Joao - from Portugal to the UK

From Portugal to Cardiff, Joao shares his dentistry journey

Tell us about your career journey and where it started?

I qualified from Porto Dental University in 2010 and worked in Portugal for about 6 months. I wanted to move to the UK after completing my degree to sample a different country and culture and improve my English.I then saw an opportunity for a position in Cardiff and 8 years later I’m still here, I have a nice, pleasant and stable life in such amazing city.

Was the move easy?

Bupa Dental Care can help with relocation, which can take the stress out of the move. At first I missed my family and the Portuguese weather (although Cardiff isn’t far from the beautiful Welsh coast) and didn’t know many people. But I’m so glad I stayed. I have never lacked support or guidance from Bupa Dental Care or my co-workers and it was easy to connect to lots of dentists in a similar scenario. From working here I’ve made some long-lasting friendships.

What’s the best thing about your current role?

I love being an associate at Bupa Dental Care. I have been asked many times about the possibility of becoming a practice owner but I don’t even consider it. Being an associate gives me the freedom to focus on what I have trained to be. All aspects of managing a dental practice – marketing, ordering materials and the working schedules are managed by very competent people in each area. I believe this a perfect scenario because who wouldn’t like to be able to just focus on being a great dentist to patients?

What is the most memorable story you can recall from the time in your current job?

Despite the fact our profession can be stressful and comes with a high level of responsibility, there are also many funny moments along the way. I could mention plenty of them here, but I will keep them to myself for now. Maybe I’ll write a book one day!

Joao, Associate Dentist

"All the extra responsibilities inherited as part of the running of a practice are dealt with by trained people."

“All the extra responsibilities inherited as part of the day to day running of a practice are dealt with by trained people. This is truly a major benefit of working for Bupa Dental Care.”

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What’s the best thing about your job?

I start my day thinking about dentistry and what I can do for my patients – then finish it switched off from the job, relaxed and enjoying my life in Cardiff. All the extra responsibilities inherited as part of the day to day running of a practice are dealt with by trained people. It’s them that give me the luxury of concentrating on patient care. This is truly a major benefit of working for Bupa Dental Care.


What is next for you, what are your future ambitions?

I have already achieved some personal goals during my last 8 years in the UK. I have passed the Membership of the Joint Dental Faculties (MJDF) examination and am now a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. Additionally, I qualified in 2016 with a master’s degree in Implant Dentistry from Warwick University. There are some other postgraduate courses that are on the horizon and, who knows, maybe I can become a clinical director for Bupa – I know the pathway is there.


What advice would you give to someone looking to make the move into a new role like yours?

I know the reality about what it’s like to work and own a dental practice. It can be incredibly stressful, even after you last patient has gone home. If you are not working as a dentist, you are working as an accountant or an engineer, fixing your broken dental chair. I know how frustrating this can be. We have not trained to be an accountant or engineer, so it can be difficult to cope. If you want to live your life working as a dentist and enjoy your free time with your family and friends, have a big team supporting you and have the courage and ambition to move abroad, then working at Bupa Dental Care is perfect for you.

It’s better to regret of what we do than what we don’t.

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