By Dr Rafia Lahooti
Dr Noeen Arshad, a 1990 graduate of deMont Morency College of Dentistry, soon after the house job, went to the United States of America to pursue his two-year accredited programme in Paediatric Dentistry at Boston Universty School of Dental Medicine, thereby acquiring the Board Certification in Paediatric Dentistry. During this period, he did his prerequisite exams to fulfill the requirements of US Licensing. Later, he came to Pakistan and started his specialist practice for Paediatric Dentistry at Islamabad.
In 1996, he went to the Eastman Dental Institute for his Masters in Orthodontics, returning to Pakistan in 1998 to start practice at Islamabad. Scope of his work included comprehensive dental care of children for full mouth rehabs under general anesthesia, management of cleft lip and palate patients as well as the entire aspect of orthodontic management in children’s dentition and the adolescents.
Dental News: What were the facets of your professional life?
Dr Noeen Arshad:From 2002 till 2010, I have been involved in academics teaching final year B.D.S and post graduation Orthodontics (FCPS) at Islamic International Dental College. I have also taught Paediatric Dentistry to final year BDS at National University of Singapore in 2007 and 2008. Perhaps the most unique facet of my professional life now is the management of infants born with facial deformities, including cleft lip and cleft palate.
DN: What in your opinion is one trait that you have, has helped you achieve all of this?
DR N.A: The zest for professional excellence, sticking to goals of developing my speciality practice and not digressing into general dentistry was perhaps the key to my professional success.
DN: Is there a room for a speciality-based practice in Pakistan?
DR N.A: Just like the specialist, who is practising medicine, dentistry, too, is evolving and becoming speciality-based. I have been doing specialist practice for over 20 years, limited to Paeds and Ortho only and – survived well!
I believe that there is definitely a scope for specialist practice in Pakistan.
DN: How many active licenses do you hold in dentistry?
DR N.A: Apart from a practicing license as a specialist Paediatric Dentist and Orthodontist from PMDC, I hold an active license of the same dual specialities from Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD), U.A.E, besides having an active license for Texas, U.S.A.
DN: Since you have left teaching what is your contribution to academics now?
DR N.A:I have been, over the past one year, offering a one-month internship in Paediatric dentistry where the internee shadows me in my practice and in the hospital where we carry out our full mouth rehabs under GA. These interns are exposed to all aspects of Paediatric Restorative, Paediatric Endodontics, Preventive Dentistry, Traumatology and Interceptive and full-blown Orthodontics.
Apart from this, I am also offering hands-on training/tutoring to the dedicated students undertaking bench tests for advanced standing in the USA or Australian Dental Council exam. This includes hands-on teaching on the phantom head and improving their manual dexterity.
DN: Any advice for the young dentists?
DR N.A: In the present day and age of cut-throat competition, I would advise all my students and young dentists to pursue clinical excellence through structured training programmes, either from the universities abroad or local centres of excellence.