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

Updated: 1 day ago

A dentist from Saudi Arabia, since 2016 I have been working towards certification in Periodontology at XXXX University. I hope to continue to study towards the MPH Degree at XXXX University after completing my studies at XU. XXXX University is my first choice among Master’s Degree programs in Public Health for several reasons, including the location and 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 particular attention to the underserved, generally foreign guest workers, most 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 to prioritize community service very early on. I was also trained from infancy to study hard and excel in school and 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 Ph.D. in Public Health from Johns Hopkins in the 60s and distinguished 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. He serves on the KSA’s First Consultative Council, helping determine health care policy. My grandmother, a former teacher for special needs students, has been dedicated to supporting worthy causes in the community since her retirement. Both of my parents graduated from McGill University’s Medical School.

My mother is a Nuclear Medicine Physician and a leader in promoting community wellness activities, working closely with cancer foundations, cardiac societies, and osteoporosis health awareness campaigns. My father, a Pediatric Gastroenterologist, is very active in promoting health awareness at the ARAMCO health services centers and with various public health awareness and disease prevention campaigns. In addition to my parents and grandparents, I have also had numerous, long discussions with my stepfather, 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 ex-pats in the Saudi workforce 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. Her articles and thesis were other frequent discussion topics about public health around the dinner table of our close-knit family. Even most of my uncle's aunts are healthcare professionals. I am especially pleased to have spent my early childhood in Canada, where I learned English with Canadian children, before moving back to Saudi Arabia and living in the Saudi ARAMCO community, where my predominantly English-speaking classmates and playmates were from all over the world. I have also spent extended periods in various foreign countries, including much of the Middle East and the UK.

By the time 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, the regions 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 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 I will need to exercise leadership in public health development.

I want to help implement disease prevention programs in the KSA, allowing us to avoid massive costs for our society down the road, mainly due to 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 Saudi patients' holistic needs and overall well-being, helping build bridges and coordinate efforts between private and public health care sectors. I reviewed and reflected on scientific research and public health initiatives throughout my dental school and residency years. I have enjoyed studying different countries' health policies to streamline and improve access to health care.

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

Thank you for considering my application to study for the MPH Degree in Public Health at XXXX University.

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