What has your career journey been like so far?
I qualified in 2002 at Charles University, Prague in the Czech Republic. I enjoyed my vocational training at a private practice in Prague until 2006 and then decided I wanted to try something different. During the summer of 2006, I applied for my GDC registration and went for an interview in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and got my first job overseas. I stayed here for seven years and met many wonderful people. I spoke to a friend who had also moved here from the Czech Republic to see what other opportunities were out there and ended up taking a position as a dental surgeon in Ivybridge, Devon. This is where I practice to this day.
What were your reasons for moving and what have been the main differences?
My position became routine in Czech and I wanted to see more of the world so I looked outside the country for opportunities elsewhere. I decided to take the leap and I couldn’t be happier. The main differences would be the language barrier issues and also the volume of patients, the days here are full and varied as you will see patients from many different backgrounds and levels of oral health.
What’s the best thing about your current role?
I have a great team around me. We support each other dealing with challenging dental cases and situations. I’m also helping to guide my less experienced colleges, to help them develop the appropriate skills needed in dentistry.
“I enjoy having the means to help people. Changing lives for the better – there is nothing more satisfying.”
What is the most memorable story you can recall from the time in your current job?
There are so many funny moments it’s hard to pick just one; they mostly develop from the language differences which can lead to some embarrassingly funny scenarios. Emotionally? Well, it’s always a great feeling when you can guide a member of the public through there patient journey and make them feel better about themselves; you will have many great experiences like this and the effort is well worth those rewards.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The best thing in this industry is having the means to help people. You can change lives, save people from their pain, or perhaps their shame. I enjoy having the means to help people. Changing lives for the better – there is nothing more satisfying.
What is next for you, what are your future ambitions?
To help young dentists coming to the country adapt themselves, teach them the skills needed to deal with some of the cultural differences and, being a half Czech Bulgarian citizen who can communicate to a wide audience, I am ideally placed to solve some of these issues.
What advice would you give to someone looking to make the move into a new role like yours?
Come and talk to me. Grab the opportunity with both hands, I know it can be scary uprooting and changing your life but I can assure you that it will be the best thing you ever did.