Harpreet Thind

Harpreet and Akhil
Harpreet with her husband, Akhil

Harpreet Thind
2013 International Dental Graduate

Being a regular visitor to the hospital where her mother worked as a nurse not surprisingly inspired Harpreet Thind to a career in health, but it was her choice of health career that did come as a surprise.

Harpreet said she always felt drawn to the dental wing of the public hospital where her mother worked in India.

“The dentist was always so lovely so I guess I was intrigued by dentistry from an early age,” she said.

Harpreet completed her dentistry training in India and with her husband, Akhil Ahuja, also a dentist, moved to Melbourne where they have both been working as dental assistants at The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne.

She is used to questions about what it is like to switch roles from one side of the dental chair to the other.

“I see it as a good opportunity to refine my skills,” Harpreet said. “And, no, I was not tempted to make suggestions to the dentist when I was working as a dental assistant.”

In March Harpreet was selected as one of five graduates to start the 2013 International Dental Graduates (IDG) program run by Dental Health Services Victoria.

This program was developed to provide a small group of internationally trained dentists, whose qualifications are not fully recognised within Australia, with the opportunity to undertake supervised clinical work under Limited Registration.

It was designed to assist the graduates prepare for the Australian Dental Council (ADC) clinical examination and the highly respected program includes mentoring, clinical development activities and support for integration into employment in the public sector.

The graduates first undertake an intensive education program and then spend a month in primary care seeing patients under supervision before taking up a rural placement for six months.

Harpreet said she already had friends who were working in rural areas, “and loving it so I am looking forward to that.”

Harpreet hopes that further down the track she can work as a dentist in special needs and her husband Akhil is hoping that he, too, will be selected for the IDG course offered by DHSV.

“It is a great course, there is no doubt about it,” Harpreet said. “We get to know people from different backgrounds and learn things about dentistry and also about life in Australia.”

Read more about the Victorian International Dental Graduates (V-IDG) program

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Last updated: 2013-08-13