After graduating, I became a GPR resident at Al Karama Dental Center, which is one of the largest teaching dental centers in Baghdad. I was exposed to traditional orthodontics, modern technology, and the orthodontic management of pediatric patients with cleft lip and palate within an interdisciplinary team. I was also able to assist with many orthognathic surgeries in the OR. I was curious about the complexity of the cases and got impressed by the drastic transformation that can result from the treatment.
In September 2010, I started working in the main hospital based in Al Fallujah city, Iraq. Most of my colleagues quit their jobs because of the severe working conditions, but I remained focused on providing excellent dental care. The harsh working conditions did not deter my sense of inner peace but provided a greater meaning of giving health care for desperate, war-torn patients.
However, in 2011, the deteriorating political and social climate forced me to leave my family, country, and job. After securing admission at VCU School of Dentistry, my passion for community service led me to join different outreach projects in the U.S. In summer 2016, I went on a mission trip with the Christian Dental Society in Jamaica. I am proud of being part of the incredible team that provided thousands of patients with free dental care.
During my AEGD year at Detroit Mercy, my love for orthodontics solidified, and my fine-motor skills and knowledge of oral health improved. I met inspiring mentors that guided me to develop critical thinking judgment. They also inspired me with the skills required to diagnose and treat plan cases accurately. I found myself looking for opportunities to engage myself in learning more about my specialty. I started shadowing Dr. Al-Qawasmi in Detroit Mercy Orthodontic Department and at his private clinic. The uniqueness of each case inspired me. Gradually, you connect the bits and pieces of gathered information, and as the problem becomes more apparent, you start to envision your ultimate goal. From the possible available approaches of treating a patient, you pick the best that suits your plan for execution. During that time, I was moonlighting at the Children Health Center in Detroit. I enjoyed restorative, extraction and space maintainer treatment. It reaffirmed my desire to be an orthodontist as I discovered how much I love working with children and providing care to impoverished youths. I naturally connected with them and built unique relationships with these children. Besides, I was able to shadow Dr. James Stenger at their craniofacial orthodontic clinic where they treated varieties of cleft lip and palate.
After graduating from AEGD in 2017, I started working with Family Dental group in Grand Blanc, Michigan, where I am practicing all aspects of general dentistry including Invisalign treatment. I often detect children with oral habits and do recognize specific dentofacial abnormalities that I consult with our orthodontist, Dr. Delgado, to coordinate oral care. I realized that working as a general dentist will make me a better orthodontist. Dr. Delgado and my other colleagues often consult with me regarding their cases. Our patients are highly motivated despite the majority being teenagers or pre-teens, a stereotypically apathetic demographic. Besides, the punctuality and enthusiasm that patients display were welcome contrasts from the typical attitudes of patients that I treated in the general dentistry clinic. I knew that this was an environment in which I would thrive.
Although patient care is what drew me to dentistry, I soon discovered the pivotal role academic research plays in the field. My passion for self-improvement and continued learning led me to join Journal of Clinical Orthodontics. My passion for self-improvement and continued learning led me to join the Journal for Clinical Orthodontics. Also, I had the privilege of working with Dr. Al-Qawasmi on research called 'Evaluation of the Changes of Bone Height and Thickness of Mandibular Central Incisor after Fixed Orthodontic Treatment with Extraction Versus Non Extraction Cases'. This project allowed me to hone my ability to analyze data and think critically about existing literature. Besides, I worked with Dr. Maha on research called 'Rich Protein and Iga Levels as Salivary Markers in Association with Dental Caries'. The experience with these tasks will enable me to apply new insights to clinical practice.
This research experience has helped me to evaluate and determine what I want, which is a career where I build a good relationship with my patients and can see their growth as I treat them. To me, orthodontics is a true collaboration between art and science. It is gratifying to be in a profession that enables me to impact people's lives in such a positive and meaningful way. I feel honored that patients and parents put their trust in me. My obligation to them is crafting a healthy and beautiful smile, and work of art to be admired for many years.
All my life I have strived to be the best that I can be. I look forward to an excellent residency program that will allow me to mature into a responsible and competent orthodontist. I am confident thatmy appreciation for work ethic, dedication and commitment will guide me to be a good orthodontist.
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GPR Resident at Al Karama Dental Center: Experiences in Orthodontics and Orthognathic Surgery. (2023, Jan 03). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/gpr-resident-at-al-karama-dental-center-experiences-in-orthodontics-and-orthognathic-surgery
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