Preface to this story:
Hi there, Myself Don:) … The story you are going to read is an interesting one. At least that’s what I feel. It is the story of a young dentist covering the period from 2004 and beyond, since the day he started his journey in dentistry.
It has been 6 years since this story was written. In that time dentistry has changed a lot and I have also gained some experience in many aspects of dentistry. In the last slide of this story, I have provided a list of the articles that will help young dentists immensely. Do not forget to check out those articles.
If you are a dental surgeon then this real-life story will take you on a journey called dentistry. It is nothing short of a great big adventure in a safari and you are the hero or heroine of this adventure.
In general, you will find many valuable points that can be useful to your career and practice as a dental surgeon. I have learned these points over the years by trials and errors.
As the editor of DentalOrg.com, I keep publishing articles on various aspects of dentistry in the hope that it makes the professional and personal lives of young dentists easy and also motivates them to go a little further in the changing scenarios of Dentistry.
This article was the 1st official post at Dentalorg.Com. The website was released on September 16, 2010. I had made the site but was not sure what I should write about in the first article. Lots of topics came to mind.
But finally, I chose to write about the emotional quotient of dentistry as a career and life.
Have you ever pondered on one fact! We all do different jobs. We all have been segregated into different classes, religions and educational qualifications. We have been categorized into so many sections of society however, we all have the same needs and requirements.
We all aspire for money, family, security, love, health, and care.
I first wrote the story on September 16, 2010 (my internship). So much has changed in dentistry. Some good days, some bad ones and some really hilarious ones. This story has also evolved with time. Therefore, I regularly keep adding to the story with the aim of sharing all the new experiences in the journey called Dentistry.
You will find separate sections of the story, each dealing with a particular phase of being a dental surgeon. The experiences shared are applicable to that particular phase within which it is mentioned.
The day I wrote this story was one of the funny days in dentistry.
P.S: The story ends in a marriage (imaginary) 🙂 … The real marriage is yet to happen:)
I am just re-posting the story for the docs who missed it the first time.
Chapter 1: SEPTEMBER 16TH 2010
The Journey from BDS 1st year to Internship &
The Day I Completed My Internship
The real story for a dental graduate starts on the day he/she completes Internship and for the first time gets exposed to the tough competitive world of professional dentistry. Also, one of the major side effects of completing dentistry is Getting Nostalgic about “How I jumped into dentistry, swan across the tide, dived deeper into the water and finally came out as a newborn into the World of Professional Dentistry.”
The following story is completely true as well as a little false at the same time.
But the story is dedicated to all the guys & gals doing Dentistry. It’s a salute to their foolishness, smartness as well as struggle.
But does it have a happy ending ? !!!!!
Ok! enough blabbered! Jump into the story guys.
This story follows a certain period of time in the life of our protagonist or a hero called Don – the Dentist.
(Well readers can put whatever background music they want while reading the 1st line ! … I say what about a Rajnikant background score !! ) I have completed my entire BDS & MDS in Tamilnadu and am a staunch fan of Rajani Sir 🙂 … Yenna Rascala !!!! Mind It !!! 🙂
One fine day after 12th exam, Don sat down and thought what next. There was a lot of pressure on him to join medicine. But since he couldn’t get the cut off for medicine, he accepted whatever remaining came to him….. i.e. … BDS.
But in a way, he was happy as he thought that BDS/Dentistry will be relatively easier with less burden and also he will start earning soon.
If you want to know in detail, how I came into dentistry, you can read the article below. Its funny and I feel many of you would have entered into dentistry in the same fashion. (The story will open in a new tab)
Frankly speaking … In my school days all I ever wanted was to do something in the field of technology. May be it engineering, software or graphic designing. Though there were doctors in my family, but I never felt inclined to it. I bought the first computer latter than any of my friends.
After finishing four grueling years of exams, vivas and traveling through the maze of undergraduate academic sessions, the young graduate reaches his first goal – internship. Enthusiasm and excitement about using the newly obtained knowledge were at the peak. He was ready to carve a piece for himself in the professional world of dentistry.
Somewhere along the road attending conferences, doing hands-on courses, going for learning to senior dentists or working as an associate dentist at measly sums, he becomes aware of the world outside. The financial and professional realities start making him think more and more.
Expectations and contrast in comparison with his engineering and MBA friends earning 6 figure salaries are woefully highlighted.
When his friends and some of his cousin brothers and sisters have already started earning, Don is still slogging day in college and night in a seniors clinic with a paltry sum. What an irony !!!
He gets disillusioned with this noble job! And lucrative Field of dentistry !!!
Was it a mistake getting into this profession?
How can it be corrected?
The million dollar question comes up.
Many questions start haunting Don’s mind.
This is an issue faced by the majority of young dental graduates in the present day. Completing the herculean dental surgery curriculum is itself a big task. However, there is no breather after such a long fight. As soon as the internship ends (or even before that) the young dental surgeon is now faced with a long list of Challenges.
Read this article to know about all the practical professional challenges waiting for a young dental surgeon.
What’s Next? Where To Go From Here?
How Will My Future Shape Up As A Dentist Compared To Others?
Questions, questions & Lots of them ….. but no easy solution.
See Next Slide to Know What Happened Next
What are the Choices the young Dentist had?
… See Next Slide …
The most obvious choices are Private Practice or MDS
Almost all dentists aspire to have their own clinical setup with a flourishing practice someday.
Opening a new, fancy clinic in an upmarket locality requires a lot of money to purchase/rent a place and buy the latest equipment/ materials. Successful practice depends on his ability to keep maintaining his patients happy and satisfied by giving the best treatment at reasonable rates and maintaining excellent social and cordial contacts for community-based practice is here to stay.
