Any professional course is not easy! BDS is no exception to it. It is better to join the course with a clear cut idea about what your career prospects are once you finish the course.
BDS offers multiple career options, and it is better to know them right now, and work towards it, rather than wait till the end, when you may suddenly feel you just don’t want to work as a traditional dentist!
1) General Dentist
This is the most inevitable choice that most graduates make. Most often a graduate works as a dental associate for a period of 2-6 months under an experienced private practitioner.
This period of time the pay will be often “nil” or nominal. But BDS fresher’s must realize that if you get to do observership with a good clinic, where you get to see and learn a lot, then that is a boon in itself.
After gaining 2 or more years of experience in private practice you can start a clinic of your own. But in case you want to start one right away, you can do that provided you have family member or spouse already in this field who could guide you through the trials and tribulations of a private practitioner.
One of the other options is joining any accredited dental college as a lecturer or tutor. A BDS graduate can become a lecturer but the pay will be minimal.
To become a senior lecturer you have to be an MDS graduate. The pay for a senior lecturer depends hugely on the management of the college you are associated with. But this is a job with dignity and career growth too.
To become a specialist, post BDS, you must undergo 3 years of postgraduate studies (MDS). Specialization in any branch can be done and future career prospects are good.
4) Short Service Commissioned Officer with the Defense
BDS graduates can also join the Indian Armed Forces (army, navy or air force) Dental Corps too as Short Service Commissioned Officers. A life of good salary and various privileges along with the pride of donning the military uniform awaits the ones keenly interested.
5) IAS/IPS/IFS Officer
Attending the UPSC exams is also a very good option. High salaries and a lot of respect along with career growth is associated with being involved in public service.
6) Hospital Management
Masters in hospital administration is very much in demand now and these degrees can help you get into the hospital management arena.
Graduates can join a research institute or undergo a Masters programme in Public Health for better opportunities as a researcher. Post MDS also research can be pursued based on one’s keenness.
8) Opportunities Abroad
After 2-3 years of experience as a general dentist one can apply for the post of a dentist abroad. It is mandatory to fulfil the eligibility criteria and clear the Dental Board or Ministry of Health examinations of the concerned state before one gets the license to practice.
(The author Dr. Aardhra Krishna is a Dentist by profession)