Saudi Periodontist, MPH Degree, Oral Public Health in the KSA for the Underserved, Foreign Workers

A dentist from Saudi Arabia, since 2016 I have been working towards certification in Periodontology at Boston University and I hope to continue to study towards the MPH Degree at Johns Hopkins University after completing my studies at BU. Johns Hopkins University if my first choice among Master’s Degree programs in Public Health for several reasons, including the location, but most of all the sheer excellence of your program. Earning the MPH will enable me to assume greater levels of responsibility and exercise my leadership skills upon my return to Saudi Arabia, contributing to the development of initiatives to improve access to oral health care in the KSA, for guest workers as well as citizens of the Kingdom, with special attention to the underserved, generally foreign guest workers, many without adequate dental care.

I grew up surrounded by role models in the health professions. Born into an extended family mostly of doctors and dentists, I learned very early on to place a high priority on community service. I was also trained from infancy to study hard and excel in school as well as independent learning. Since adolescence, I have been aware of the exceptional quality and reputation of Johns Hopkins University since attending this university is a family tradition. My grandfather earned a PHD in Public Health from Johns Hopkins in the 60s and went on to distinguish himself as one of the leading professors of Public Health and Family Medicine in Saudi Arabia. A researcher and author in public health and health promotion, he hosted one of the few health education TV programs in the Middle East and served on the KSA’s First Consultative Council, helping to determine health care policy. My grandmother, a former teacher for special needs students, has been dedicated to the support of worthy causes in the community since her retirement. Both of my parents graduated from McGill University’s Medical School.

My mother, a Nuclear Medicine Physician and a leader in the promotion of community wellness activities, working closely with cancer foundations, cardiac societies, and osteoporosis health awareness campaigns. My father a Pediatric Gastroenterologist, is very active in the promotion of health awareness at the ARAMCO health services centers, and with a variety of public health awareness and disease prevention campaigns. In addition to my parents and grandparents, I have also had numerous, long discussions with my step father who is a Dentist with a Master’s Degree in Health Policy and Population Studies. We have visited a wide range of topics relevant to public health over the past several years: population pyramids and health policy planning, life expectancy analysis and projections, health expenditure and outcomes, QALYs and DALYs, Total Fertility Rate, and the influence of socio-cultural factors on production age, equity and access to health care for citizens and expats in the Saudi work force who make up nearly a third of the population of Saudi Arabia. My sister earned a Master’s degree in health promotion from Griffith University in Australia, and her articles and thesis were another frequent topic of discussion about public health around the dinner table of our close-knit family. Even most of my uncles, aunts, and are healthcare professionals. I am especially pleased to have spent my early childhood in Canada where I learned English along with Canadian children, before moving back to Saudi Arabia and living in the Saudi ARAMCO community, where my mostly English-speaking classmates and playmates where from all over the world. I have also spent extended periods of time in a variety of foreign countries including much of the Middle East as well as the UK.

By the time that I had finished dental school, I knew that I wanted to develop a lifelong professional focus in the areas of Periodontology, Implantology and Public Oral Health, ther areas in which I have the greatest passion and in which I have been spending my free time reading for many years. I am very excited by the fact that oral and systemic related diseases can be prevented by proper public health awareness and early intervention starting from an early age based on periodic preventive checkups. Earning the MPH Degree at XXXX University will provide me with the support, logistics and advanced understanding of financial structures that I will need in order to exercise leadership in the areas of public health development.

I want to help implement disease prevention programs in the KSA, helping to avoid massive costs for our society down the road, especially as a result of chronic diseases such as diabetes, where invasive, costly, complicated and lengthy procedures could have been prevented. As a public health professional, I want to focus on the wholistic needs and overall wellbeing of Saudi patients, helping to build bridges and coordinate efforts between private and public health care sectors. Throughout my dental school and residency years I reviewed and reflected on scientific research and public health initiatives and have enjoyed very much reviewing the health policies of different countries seeking to streamline and improve access to health care.

I look forward to a full immersion experience in the MPH Program at XXXX University that will develop my analytical and methodological skills so as to better understand and contribute to research in epidemiology, along with the economic, political, and managerial aspects of health policies and programs. I seek a career in global healthcare management and leadership with a focus on the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, and most specifically my home city of Jeddah.

I thank you for considering my application to Public Health at XXXX University.

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