Why did you participate in the volunteer activities you listed in the Clinical, Volunteer and Community Service section of your AADSAS application? What did you gain from participating in these activities? (Please limit your response to 500 words or less.)
Our world today faces health problems that easily spill across borders and are best alleviated through global thinking and cooperation. Throughout the world today, the lack of access to oral health care means that untold numbers of people endure ongoing pain. Many untreated dental problems deteriorate into periodontal disease, tooth loss, edentulism, malnutrition, and poor overall health and quality of life. Oral cancers are another significant concern, especially in countries with high tobacco use. As with global warming, so too with health issues, the world’s numerous nations are all in the same boat: We call stand to lose together, but we can also win together through informed, collective problem-solving. By working in JWCH, a clinic specifically designed for homeless and underserved population living on Skid row, I realized how a big part of our community lacks essential healthcare. We were also conducting research on the oral health of the homeless population. Our study centered on the high incidence of emergency visits in this population, which results from the lack of adequate personal and professional dental care and leads to escalating healthcare costs and creates an extra burden on the society.
Why and What. These are the two things asked. I’d consider (at least for starting off) an easy 2 paragraph structure, where the first paragraph answers why you worked in JWCH and the second answers what you learned from it.
I like the writing in what you have above, and it is a great starting point. I think the organization you worked for is fantastic and will work great for this question.
Why do you want to attend the Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health? (Please limit your response to 500 words or less.
“Because A.T. Still University (ATSU) believes the greatest challenges in healthcare are related to access, we’re guided by our mission to serve underserved populations. ATSU embodies the selfless application of healing knowledge to influence the altruistic caring and overall health and well-being of others.
ATSU’s Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-MOSDOH) aims to increase access to oral healthcare for Missouri’s most vulnerable populations by addressing the state’s critical shortage of dentists. Only the second dental school in Missouri, its goal is to graduate dentists who have an in-depth understanding of and a desire to become caring, community minded healthcare providers serving populations in need. ATSU-MOSDOH’s curriculum is integrative by interweaving core disciplines into the humans systems, preclinical, and dental sciences with a strong emphasis on the application of clinical medicine and clinical dentistry.”
Over the past year, while continuing my assisting work, I have redoubled my academic and community efforts to bolster my qualifications as a reapplicant. Earning my M.S. in global medicine, I learned how underserved populations can suffer problems such as periodontal disease, tooth loss, malnutrition, and poor life quality. Complementing my studies, I traveled with USC mobile dental clinics to Bakersfield and Montebello, where we held clinics in schools. I saw countless kids who had neglected daily hygiene for long periods, many requiring root canals and extractions. As I instructed kids on proper hygiene, I realized how a lifetime of good oral health can be established in childhood through education, prevention, and early treatment. Moreover, as a volunteer for JWCH dental clinic, I helped screen homeless patients, inquired about their oral hygiene and history, and assisted dental students during procedures. I loved this work because the fillings, root canals, extractions, cleanings, and dentures truly improved our patients’ lives. I was also excited about our research on homeless oral health. Prior to the clinic’s closure due to coronavirus, we had accumulated substantial data based on patient visits. I cannot wait to resume my research and work with needy patients.
The DMD program at MSDOH represents an ideal intermediate step between my graduate education and professional career. The program allows me to develop and build on my strength in the biological and physical sciences, including research and simulation clinic. I welcome the opportunity to undertake a research project under the guidance of MSDOH’s outstanding faculty. This research effort and the experience of completing a thesis will shape me into an independent investigator and scholar of the public health dentistry and sciences who can critically evaluate the latest evidence in the literature for the purpose of guiding choices in patient treatment and care. This program will enhance the breadth and depth of my science education, give me an edge as a dental student, and prepare me to be a wiser and better informed dentist who provides her patients the highest caliber of oral health care.
Missouri School of Dentistry, a well established, vibrant institution in the health sciences, will be a first-rate environment for the pursuit of my academic and professional goals (this sentence is clunky, consider shortening). Perfect class size and student-centered learning mean that students are actually able to work closely with the supportive faculty, benefit from their personal feedback and mentorship, and thrive in an academic setting that is responsive to our needs as students and future healthcare professionals.
What qualities of Penn Dental Medicine do you feel will help you achieve your professional goals and how? Please describe.
University of Pennsylvania has numerous qualities making it an ideal school for dental applicants.
- “A depth of comprehensive clinical experiences with a diverse patient base, instilling wide exposure to cases and care across specialties. Students begin gaining hands-on clinical experience the first year through a vertical clinical program, assigned to a primary care unit with students from all four classes and assigned faculty and continuing with that group through all four years of clinical training.
- Community outreach and service learning with oral health promotion and clinical care experiences in varied extramural settings, including international sites and many throughout Philadelphia.
- Hospital externships at a choice of sites throughout the country and around the world.
- Hands-on research opportunities in both the basic and clinical sciences, through the School’s Summer Student Research Program.
- Being engaged in the surrounding community and striving to make it a better place is a key piece of Penn’s mission and educational goals. Through the School’s varied outreach and service-learning programs, Penn Dental Medicine students provide much-needed oral health services to the community, while broadening their understanding of public health issues. These academically based service-learning programs provide students and faculty with the framework to complete community-based activities as an essential, required component of academic course work. In total, students log approximately 16,000 service hours each year in both required and elective community experiences and the honors program.
- This integral part of the curriculum takes students outside of the School’s clinics and campus to connect with diverse segments of the public and come to understand the impact of social, cultural, and economic forces on oral health care. The service learning programs are also an innovative and sustainable model for increasing access to care within the community and provides dental students and faculty with multiple opportunities to work with community partners in existing service programs where oral health education and services can be readily implemented. The required nature of students’ activities ensures that all students receive a consistent level of mentored community activities, and provides a consistent presence in oral health programs organized with agency partners in the community.”
Find something special or unique to the school, maybe a course or some department, and talk about how you really like that field.