Author Archives: Brian Koo

Cover Letter for Enhanced Smiles

Dear Selection Committee,

I am writing to express my immense interest in the student internship position available at Enhanced Smiles Dentistry.  Given my past experience at another dental office during high school, I would appreciate your consideration for this position.  Enhance Smiles Dentistry is considered a great dental office I would greatly appreciate being able to intern here.

I was introduced into dentistry during my high school career.  At Highland School of Technology, there were different pathway career programs you would partake in during your four years in high school; I was blessed with the opportunity to be a part of the amazing dental program.  During my time up to college, I grew a greater interest for dentistry through different volunteering opportunities and community service.  I now attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and am working to major in Biology (B.S.) and minor in Chemistry.  Along with this major and minor, I am on the Pre-dental track in order to attend dental school upon graduation in 2019.

As for my skills and past experiences, I have done extensive amounts of volunteering and community services all relating to dentistry.  I have had the opportunity to serve in two North Carolina Missions of Mercy (NCMOM) clinics in Gastonia and Charlotte.  During these two volunteering times, I was assigned many different tasks in order to allow the clinic to function smoothly.  For example, I was tasked to only allow a certain amount of patients into the clinic at a time.  As soon as they were in, my objective was to collect information on all of the patients and assign them where to go within the clinic.  Once these tasks were completed, my new assignment was to assist the volunteering dentists at their respective stations of either restorations or extractions.  These different experiences show that I am more than capable of handling patients of all kind and assisting dentists on simple restorations and extractions.

Along with my volunteering at NCMOM’s, I have interned with a dental office before.  I have had positive feedback from the dental office for I always arrived at the office on time, came with a positive attitude, and completed all tasks that had been given to me.  Since this is a student internship position, I feel I am a great candidate and will be an excellent choice for it.  This internship will not only allow me to hone my skills in dentistry, but will further increase my passion for dentistry.

Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.


Brian Koo
(704) 898-7291
555 Paul Hardin Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Enhanced Smiles Internship Profile (Brian Koo)

Finding an internship in the dental field is difficult. Most dental internship positions are only available to graduated dental school students. For undergraduate students, positions in the front desk of a dental office are the only opportunities available. Luckily, Enhanced Smiles offers a position for undergraduate college students to perform as a dental assistant and office assistant. The whole purpose of this internship is to better allow students truly understand dentistry and to gauge if the student is right for the dental world.

The primary goal in this internship will be to better my understanding in the dental world. Having already experienced a dental internship during my high school years, this will further improve my knowledge and hone my skills that are needed to become well experienced in dentistry. Some daily duties would be shadowing the dentist, Dr. Pham, taking X-rays to help hygienists and dental assistants, and help out at the front desk when patients arrive for their appointment.

Some general requirements for this internship will be that I have to be currently enrolled in a college and also have a high school diploma. In order to be able to take X-rays on patients, I need a radiation certificate from the Dental Program at Highland School of Technology (which I already have received). Unlike my high school internship, this summer internship will be paid. I will be paid by the hour with a negotiable payment range from $9 to $12 depending on what my primary job in the office will be. The internship schedule is very lenient and easy to work with. It will start on May 23, 2016 and will last until August 5, 2016. Work hours will be from 8am to 5pm on Mondays through Thursdays and 8am to 12pm on Fridays.

This internship has a lot of credibility behind it because this dental office was partnered with my dental program in high school and the dentist also graduated from UNC Chapel Hill’s dental school. This internship, as stated earlier, will help me hone my skills in dentistry and further peak my interest in dentistry.

A True Best Friend

Brian Koo

Having a pet nowadays is a common thing in families all around the world.  One of the most common household pet is a dog and a common saying of dogs is that they are “A man’s best friend”.  Dogs are extremely energetic and will bring joy to anyone who sees them wagging their tail.  However, dogs can do much more than just simply be family pets; they can neurologically and physiologically affect how you react around them or around a certain predicament.

While the neurological reasoning behind dog therapy has not always been known, its therapeutic effect has always been prevalent throughout history.  Animal therapy, in records, originated from the ancient Greeks.  During these times, horses were used instead of dogs for the therapeutic effects.  Patients that were ill would ride on the backs of horses to raise their spirits and make them feel calm.  Both dog and equestrian (horse) therapy derived from animal therapy, but today, dog therapy is the most common in the world.

