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During my childhood, I spent most of my time creating shapes from clay, as I enjoyed paying attention to the most discreet of details. When I turned 5 years old, my mother gifted me a kit containing sculpting materials. At first, I did not show any interest in my new gift; however, it wasn’t long before sculpting became my favorite hobby. The art of sculpting enamored me; I became quickly immersed in the craft, using it as a channel to express myself to the world around me, developing my dexterity skills organically. As I got older, I registered in official sculpting courses & followed my passion for shaping objects, professionally. Since then, my spare time has happily been spent creating various sculptors, forms of art that I am proud of. Little did I know that my love for the art of sculpting would help me discover my true passion and calling in life: Dentistry.

At the age of 18, I achieved 457th place among 833,000 other competitors in the [name of university] entrance exam. Growing up in a family of medical professionals inspired me to start my medical education in Iran. It didn’t take very long for me to realize that becoming a physician did not instill in me the same passion that my dedication to sculpting did. My interest and talent in manual skills and passion for providing health services to the community instead drew me to the art of dentistry. I started shadowing a dentist to explore my interest. I observed dental procedures and became familiarized to the dynamic work environment of dental offices. Once, there was a child who came to the office with an abscessed tooth, crying of pain. His mother, distraught and concerned, pleaded with the secretary for an appointment. The secretory was busy helping other patients, and unfortunately was unable to tend to the situation at hand. The child’s face was swollen and he had difficulty breathing. I realized that we were in a critical situation and proceeded to inform the dentist. He immediately came to the patient’s aid and assisted him. The dentist calmly explained the situation and the procedure that he was going to perform, to both the child and his mother, providing them with some relief. I stayed with the patient and his mother during the dental procedure, providing emotional support. After the procedure was finished, both the patient and his mother appeared reassured and relieved. The patient approached me to say, “I have always known angels are real and you are one of them”. That was a precious and unforgettable moment for me; it taught me the importance of proper communication with patients and its impact on their respective experiences during their visits to dental offices. This shadowing during my first year of my medical education opened the door to a new world for me; I was able to find the field representing my true calling and passion in life. I was instantly excited to change the course of my life, embarking on this new chapter of pursuing the world of Dentistry.

When I arrived in Canada, I started shadowing a general dentist, [name of dentist] and an orthodontist, [name of orthodontist]. I was able to observe how doctors restore oral health, transforming the lives of their patients. Two years ago, there was a young child who came to [name of orthodontist]'s clinic with the hope of having his bite realigned. When I began conversing with him, I learned that he had been bullied at school because of the shape of his teeth which caused him to lose his self-esteem. When he first started his treatment, he was afraid of getting bullied because of his braces, but I listened to him intently, reassured him and let him know there was no reason to pay attention to bullies. Over the past two years, I have been able to see his progress and the final result was inspirational. He regained his confidence, acquiring the most beautiful smile.

After this experience and many other experiences shadowing dentists, I became even more motivated to pursue dentistry as my career. I learned that active listening and communication are essential in building trust, forming quality connections, and overall, becoming a compassionate, caring dentist. I know that this is my true calling in life and I would love to be a part of the positive transformation in people’s lives helping them achieve beautiful, confident, and healthy smiles.

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