Dr Dhrupad Siddhanta is a Private Specialist Prosthodontist at Sydney Dental Specialists, Sydney, Australia. He graduated with the DClinDent (Prosthodontics) in 2016.
Why did you decide to undertake postgraduate DClinDent studies?
I worked as a dentist for several years prior to applying for postgraduate studies. I attended numerous courses to upskill and obtained memberships and fellowships from prestigious institutions to practice general dentistry to a high level. Despite that, I felt there was a plateau in my general practice experience that ultimately inspired me to undertake postgraduate studies.
What was it that made you interested in further study in Prosthodontics?
It was a no-brainer for me to apply to Prosthodontics. It is what interested me the most as a general dentist. Of all the different specialties, prosthodontics covers the widest range of procedures so there was always going to be novelty, which was a very important consideration for me. What is also satisfying about the discipline is that you can observe some of the outcomes develop at the same time as the procedures are being performed.
Were there specific reasons that you decided to do your postgraduate DClinDent studies at the Otago Faculty of Dentistry?
It is rare for dental faculties to have so many full-time staff dedicated to clinical teaching and research. I think for me, this is what sets the Faculty of Dentistry at Otago, and specifically the Discipline of Prosthodontics, apart from the rest of the dental schools in Australasia. Dunedin is also a town with a great student vibe, so I was also looking forward to living there as well.
What has your postgraduate “journey” been like so far? How was it for you personally? What was good, what was challenging, and what do you feel proud about?
My postgraduate journey was exciting, challenging, inspiring and life-changing all at the same time. Like most of my peers, I felt a bit overwhelmed at first but in a few months, I felt well and truly a part of the team. The staff and fellow postgraduates were always keen to help you navigate the system and there was a sense of being “on a mission” throughout my postgraduate training. The learning always felt fresh, immersive and invigorating. Of course, it was hard work, but it never felt like a chore.
How has postgraduate study influenced your work, career or personal life?
There is a fundamental upgrade in mindset and confidence that comes with postgraduate training. I am constantly motivated to improve, educate and innovate. The overarching emphasis on evidence-based decision making during postgraduate training gets well and truly ingrained in you and ultimately makes you a more mature clinician.
Would you recommend postgraduate DClinDent studies to colleagues, friends or peers? Why?
I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in a specific discipline and highly motivated to take their expertise to the next level. The time and effort that goes into a postgraduate degree is immense, but it also gives you the tools and mental strength for what lies ahead.
What advice would you give to others about undertaking postgraduate studies at the Otago Faculty of Dentistry?
My advice would be to simply make the most of time at Otago. We are lucky to have fantastic mentors, state-of-the-art facilities, and the opportunity to plan and execute truly interdisciplinary treatment for our patients with our peers and mentors. It is important to realise that everyone around you has been through the same stages of training, so they are your best sources of advice.
How did you find interacting with the other students in the programme?
The culture of collegiality and inter-disciplinary teamwork at Otago is one of the highlights of the experience. One of the major aspects of being a Prosthodontist is having to constantly interact and co-ordinate with your peers and colleagues and the programme prepares you for that.
How did you find interacting with the staff in the programme?
I am not exaggerating when I say that we are truly privileged to have such highly regarded clinicians and academics as our mentors in the programme. They were always approachable, and they provided constant inspiration that was certainly required for what was an objectively difficult course.
Dr Dhrupad Siddhanta