Dental Article - What after BDS? The Way Ahead…
After finishing four grueling years of exams, vivas and traveling through the maze of undergraduate academic sessions, a young graduate reaches his first goal – internship. Enthusiasm and excitement about using the newly obtained knowledge abounds. Somewhere along the road attending conferences, doing hands-on courses, going for observation to senior dentists or working as an associate dentist at measly sums, he becomes aware of the world outside, the realities haunt. Expectations and contrast in comparison with his engineering and MBA friends earning 6 figure salaries are woefully highlighted. He gets disillusioned with this noble! And lucrative? Field of dentistry. Was it a mistake getting into this profession? How can it be corrected? The million dollar question comes up. What next?
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 refrain for him still remains – MDS….
He believes that a MDS degree will get him more patients, evidence notwithstanding. 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 management centre 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.
Other Options –
If pursuit of PG is not an option, he can always look at continuing dental education programmes 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. The requirements are cracking tough entrance exams, work experience and having plenty of money to sustain him atleast 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 servicing 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 reasonable guaranteed job, pay, accommodation and other benefits at subsidised 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 advisor).
The use of custom made mobile dental treatment vans is also going to increase in the future and may be an interesting option.
Thus, these are few options which he can adequately investigate and pursue for a promising successful career, while still in the field of dentistry.
Of course, the most convenient option is to marry a wealthy spouse.
Author's: - Dr. Rohit Shah / Dr. Sugandha Ghonasgi (Faculty - Terna College)