I vividly recall my interest in artwork as a child, playing with modelling clay in hopes of crafting something beautiful. I used to create small pieces of art by carving a bar of soap, such as a fish. Executing such patterns while concurrently employing my mind and hands both thrilled me and complimented my detail attentive persona. With a dream of carving a beautiful smile and to make a difference in someone’s life, I joined Sri Ramachandra University, a premier medical school in south India renowned for its dental program.
The initial year of my program exposed me to various facets of general medicine and its connection to dentistry. Classroom lectures opened my mind on the natural synchronicity of human body and taught me how oral tissues are influenced by systemic conditions. The extensive preclinical lab exercises stimulated and nurtured both my creative and artistic skills.
Following the footsteps of my grandmother, I started to read and scribe at a local school for the visually impaired. Volunteering at this school gave me an immense sense of gratification and a greater appetite to do more good to humanity. Ironically, the third year of my college had a broader focus towards community health. I participated in numerous health camps organized by my college, which were primarily targeted towards people of low socio-economic order. Though I was able to provide basic oral prophylaxis and treatment to most patients, there were those with special needs and complex medical histories who required special hospice. Conversing with such individuals helped build my character by listening to their problems and revealing the traits necessary to earn their trust. It was during this time my desire for a career in general dental health got cemented.
Whilst studying full-time, I sought internship under Dr. Arun Suraj under whom I later worked as a Dentist. These three years were invaluable in showing me the importance of teamwork and provided me insightful clarity into the real world problems in managing a practice, which are normally not discussed in textbooks. I thoroughly enjoyed working and interacting with the members of my clinic, boosting my confidence to interact with mature doctors.
To gain a deeper understanding of the nuances in running a successful practice, I embarked on research work to study the patient perception of professionalism in dentistry. Analysis of the data presented meaningful insights into aspects of dental health that were previously being...