12 Dec 2014 My Life as a Dentist in Singapore: An IMU Alumnus’ Story
Chin Meng Yean graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from University of Otago, New Zealand in December 2013. She was part of the second cohort of dental students who enrolled in February 2009 and completed two and a half years in the International Medical University (IMU), Malaysia – Partner Dental School (IMU-PDS) programme before transferring to University of Otago. Currently, Meng Yean is working as a dentist in Singapore. Here, she relates to us her experience of working in Singapore.
“Currently, I am working in Singapore at Unity Denticare (part of NTUC Health). There are 14 IMU-PDS alumni based in Singapore now: 8 seniors from the pioneer batch and 6 of us from the second cohort. Lifestyle here can be fast-paced and hectic but we have been surviving well. We do stay in touch and meet up as often as we can. Work and life balance are one of the perks of being dentists!
My clinics are based in both city and neighbourhood areas, which allows me to provide affordable general dentistry to people of all walks of life – young, old, different income groups, locals and expats. I constantly apply and strive to improve my clinical and people skills that I have learned from IMU-Otago days. Every working day has been busy, filled with ups and downs, but satisfaction from smiles received after every treatment keeps me going. My belief is to always treat others how we like to be treated, both inside and outside clinical settings. I think this mindset has helped to build up my patient base gradually – returning clients with improved oral health and even some new clients recommended by word of mouth over the months that I have started working.
To provide best possible dental care and experience to my clients, I keep myself updated by attending Continuing Professional Education (CPE) courses and have in-depth discussions with senior colleagues regularly. I have keen interest in Orthodontics and Periodontics, fields which I would like to pursue in the near future. I also look forward to continue giving back to the community by providing free dental services to the underprivileged during my free time.
Having studied and experienced university life in both countries (Malaysia and New Zealand), I have been able to appreciate the difference in culture and study environment that shaped who I am today.
IMU’s dentistry programme has provided a solid foundation for all of us prior to credit transfer, with an all-rounded dental curriculum – comprehensive medical and dental theory, interactive hands-on classes, Problem Based Learning (PBL), peer teaching, field trips, simulation lab sessions and clinical sessions at the state-of-art Oral Health Centre. This had contributed to the smooth transition to Otago.
Not to mention all the memorable activities during my 2.5 years in Bukit Jalil – orientations, Oral Health Week, IMU Cup, IMU Ball, class outings and how the 44 of us from DT1/09 were so close together as a batch. Our beloved lecturers were approachable and very willing to share their knowledge.
The experience at Otago, during my 2.5 years in student-city Dunedin has been unforgettable. It took time to get used to the weather and Kiwi way of life, but it soon became my home away from home. Malaysians are the second largest international student community and the Kiwis who are ever so friendly, made settling in much easier. The Otago curriculum is clinical and research-based, we have been fortunate to treat a never-ending list of patients from third to final year at Dental School, rural community and hospital placements. Tutors from various fields of dentistry who have different approaches, lead us to learn to be inquisitive and adapt well to different situations. Meeting and knowing friends from different parts of the world from attending the various social events, was also a plus.
I am thankful for letting me be part of the IMU-PDS programme at both the esteemed universities, it was an experience like no other. I have learned to appreciate that dentistry is both art and science, it is definitely more than just teeth. I await more excitement in this fulfilling career in dentistry!”