However, the most common way for Don still remains – MDS …
- He believes that a MDS degree will get him more patients, but there is no grantee as securing high earning practice always takes a period of incubation.
- Although Indian patients are gradually moving towards specialists for their dental treatment, that may not be the primary criteria.
- The confidence gained during MDS is a definite advantage. In towns or Tier-II or Tier-III cities, he could open and manage a dental multi-specialty center having all dental consultants under one roof.
- He stands a chance to get recruited by many pharmaceutical companies including implant, oral hygiene, and regenerative material companies for their research activities and clinical trials. Also, he can be a consultant to various clinics.
- The doors of academics also open up to him, thereby assuring him of a job, with a definite source of income.
If he is looking for an affordable MDS degree, he may consider countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Russia wherein his cost of education would reduce tremendously.But degrees from those countries are no more directly accepted in India.
So it’s always better to do MDS in India if you ultimately plan to settle here only.
Either through the entrance exams (that again is sometimes as easy as climbing to the top of the Everest !!!!)
So option left is to do the MDS in a private college to avoid wasting years of career again. And considering he has right people in right sources getting a seat in a private college shouldn’t be that difficult.Hopefully.
Update: If you are a dental student in India in 2017, then now even for a Private MDS Seat, you need to clear a centrally held All India Exam (NEET).
So, Buckle up and qualify the NEET to have any chance of doing MDS.
But is MDS is the Only option?
Are there any other options available?
… See Next Slide …
To know more about the story
Other Options for the young dentist
- If the pursuit of PG is not an option, he can always look at continuing dental education programs to enhance and update his clinical skill, knowledge and learn new treatment modalities to be incorporated in his clinical practice.
- He can also look to settle abroad in either of the developed countries like US/UK/Australia/Canada. An initial period of struggle is required but the returns are enormous. Positions are also available in other countries, but information regarding that is limited. And Don doesn’t want to leave India. If you have dreams of settling abroad as a dentist then be ready to work hard and spend some money. It’s not that easy. So, think 100 times before you decide. The requirements are cracking tough entrance exams, work experience and having plenty of money to sustain him at least initially, followed by a presumably well-paying job in a hospital.
- He may also consider the field of knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) which involves interpretation of his dental knowledge and providing service to potential patients abroad or in India through the means of Internet or voice based calls.
- The armed forces have always come to the rescue and provided solutions to almost every problem in India. Being part of the prestigious armed forces as a dentist/ specialist by clearing their entrance exams involves service to the nation by taking care of the oral health of army jawans, with a guaranteed job, pay, accommodation and other benefits at subsidized rates.
- He can also look to take up a job in a government hospital or private hospital wherein dentistry is becoming increasingly important. Alternatively, he may look at courses like Public Health (for WHO related jobs), MBA (for managing a hospital) or PGDMLS (for becoming a medico-legal adviser).
- The use of custom made mobile dental treatment vans is also going to increase in the future and may be an interesting option.
- Some of the options are exclusively related to what are your goals for the future. Some of the functions can act as an adjunct to your private practice. But these options cannot be a standalone career option.
- But, Don realizes that the most stable option is still getting into MDS and joining as a staff after the course completion.
With times, things are changing and with that, the options available for a career in dentistry are also changing.
An option that may be workable now, might not be so workable in a year from now.
But still, the most workable solution for Don seems to be MDS, Private Practice and Job as a faculty in a Dental College.
Of course, the most convenient option is to marry a WEALTHY SPOUSE !!!
What ! Marriage & Me !!!? Of COURSE !!!
Dr.Don (A Happy Dentist) MARRIED + MONEY
Mrs.Don (A happy dentist’s wife) MARRIED AND LUCKY TO HAVE
DR.Don AS HUSBAND 😛 😀 :O
Welcome to my marriage … And Am getting so much out of this marriage that being an MDS for 40 yrs can’t get me + a beautiful wife I love.
So, my friends …. all stories have a chance for a happy ending, just like the story of Dr.Don the dentist !!
“ONCE A HAPPY DENTIST, ALWAYS A HAPPY DENTIST “
Disclaimer – The wealthy spouse part is just for fun 🙂
I can’t help but have a smile while re-posting the story. It has a nostalgic effect. It has been 4 years since I wrote it. So much has changed since that time in my career, life, and emotions. There have been good days and heartbreaking days. Reading this story was like recapping all that have happened in the last 4 years. I am about to finish my MDS in few more days. DentalOrg.Com is now 4 years old and has been of great help to students.
The journey to South India that started in 2004 is coming to an end.
I started from a small town of India and landed straight into the land of Movies, Information Technology, Hero worship, Idlis n Sambhar and Hard working people of Chennai (Tamilnadu).
I learned to stay away from home.
I learned to adapt and survive.
I learned new languages.
These 10 years have molded me into a different person.
But now its time to get back to the roots.
Whatever happened in all these years … am ready to leave all that behind and return to that one place we all look forward to – HOME and start afresh.
My ” Chennai Express ” started almost 10 years back 🙂 … Long before SRK thought of making Chennai Express. And just now I booked my flight tickets … back to my home … back where the heart is ...
P.S: For the record, the real marriage is still pending … whenever it happens you are all invited 🙂
(First Posted: September 16th, 2010, Next Edit: April 4th, 2014, Latest Edit: April 2nd, 2017)
It’s a funny story how a naive boy from the Eastern part of India got into Dentistry. It’s even funnier story of how he adapted to the life of a Dental Student and to South India. It’s the real-life “Chennai Express”. You can read the whole story here
Before you go, I want to share with you some of the most important factors on Dentistry that I have learned in all these years. These are some of the most important information that will help you in your dental career. No dental college will ever give you this information. But we collected these from the experience of some of the most experienced and successful dentists.
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