Dentist: Dr Kaajal Hariparsad

Telling the whole ‘tooth’ of the dentistry world

Answers by dentist in private practice, Kaajal Hariparsad

Describe your business/profession?
I am a dentist in private practice.

What does it take to be successful in this career?
Lots of hard work, dedication, patience and a passion for working with people and children. In order to pursue a career in dentistry, pupils should take mathematics, physical science and biology at a secondary school level. At tertiary level, aspirant dentists can enrol for a Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree at one of the four dental schools in South Africa, namely University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Pretoria, the University of Limpopo’s MEDUNSA campus and the University of the Western Cape.

How many years of study are required to qualify?
Five to fiveand- a-half years, depending on which university you have enrolled at.

What kind of person do you think is best suited to this type of career?
Someone who loves to work with people, is able to work under pressure, and is willing to give of their best to every patient they treat, at all times.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Having a happy, smiling patient once I have completed treating them. It gives me the satisfaction to know I have made a difference to them, by restoring their oral health.

What do you look for when hiring aspirant employees?
Honesty, integrity, good people skills and a willingness to learn, and be part of a team committed to delivering dental care of the highest standard. “Our day starts off with a laugh and smile. We like to work in a happy, fun, jovial and lighthearted environment.”

On the average day, Dr Hariparsad said she started at 8am after seeing her children off to school. “I fi rst attend to any patients with emergencies.” Thereafter, she attends to patients by appointment, but also tries to help any patient coming in with an emergency, even if they did not make an appointment. Her lunch break is between 12.15 and 1.15pm, after which Dr Hariparsad returns to patients until the end of the day. “We are open from 8am until 4.30pm from Monday to Friday, and from 8am to 1pm on Saturday. On Sundays, we are closed.”

What advice can you give students who are interested in your field of study?
This is a challenging, yet rewarding career that demands perfection and excellence. You need to be focused, disciplined and goal-driven.

What are the benefits of running a business in a growing economy such as Newcastle?
Being a health service provider, my focus is more on providing excellent patient care, thereby ensuring a patient leaves my practice feeling assured they have received the best treatment and highest quality of care available.

Photo: Dr Kaajal Hariparsad is a dedicated dentist and mother.

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