Recently, I applied to be a part of the dental shadowing program here at Texas A&M University, and I got in. This definitely increases my motivation and has inspired me to share the reason why I want to pursue a career in dentistry in the first place.
A portion of my life was spent in my home country, Nigeria. At the age of 10, my parents sent my sister—who was 11 at the time—and I to Nigeria to “learn and experience the Nigerian culture.” At the time, I thought this was complete nonsense, and thought “Why place me in a whole different country far away from my family and friends?” But, at the time I didn’t know that would be same thing that influenced my life forever.
There, I was exposed to many of the different hardships my people faced, unsanitary living conditions, inconsistent water supply, and lack of healthcare. With most of the country in complete poverty, healthcare was the hardest thing of acquire. Throughout the four years I spent in Nigeria, I noticed that I’ve never received any kind dental care and this especially surprised me coming from a world where six-month dental checkups were a must. And somehow I wanted that to change.
With my mom as registered nurse and my dad as radiologist technician, I always knew I wanted to someday be a part of the healthcare field, but I never knew in what way I could be of any help.
After seeing one of close cousins graduate from dental school, I thought why not change my surrounding by becoming someone who can actually influence it. There is my drive to become a dentist: to return to Nigeria in hopes of making dental care available to my people who need it.