Interview with Dr Haima: "Having a Master’s Degree was my long standing dream"
It is a pleasure to feature an experienced dentist such as yourself in the Dental Tribune Middle East and Africa edition. First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself, what is educational background and your work experience, especially related to the UAE?
First and foremost, I would like to thank Dental Tribune Middle East and Africa and CAPP for featuring me in this edition. It is an honor to be interviewed by your global dental platform.
I was born and brought up in the UAE. However, I completed my BDS from The Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University in Chennai, India in 2008. And UAE being my second home, I simply knew I had to come back and offer my services to the people of this energetic country and so here I am, practicing as a General Dentist in UAE since 2011. I worked in Dubai for a couple of years, before moving to Abu Dhabi and have been practicing here ever since.
You have graduated from Restorative & Aesthetic Dentistry PG Diploma programme awarded by the British Academy of Restorative Dentistry (BARD), CAPP-Tipton Dental Academy and organised by CAPP in Dubai in February 2018. Can you tell us what was your experience from the programme and what exactly it consisted of? How has the programme helped you in your daily clinical life?
Being an ortho patient myself during my teenage years, I always had this constant wish to spread the joy and confidence one gets from fixing an unpleasant smile. That’s what made me decide to be a dentist. Few years into practice, I realized smile design is not simply about straight and white teeth. There are no quick fixes for giving patients a beautiful and sustainable smile. It involves a lot of planning as well as understanding and applying the science. Therefore, I started attending webinars and workshops regarding aesthetic and restorative dentistry. I realized I needed a long post graduate course, rather than attending random workshops.
Luckily, CAPP had launched the Restorative & Aesthetic Dentistry PG Diploma awarded by the British Academy of Restorative Dentistry (BARD) and CAPP-Tipton Dental Academy in September 2016. It was well organised and could be done alongside our clinical practice which was one of the highlights of the programme. Professor Paul Tipton, Dr Adam Toft and Dr Ashish Rayarel were extraordinary teachers and were the pillars of the programme.
The ‘why’ of what we do daily in our jobs was clearly unfolding with each module. There were 8 modules of intensive theory and practical hands-on training. The staff and professors were always kind and available throughout the course, fine tuning every step of our practical work. Last but not the least, we had the opportunity to use the latest dental materials and equipment available in the market. Every module was structured in a way that built on the previous one. I found that the concepts taught were easy to implement in our daily practice. I started planning my cases better no matter how simple they were, aiming for sustainability, which I discovered was what many patients these days required. I highly recommend the course for anyone wanting a comprehensive knowledge in aesthetic and restorative dentistry.
After completing the Restorative & Aesthetic Dentistry PG Diploma, you also applied through the Approved Prior Learning (APL) process via CoLDS, CAPP and BARD for a UK Master’s degree. Just recently you managed to complete with Merit the “Master of Science in Specialist Practice of Restorative and Aesthetic Dentistry” awarded by the University of Bolton. Could you share with our readers more details on how you achieved this and what was your overall experience? What is your advice to the dentists who wish to follow your steps and get this remarkable recognition?
Having a Master’s Degree was my long standing dream, which was difficult to achieve due to all my personal commitments. I was fortunate that CAPP & BARD teamed up with City of London Dental School (CoLDS) affiliated with the University of Bolton. All the coursework we did during the PG Diploma programme was considered as Approved Prior Learning towards the final degree. The Master’s program consisted of assignments and a final dissertation. There was a huge difference in the approach to education from the system I followed during my undergraduate studies. It was a big learning curve. My mentors Professor Stewart Harding and Professor Chitta Chowdhary were always approachable and helpful. The assignments prepared and taught me how to approach the dissertation. Hard work paid off. I was able to complete the Master of Science in Specialist Practice of Restorative and Aesthetic Dentistry with Merit and finally achieved what I always dreamt for. I discovered a whole new perspective into academic side of dentistry and it’s truly wonderful.
For all those who wish to pursue this programme, I assure them that you will be surprised of how much you can learn, even outside your topic of research.
You have been working in UAE for a long time. What is to your experience as a dentist in one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan countries in the world? How is the life in UAE in general?
The UAE is like a home to me. Working amongst such a diverse mixture of people is exciting and at the same time challenging. Especially, when you talk about dentistry – every community has their own understanding of what a beautiful smile is. Both the expats and locals are however equally welcoming and ready to accept change in order to do what is right for their teeth.
My practice has always had multinational patients and co-workers. I keep on learning – I get to know how treatment planning is done by dentists from different parts of the world and this is inspiring and truly a privilege. Life is great and ecstatic in the UAE.
Dr Haima, what are your hobbies and what do you like doing in your private time?
When not at work, I enjoy baking for my family. I am not much into outdoor activities, but I do enjoy cycling and yoga. If time permits, I like to watch TV.
It was a real delight to have you with us on the Dental Tribune Middle East and Africa edition. Thank you very much for the informative and interesting interview.
For more information about the Restorative & Aesthetic Dentistry Certificate & Diploma visit www.cappmea.com/capptipton or call/WhatsApp +9715278423659