With anything in the medical world, there are always concerns and hazards that people are weary about.  For therapy dogs, the most common issues are whether they are properly vaccinated or properly trained to be an effective therapy dog.  There have been some opposition to the use of therapy dogs but for the most part, they are widely accepted throughout many hospitals.  These dogs are properly taken care of by their caretakers and are made sure they are well trained and properly vaccinated to insure the safety of both patient and dog.

So how does dog therapy actually work?  It is commonly known that the majority of people feel happy and gleeful when they are around a cute animal, but what truly allows dog therapy to be effective?  The answer is behind the different hormones released when a person interacts with a dog.  A study released by the Journal of Psychosomatic Research showed the different hormones released when a human and a dog interacted together.  It showed that hormones such as beta-endorphins and prolactin (these are released when a person feels stressed) were released similarly in both the person and dog.

The main difference, however, seemed to be the levels of oxytocin released in each.  This was noted to be much higher in humans after interacting with a dog.  Oxytocin (another type of hormone known as the “cuddle hormone”) is a great indicator of the neurochemicals measured for social attachment on animals.  This evidence showed why humans felt loved being around animals even if they were in a predicament.  As shown by the given evidence that oxytocin plays a huge impact on the effectiveness of dog therapy, there have been experiments conducted in different scenarios in order to prove that dog therapy is indeed effective and health concerns are the least of worries.

One experiment was conducted at Indiana University during finals week in both the fall and spring semester.  In order to prove that dog therapy was effective outside of the medical scenario, the university library was the chosen location for the therapy dogs to be at.  Hundreds of students came to the library during the week since they had to study for their finals.  To gather data, the students were asked questions before and after interacting with the therapy dogs.  From the 449 students that had taken part of the experiment, 93% reported that the therapy dogs had lowered their stress levels and made them feel a lot more relaxed.  These responses showed that the dog therapy had indeed de-stressed the students from studying for their finals.

A similar method of studying was done but in a medical scenario.  This study was conducted in a large urban teaching hospital in Irvine, California.  A teaching hospital is different from a normal hospital for it provides clinical education and training to future and current physicians, nurses, and other health professionals, in addition to delivering medical care to patients.  In this experiment, both patients and workers were surveyed in order to see if dog therapy was indeed effective.  The total number of patients and workers surveyed were 125 and 105 respectively.  From the patients, 96% of them agreed that the 30-minute dog therapy sessions made them feel relieved and calm for the first time ever since being entered into the hospital.  97% of the workers agreed that dog therapy helped the patients since they could notice a difference when interacting with them.  These high percentages from both studies showed how effective dog therapy really is in both the medical and non-medical world.

Overall, the use of dog therapy has been proven to be very effective with little to no repercussions on either the patient, worker, or dog-handler.  The universal response from studies and actual use of dog therapy has been very good meaning that dog therapy is beneficial.  People should enjoy their time with their dogs and utilize dog therapy whenever available because dogs are indeed a true best friend.

A True Best Friend – Query Letter

A True Best Friend

Brian Koo
555 Paul Hardin Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
February 3, 2016

Dear Ms. Sarah Boyd,

I am currently an undergraduate student at the University of Chapel Hill pursuing a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.  I have been doing research recently about the effectiveness of dog therapy and I found your request for an article that focuses on the interactions between humans and animals.  Given the fact that your journal is well credited and my research fits the request you are looking for, I deduce that this will go along greatly with your journal.

Having a pet nowadays is a common thing in families all around the world.  Whether it be a dog, cat, hamster, or fish, they are an important part of families.  One of the most common household pet is a dog and a common saying of dogs is that they are “A man’s best friend”.  Dogs are extremely energetic and will bring joy to anyone who sees them wagging their tail.  However, dogs can do much more than just simply be family pets; they can neurologically and physiologically effect how you react around them or around a certain predicament.

While the neurological reasoning behind dog therapy has not always been known, its therapeutic effect has always been prevalent throughout history.  Animal therapy, in records, originated from the ancient Greeks.  Patients that were ill during this time would ride on the backs of horses to raise their spirits and make them feel calm.  As time went on, different animals were used for therapeutic reasons.  Dog therapy was derived from animal therapy and has become the most common type of animal therapy in the world today.

From here on in the article, I will be giving the neurological and physiological effects of human and dog interactions and show how each party is affected by one another.  The findings are amazing because it shows why families will get so emotionally attached to their pets.  To further prove my thesis that dog therapy is indeed effective, I will give the results from experiments that were conducted on two different scenarios: one was at a college library while another was done at a hospital.  With all this evidence, my thesis should be proved by the end of the article.  Also, the title of my findings (“A True Best Friend”) should make sense to the readers.  I feel as if this read will not only be informative, but also interesting since the main focus is on dogs.

