1. Describe any practical or observational experience (paid or voluntary), including the amount of time spent, that you have had in the dental/health care field. What have you learned from this experience? How did it reinforce your career choice?
Being a dentist is almost a family tradition for me since both of my uncles are in the field. While growing up, I got to experience the advantages of dentistry first hand, noticing the easy time management and how much my uncles loved being able to help their patients.
I have recently been working personally in a dentist’s office in order to gain first hand experience. I wanted to find out the disadvantages to the profession and make sure that it would be a good fit for me. While there, I spoke with several of the dentists and all agreed that the field is not perfect.
One of the main concerns I developed is that, should I ever become injured or ill, there is no one to help pick up the burden and cover my appointments. One professional that I spoke with even mentioned that he does not even dare go skiing for fear of breaking an arm!
Additionally, as in any health field, there is a severe risk of infection. While I am aware of the use of universal precautions in order to protect both patients and myself, in this day and age it is not a danger to be ignored by anyone in the field.
After my experience, despite the disadvantages, the positives far outweigh the negatives for me. I enjoy very much the opportunity to help my future patients and I believe I will excel in the profession. I have worked very hard in life to get where I am and am looking forward to advancing myself even further and becoming a more fulfilled professional by joining this program.
2. Describe any barriers you have had to overcome in achieving your educational objectives and how you overcame these barriers. These could include any or all of the following: educational and economic barriers, or other hardships that you have overcome.
As a married man, my greatest barrier to school will be holding a job in order to support my family while still having the time to study and attend class. After much thought, I have determined that I can take three steps to allow me to balance my life. First, I plan to go to bed an hour or two later ever night and get up an hour earlier every morning. The house will be quiet during these times and this will allow me study time when I can be the most productive. Secondly, I will find a job which allows me flexibility in order to complete classes and get work done. Finally, I will, with assistance form my family, set aside time on the weekends for school. During this time, my wife will intercept any distractions, which will allow me the freedom to study productively.
3. Discuss one activity or experience you listed in your AADSAS application as a means of providing evidence of your leadership skills or self-initiative.
Several years ago, I owned my own construction company and I had seven employees who worked under me. The business was successful and despite the issues which generally arise out of any work environment, I never had any serious trouble with my employees. I believe that this was due, not only to excellent workers, but to my ability to choose such workers and keep them happy and working hard in their positions.
4. Discuss your contributions to your community. Focus on any special skills or insight you have gained or developed, and how this will influence your future practice as a dentist.
My greatest achievement as a volunteer was when I taught as a Korean language teacher on weekends. I have taught for five years and I never grow tired of it. Most of my students are elementary school age, second generation Koreans. I love their passion about their parent’s language and it is these children that made me decide to return to school in order to become a pediatric dentist.
5. Are you proficient in any language other than English (either written or spoken)?
I am proficient in Korean, both spoken and written. As mentioned, I have taught classes in Korean for 5 years, so my knowledge is academic as well as personal.
6. Please state briefly why you should be chosen for admission to the UCSF School of Dentistry over other applicants with similar experiences and qualifications.
I am incredibly passionate about becoming a dentist. I have given up much of what I have achieved over the course of my life in order to fulfill this dream. I am willing to work hard and understand that I will give up more before I am through. I am likely to be older than many of my fellow students, but I believe that my maturity will assist me through these classes, and in making the sacrifices necessary. I am not an incredibly competitive person, which some might consider a weakness, but I believe that this trait allows me to work more constructively with other people.
7. Please use this space to tell us anything additional that you believe is relevant to your application for admission.
There have been more than a few barriers in my becoming an applicant to this program, and I know there will be more before I am done. This is my dream, however, and I will not give up until I have finished my journey, no matter how difficult.
8. Re-applicants should use the following space to detail what steps they have taken since their last application to make themselves a more competitive applicant. All others should leave this space blank.
In order to improve myself for this program, I enrolled in a post-baccalaureate pre-health professional program though California State University. I have been to seminars and a dental school preparation program as well. I took additional science courses, such as a biochemistry and genetics, in order to give myself a better background before entering your program. I believe that these classes, as well as the time spent re-learning study habits and other important scholarly skills make me an excellent candidate. Additionally, I believe that the time and effort put into these programs provides further proof of my determination to do well.