Welcome, We are back with a new story that will interest and motivate you to think out of the box when it comes to the question of What After BDS.
As the saying goes ” Winners don’t do different things, they do things differently “. We here at DentalORG.com try to bring to you real-life interesting stories about dental students/dentists who due to their hard work, wit, talent, and the capacity to think differently – have carved a different path for themselves and given a new answer to the question of What After BDS.
image credits: DentalOrg.com
The goal is to give you different stories so that you can learn from their experiences and move forward. Success is different for each individual.
Yes of course, as a student of dentistry we all want to complete dental education – complete BDS/Dental Graduation, and then MDS, have a stable job, and well-established dental practice.
However, it is easier said than done.
But once in a while, we come across a few dentists who take a different approach to achieving some of their other wishes and aspirations. They give complete new meaning to What After BDS. So the question is why do they do so?
They do so because many times it’s not so easy to start a private practice as it needs a lot of funding. Post-graduation also is not easy on the pocket (unless you crack a Govt. MDS seat). In such cases, a young dentist/health professional looks at an alternative that can provide financial as well as social stability.
So in this series of articles, we will look at stories of those dental students/dentists who deviated from dentistry (temporarily or permanently) into other career paths like civil services, army, fashion, MBA, aviation industry & entrepreneurship. This particular post covers the story of a qualified dental surgeon who after passing BDS decided to join the aviation industry and right now she is globe-trotting the world as an air hostess with an international flight carrier. I will hand over the article to her. Over to Dr.Rupam Sarita
Hi to all young dentists. My self Dr. Rupam Sarita.
I started my career as a dentist in 2011, passing out from one of the reputed colleges in India.
Being into health science wasn’t something I thought I would get into, but because I was a bright student in school and all cousins of my age had enrolled in the medical stream, I too followed them.
Like all dental graduates, after passing BDS I started planning my next move.
I was really confused about whether to start a clinic or go for MDS/Higher Dental Education. Private MDS was an option but it was very costly ( around 30 lakhs INR) and
“I was in no mood to put added financial burden on my parents. They already had spent enough on me.”
I am from a metro city in India. Opening a clinic in Indian metros is not so easy. In this highly competitive market of dental practice, for any new practice to stand out, it must be well crafted and demands a substantial initial investment.
There is a need for investment to get land (on rent) for the clinic plus the expenditure on dental chairs with good interiors.
This is one of the major drawbacks I was seeing in dentistry.
It’s extremely investment-oriented and time- consuming as a career.
I was seeing my friends in other streams drawing a salary and supporting their parents. This made me more frustrated about not being able to contribute financially to my family even after studying for so many years.
Not being able to earn properly was the one single most point that was hurting me. Also, the salary I was being offered to work full-time at senior doctors was embarrassing. I was shocked that they are undervaluing a young dentist so much.
Though I was very keen on starting a full-fledged dental practice, practical issues of finance was a major problem.
Every dentist will understand that setting up a dental clinic requires a lot of investment and I was not willing to put my parents on another financial burden when they were nearing their retirement.
In my mind, I was looking for options where I can earn a respectable salary for the time being that can set me up for the future. But for any medico and health science professional, moving out of the profession is not easy as the options are very limited. Every option starting from the dental clinic to higher education costs millions. And after 5 years of health education, changing the career path that needs additional sets of qualifications/skills, is not easy.
In short, I was going through a great phase of confusion and uncertainty. This was all happening right after BDS / Dental Graduation.
“So what else could I do ?”
One thing that always interested me was traveling and visiting new places. I always had a great curiosity to know the details about different places and countries.
After school, I appeared in an interview for a flight attendant without my parents’ knowledge but I did not succeed. The idea of being a flight attendant struck me during one of the flights I had taken during my school days. As I got into BDS, I was fully into dentistry. However, in my current state of career confusion after BDS, the thought of trying in the aviation industry came up again.
I was always in love with the idea of traveling, exploring new places, looking glamorous on your job, and getting respect and salary for it.
After completing college I worked as a dentist for 6 months. Though I was happy with my dental career, my passion for traveling on the job was still bright. I was aiming to start my practice, however, there were financial issues. At that juncture, an interview with Jetways Airlines came up. I saw the ad while browsing the internet and applied for it just like that without much serious planning.
They were recruiting new flight attendants and air professionals. The child in me surfaced again and I went for the interview very casually without many expectations. To my surprise the company’s human resource dept. was enthusiastic about well-educated trainees from medical/dental backgrounds joining the airlines. I got through the selection process.
What I was trying to DO was very different from the conventional way!
I was in a way going in a complete opposite way to what many of my friends and dental students were doing.
My family did not agree initially. But the way I saw it was different.
Dental degree, I had it with me. I can always and any time come back to my dental practice. Also, age was on my side. I was just 22 years old and I had enough time with me to plan and go back to my dental career. So, I felt it is the perfect time for me to venture into something that I always wanted to experience. I was getting the chance to fulfill my dream of jet setting the world free of cost, getting paid for it, and a chance to get global exposure & experience. So, I accepted the offer to make the child in me happy for some time 🙂
It’s been 2.5 years now as a professional flight attendant. I started as a trainee and today I’m flying as a lead cabin attendant waiting for my upcoming promotion to an administrative position. Along with a good pay package, I enjoy perks like staying at 4/5 star hotels, discount tickets for me and my family, overseas shopping, and multiple corporate benefits. To many people, this job might seem all rosy but there are days when I do miss dentistry. Each job comes with its own set of pros and cons.