Thank you for your time and consideration.  I hope to hear back from you soon!

Brian Koo

How Effective is Dog Therapy? – Annotated Bibliography

Brian Koo

Willis, Debra A. “Animal Therapy.” Rehabilitation Nursing 22.2 (1997): 78-81. Wiley Online Library. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.

Animal therapy has been dated back since the early Greeks where horses were used to raise the spirits of people who had a terminal illness.  It has been shown over time that animal therapy is a common type of therapy that has been used all over the world.  Be it dogs or horses, these animals were used to help people feel better from having an illness or being in a state of depression.  This report gave the benefits of using animal therapy (not specifically to dogs but dogs were the main type of animals used) on patients at healthcare locations that treated diseases such as Alzheimer’s.  The results showed that patients who interacted with the therapy dogs on 30-minute sessions became more openly to the workers that were tended to them.  They started conversing a lot more with the workers who had stated before the treatments some patients would hardly ever speak.


“Consumer Health.” Pet Therapy: Man’s Best Friend as Healer. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.

This short article explains why and how dog therapy is used in the medical world.  It gives different examples of which type of patients would want to have dog therapy such as children who are having dental procedures.  The article also states the potential risks on having dog therapy and the biggest concern was sanitation.  It explains, however, that strict rules are enforced with therapy dogs to ensure they are vaccinated and well trained.


Odendaal, J.S.J. “Animal-assisted Therapy – Magic or Medicine?” Journal of Psychosomatic Research 49.4 (2000): 275-80. ScienceDirect. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.

Although this article from the journal is from 2000, the information is still relevant to this day.  A researcher wanted to find out the physiological aspects of humans and dog interactions.  There were 18 people and 18 dogs that took part of this experiment.  The experiment was not directly related to dog therapy but the results supported the positive aspects of dog therapy.  The results came to conclude that different hormones rose in levels in both humans and dogs such as beta-endorphins and prolactin.  Both beta-endorphins and prolactin have been shown to be released at higher levels when a person feels stressed.  However, the main difference between the hormones levels were the results of oxytocin.  It was significantly higher in humans after interacting with their dogs.  Oxytocin usually is a good indicator of the neurochemicals measured for social attachment on intraspecies basis.


Nahm, Nickolas, Jill Lubin, Jeffrey Lubin, Blake K. Bankwitz, McAllister Castelaz, Xin Chen, Joel C. Shackson, Manik N. Aggarwal, and Vicken Y. Totten. “Therapy Dogs in the Emergency Department.” Western Journal of Emergency Medicine. Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Irvine. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.

A study had been conducted on patients at a large, Midwest, urban teaching hospital.  Patients and workers were both given surveys to fill out after therapy dogs were brought into patients.  The article clearly explained that patients who were in critical condition were not conducted in the study.  The total number of patients and workers that the survey was given to were 125 and 105 respectively.  The data gathered showed that 117 patients and 100 workers agreed that therapy dogs helped deal with the anxiety and stress of being at a hospital.


Jalongo, Mary R., and Theresa McDevitt. “Therapy Dogs in Academic Libraries: A Way to Foster Student Engagement and Mitigate Self-Reported Stress during Finals.” Public Services Quarterly. 7 July 2015. Web. 24 Jan. 2016.

Stress is a common reaction to a student when a major test or project is coming up.  This article went on to explain why there should be therapy dogs and show the results of experiments that were conducted at a college library.  The library was at Indiana University and the first experiment was conducted on December 2014.  The reason why this month was chosen was because it was the start of finals for the fall semester.  It was perfect since there were many students at the library studying.  This allowed the students to interact with the therapy dogs and this raised publicity for the dogs throughout the campus.  The same experiment was repeated in May 2015 which both produced similar results of students reporting that they enjoyed the therapy dogs and feel a lot less stressed out from worrying about their finals.

Never Look Down Upon Anyone

People who have mental disabilities should never be looked down upon.  These people were looked down upon in early times for having different physical features and lacked some types of communication skills.  However, what some skills these people lacked, they had an advantage at other skills such as memorization of musical tunes.  Some of these people were greatly recognized for their skills and made the way the public bundled them to the term “idiots” highly offensive.