Kimberly | future pediatric dentist

I have a lot of dreams, hopes, and wishes. I would like to be a dentist, an author, a tennis player, and a pianist. Although some might say this is a challenging list of careers, I believe I may have figured out a way to incorporate them all into my life. Until I go to college, I will focus equally on academics, creative writing, playing tennis and practicing piano. These skills help me to be well-rounded and may assist me in receiving scholarships for college, where I will pursue my career as a dentist.

My main goal is to be a pediatric dentist. Unlike many children, I have always had spectacular dentist visits featuring fake teeth that chomped fake foods, panoramic x-ray machines that orbited my head, and even videos that showcased germs that battled inside cartoon mouths. The medical language my dentist and his nurses used fascinated me so much that it made me wonder if they were speaking a different language. As I grew older, I began to understand some terms here and there, and it made me want to learn more. Going to the dentist's office was an exciting experience, and I want to be able to create that for others. In the talented and gifted program we get a lot of opportunities to work with students who are younger than we are and helping them always brings a smile to my face. Putting the two together, seems like a natural match.

I will continue to keep my athletic and artistic passions as hobbies until I have reached my career goal, and will incorporate them into my profession. This way, when I have established my pediatric dentistry practice, I can spend more time developing them too. Who knows, I may even write a children's book with piano songs about going to the dentist.

I have done research to find out what is required to become a pediatric dentist, and realize that I will need to not only pass many dental certification exams but will also need to have excellent grades and recommendations to get into a good graduate program. I have recently ordered a high school and pre-dental kit from the ADA website that will help me organize my classes. The first four years, in undergraduate school, I will obtain a bachelor degree in science. I hope to attend either UT or Rice and there I will be prepared for any medical field along with a pre-dental study. After undergraduate school, I will pass the DAT (Dental Acceptance Test) to gain admittance into four year dental school. The schools I would like to attend for my DDS (or DMD) are Harvard, Yale, or Stanford. At this point I would be a licensed dentist, but since I want to specialize in working with kids, I will have to take an extra two to three years of training to be certified in Pediatric Dentistry. In these two to three years I will learn about child psychology and how to make a child's visit to the dentist a magical experience, as my experiences were when I visited my dentist. I am sure my creative writing and piano playing will become quite useful for making the patients feel as welcome and comfortable as possible.

While conducting research on the requirements to become a dentist and the type of work dentists do, I came across an article from the University of Melbourne entitled, "Taking Dental Care to Vietnam." Dr. Robertson wrote that oral health was of the most overlooked health problems, especially in the rural villages of Vietnam. (Brumby 2012). Because my parents are refugees from Vietnam, reading this inspired me. In addition to giving dental care at reduced rates to those who need it most in my local community, I would also like to return to Vietnam and help those in need of dental assistance in my parents' country.

These plans might seem premature, but as Paul Watson said, "Follow your dreams and use your natural-born talents and skills to make this a better world for tomorrow."

Works Cited

Brumby, Elizabeth. "Taking Dental Care to Vietnam." Taking Dental Care to Vietnam. University of Melbourne, 7 Dec. 2012. Web. 22 Dec. 2014.

"Pediatric Dentists: Job Duties & Requirements." Education Portal. Education Portal, 2003-2014. Web. 22 Dec. 2014.

"Resources for Educating Prospective Dental Professionals." Resources for Educating Prospective Dental Professionals. ADA (American Dental Association), 2014. Web. 22 Dec. 2014.

"Follow Your Dreams Quotes." BrainyQuote. Xplore, 2001. Web. 22 Dec. 2014.

Kimberly's essay appears here as written, to preserve the young author’s unique voice and individual writing style. However, we have deleted personally identifiable information to protect the student’s privacy.