equipment. As a dentist, I will also perform my duties within the smallest of spaces, using tiny instruments on fragile surfaces.

Of course, there is a crucial distinction between building a computer and providing dental care. While both fields allow me to employ my manual skills, only one has the significant interpersonal component that I seek in a career. While I am grateful to the computer technician who corrects glitches in my operating system, I have far more gratitude to the orthodontist who straightened my teeth as a child.

To glimpse the daily duties of a dentist, I spent this summer actively acquiring work experience in several branches of dentistry. For one month, I shadowed two dentists in general practice, both offering NHS and private treatment. I learnt to make dentures by working with my orthodontist for two weeks and spent several days observing activity at Orpington's Oral and Maxillofacial department. I also attended dental lectures in a Medisix course held at Nottingham University.

These experiences further convinced me that dentistry is the profession that correctly combines my mechanical aptitude with my desire for interpersonal interaction. Observing each dentist, I concluded that a common thread of skills united them all, regardless of their speciality: each dentist worked well on a team, exercised strong leadership skills and possessed the ability to communicate clearly and precisely.

Through my volunteer activities, I have learned to connect with people from a variety of ages and social backgrounds. Volunteering at a primary school, I used a soothing tone and simple vocabulary to put children at ease. While working at a home for disabled adults, I learned to gauge the emotional state of each resident and tailor my conversational style and content appropriately. For example, I discovered that thorough explanations often quelled the anxiety of those who appeared nervous about a medical or personal situation.

Having attained three gold certificates in the National Mathematics Challenge, I have the academic mettle to handle this demanding course. I also possess the flexible mind required to adapt to advances in the field. Whether earning a bronze medal in a national competition as a brown belt in karate or playing cricket for my sports team, I have readily embraced and excelled at new challenges.

Discussions with undergraduate dental students have only reinforced my decision to pursue dentistry. I embrace the opportunity to put my communication, academic and mechanical skills to use as I work to maintain the oral health of my patients.




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