Flying is a job where you don’t have weekends or weekdays, waking up at odd hours and irregular duty timings, whereas in dentistry you have restricted working hours. There are times when I have to be up at 2 or 3 am put on my makeup and leave at the earliest. That’s when I’m thinking about my college friends who must be sound asleep.
On-air I get to meet a lot of people, sometimes nice and sometimes not so nice, you have to take a lot of yelling from some annoyed passengers, and that sometimes really tests your anger management. But that is the same as attending to an annoying person or client in your dental clinic, to whom you are forced to talk smoothly for the sake of your dental practice.
Yes I do get to see a lot of celebrities as well, the best flight so far was a Chennai – Kolkata sector where I was flying with THE CSK Cricket team!!!!!!….. meeting Dhoni was a dream come true….:))))
In dentistry, you’re the boss whereas in flying the passenger is, and I hate the part where I am flying on national holidays and when your roster changes unexpectedly and you have already made plans with your friends and family.
However, the biggest gain has been financial independence. My work in the aviation industry gave me the much-required monetary strength which I was searching for. It was a proud moment for me to contribute financially to my family. I had great satisfaction that my parents did not need to spend further money on my education and practice. Initially, they were worried about the aviation job, but gradually they understood my point of view. I have already taken them on a complete world tour in two phases – entirely at my own cost. They are proud of me and I have emerged from the phase of self-doubt I was going through some time back in my career.
In the future, I would love to continue flying for the next 2-3 years, and there would be nothing like it if I get an opportunity to fly with an international carrier. Further, down the years as I boost up my savings I may like to enter the corporate hospital management sector. With that goal in mind, I have already taken up a distance MBA course. The aviation industry has boosted my skills in communication and made me a more confident person overall. I am sure these skills are going to help me when I decide to get back to dentistry or if I stay in the aviation industry after my upcoming promotion.
The 2020 scenario
Hope you gained some insights from reading my letter and experiences. I cannot say what worked for me may work for you too. With time the aviation industry has also gotten highly competitive. In the current COVID-19 Pandemic, most airlines are under a financial crunch. They have reduced the entry of freshers in cabin crew and reduced the entry salary too. But that’s the scenario in almost every job sector. But, we all hope that it will improve over time. If you indeed plan to explore the aviation industry like me, then do serious research, and gather all the necessary data such as airline details, recruitment advertisements, and interview materials.
Caution: Just as in health science, there are quacks, in the aviation industry recruitments also, there are many frauds operating. Do not pay money to anyone assuring you to get the job. The aviation industry is a multi-billion dollar job sector and the airlines select their new employees via proper assessment and interview.
I wish all of you … all the very best of success in all your en-devours.
Dr. Rupam Sarita
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I guess you had a good read. But what can you learn from the story? Let me summarize the information in a very simple way.
Once you get your BDS / MDS degree, it is forever and you are eligible to practice and work as a dentist anywhere and anytime (within your country). There are instances where many dental surgeons have gone into different professions. That happens either because they lost interest in dentistry or because of short-term financial goals that can help them in the future. So this can vary from one dentist to another.
No two dental graduates think alike. Each have their own passions and goals.
So before deciding on any career jump away from dentistry plan everything precisely. Ask yourself questions:
Are you really in need of changing your profession?
Do you have that dedication and interest to go into the new career?
Can the new profession help you financially in the way you hope for?
Does the profession require a long preparation phase?
There can be many such questions that you need to ask yourself.
For the author of the story, it was a way to change her profession to fulfill her childhood dream. The job also gave her the financial boost she was searching for. She’s doing well now financially and also pursuing a distance MBA with the goal of securing her promotion into managerial positions. Further, down the years, she may enter into the corporate hospital management sector.
” She took up the profession in the aviation industry as she did not want to put an additional financial burden on her parents by asking them for money for higher education or establishing a clinic. She wanted to do it on her own terms and with her own money.”
So currently she’s not only drawing a respectable package of salary (approx 1.5+ lakhs per month) but also traveling to different places in the world which she always wanted to as a child.
She also mentions the ” cons ” of the profession. There is always that need to look your best (even at odd working hours) and that can be very stressful. Just as in dentistry, in aviation hospitality also, one has to encounter some really snobby, annoying, and disrespectful consumers. In such a situation a great deal of self-control is required to smile and diffuse the situation. For dental graduates who really do want to take up aviation as an alternate temporary career option (particularly girls), a lot of information is already available online on how to start with an aviation career as a part of the cabin crew.
Please be careful about one thing: Never trust any random 3rd party claiming to get you a job in the aviation industry. Always research properly and contact the airline companies directly. There are many fraud agencies/individuals, who will claim to get you into the aviation industry. Be very careful of such people and agencies. Never fall prey to their tall claims.
Update: Its been almost 3 years since the author first wrote this article as she joined the aviation industry. The article was updated recently. She has taken many strides ahead in her new career. Currently, she is working for Emirates – One of the most prestigious and luxurious brands in aviation. She is drawing a very high salary as a senior flight cabin professional. She is pursuing a distance MBA with the goal of securing her promotion into managerial positions. Further, down the years, she has plans to enter into the corporate hospital management sector.
Well, that wraps up this article. Hope you liked reading the story of one more dentist who chose to take a path that is slightly different from what 90 % of dentists would have taken. However, never go by who is saying what, without any research. You may take suggestions and consult very close near and dear ones. But in the end, review all your options before deciding on anything when it comes to the decision of What After BDS?
If you want to know an ELABORATE explanation of What After BDS, then you will like to read the article below