Temple Pediatric Dental Residency Personal Statement

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Jennifer Hill, DMD
Chair

Pediatric Dentistry is an age-defined specialty that provides both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants, children, and adolescents, including those with special health care needs. The mission of Pediatric Dentistry and Community Health Sciences at Temple-Kornberg School of Dentistry is to offer access to care for children and to provide patients with outstanding care. Primary focus is care of the child, not the child’s teeth. Dental students provide children with emergency care and comprehensive treatment that includes diagnosis, prevention, restorative dentistry, pulp therapy, oral surgery, periodontal care, management of the developing occlusion, and behavior guidance. In a manner that respects cultural diversity, children and families learn about prevention of dental disease and the relationship between good oral health and good total health.

Pediatric Dentisty and Community Oral Health Sciences is staffed by Pediatric Dentists who are both academically outstanding and clinically superior. All faculty have extensive experience in the care of children and are strongly committed to educating dental students to provide children with comprehensive dental treatment that includes attention to the child’s psychological and emotional well-being. Pediatric Dentistry and Community Oral Health Sciences is committed to working with the Temple community at large to helping the community offer their children a healthy future.

Project Engage

Residency Program DPH

Center for Public Health Research

Pediatrics is all encompassing.  It is a field whose definition of quality care expands beyond office visits and parental counseling, to a career focused on patient advocacy.  Pediatrics is a field where learning and teaching are endless, so that each patient brings new experiences.   As far back as elementary school, when my aspirations changed from President of the United States of America to Veterinarian as quickly as every two weeks, I can remember my mother always reminding me that the goal of a career is finding something you love doing, so that getting paid becomes a perk.   Later in life, I found my favorite author, Maya Angelou, who has never ceased to inspire, and her words above remind me of my Mother’s life lesson.

 

I have always enjoyed working with children and spent the majority of my service and leadership activities working with youth of all ages.  Third year of medical school has been such a wonderful sampling of clinical experiences, and although I had an idea that I was interested in pursuing a career in pediatrics, it became very apparent on my first few weeks of the pediatric clerkship that it was a perfect match.  After full days of floor and clinic work, evening and night calls, I realized that day after day I wasn’t going home drained and tired, but full of new knowledge, stories if interactions with patients, and plenty of topics to research.  The time at the hospital passed by effortlessly and at each day’s end, a smile was left on my face with motivation to meet the morning’s challenges.  I am a student, a teacher, and an advocate for others.  Medicine is full of questions with yet undiscovered answers, but the academic setting of learning by doing and from those with experienced perspectives is inspiring and something I hope to be a part of for life.  The team approach to pediatric medicine and the broad scope of possibilities is what I find most appealing.  I want to teach my patients and their families and will always expect to learn something new from them.  Working with youth is an opportunity for healing, creativity, and becoming part of an individual’s support system and growth.  In medical school I expanded my involvement in leadership and community service with a student-run free clinic administrative role, which provided the chance to view community health issues from a provider’s prospective.  Writing curriculum for and piloting a healthy lifestyles youth program was an avenue for inspired passion from a small-seeded idea at a first-year medical school conference.  Pediatric medicine, I am certain, will continue to provide ample opportunities for motivation and advocacy.  I am looking for a path that challenges, encourages, and allows for a wide array of opportunities.  My drive and dedication are balanced by genuine passion for my chosen career.  I hope to work hard and as Maya Angelou states, “become truly accomplished”, for no other reason than because I love what I do.

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