For Hamish Milmine, dentistry offers everything he ever wanted in a career. However, it took him a year working as an agricultural labourer to realise this.
"I'd decided to take time off study after finishing school to sort out what I wanted to do," Hamish recounts. "One day my boss suggested dentistry, and the more I thought about it the more appealing it seemed.
"Dental work is nine-to-five, the pay is good and the holidays are flexible. Plus I could meet a lot of different people and work with my hands. It seemed ideal."
Newly resolved to work with teeth, Hamish enrolled in the Health Sciences First Year at the University of Otago.
"I studied so hard that year. I still remember the day I found out I had been accepted into Dentistry—it was such a relief. And once I started Dental School in second year, I found it so enjoyable—both academically and socially!"
Four years on, and now a graduate, Hamish says he is delighted to be working as a dentist and is looking towards his future options.
"I'm particularly interested in implant and cosmetic dentistry, and I might consider postgraduate study in this area. It involves work such as reconstructing people's mouths and appearances after injury, and is a field which is extremely rewarding and fascinating.
"And at some stage I'd love to travel overseas. In developing countries people have a huge need for dental expertise, so not only is dentistry my passport to the world, it's an opportunity to make a positive contribution and live not only for myself, which I think is essential."