We aren’t living in an era anymore where pursuing Dentistry in your undergraduation meant that you are destined to be a clinical Dentist- either owning/working at a dental clinic or teaching at a dental college. I personally know Dentists in India who have successfully ventured out into fields which are completely unrelated to Dentistry- Gaming, Pharmacovigilance, Augmented & Virtual Reality, Graphic Design, Management Consulting, Finance and even Software Engineering!
This trend is has been more pronounced and prominent in last 10 years, mostly because of advent of Internet and then the increase in its availability and affordability. You can learn a new skill online while sitting in the comforts of your room and can even earn certifications.
Having said that, most Dentists, who want to ‘stray away’ from the conventional career path of clinical/academic Dentistry and foray in the corporate world, prefer to choose the safer & more pragmatic route of ‘pursuing an MBA’. An MBA from a reputed B-School opens multiple gates for you and the tag of IIM/ISB/FMS/XLRI etc stays with you for the lifetime.
Now most of the Top B-Schools in the country accept freshers to their flagship MBA Program (except ISB, where 2 years of Work Ex is mandatory), i.e. you can join immediately after completing your BDS, provided you score good enough in CAT/XAT and clear the GDPI (Group Discussion and Personal Interview) rounds.
But having a certain amount of Work Experience (1-3 years) before pursuing your MBA is always a good idea. Please keep in your mind that just securing an admission in a Tier-1 B School doesn’t mean you will have it easy in what lies ahead. A typical Tier-1 B School’s (such as IIM A, ISB, IIM B, IIM C, XLRI, FMS, SP Jain etc) batch consists of some of the smartest minds of the country (mostly from India’s top Engineering & Commerce courses such as B. Tech from IITs & NITs, BCom from SRCC etc) and most of them will be equipped with proper corporate/start up work experience with valuable contributions to their respective firms. It will be these people whom you will be competing with during the placement season. Hence it’s advisable that you gain a meaningful and relevant work experience before your MBA so that you can explain to your future employer during placement about why you are a good fit for the role you are applying to and how your previous work ex has shaped you and made you eligible for that particular role.
Now when it comes to Dentistry, you might think it’s near to impossible to get a Managerial Role at a Corporate/Startup just after BDS because we aren’t trained for the necessary skill sets. But in this epoch making era of cheap internet, there is nothing that can stop you from learning a new skill and networking with someone who can help you land a job.
But this article is NOT ABOUT THAT.
This article is about how to find out a corporate/startup job with just your BDS degree (and the clinical knowledge of course), when you haven’t mastered any other skills.
The following list is exhaustive so I would suggest you to read thoroughly and carefully.
- Sales or Product Specialist Role in a Dental Product Companies- Unlike yesteryears when many Dental MNC (Multinational Companies) used to operate in India through operators, most of them today have a direct presence. Moreover there are multiple Indian & Chinese companies too that have entered the market in the recent years. You can seek a role of Sales Manager/Product Specialist/Product Manager in these companies. Typically these roles require an MBA degree or a past experience in Sales/Product Management, but if you can convince the hiring managers that your Dental domain knowledge will be a value addition to the company, you might bag one of these roles. Some of the prominent companies are :- KaVo Kerr, Dentsply Sirona, Nobel Biocare, Straumann, Ormco, Invisalign, Vatech, 3M, Carestream, Planmeca etc. You can also find out the details about the major distributors of these companies and seek a similar role at there. LinkedIn is a great place to connect to the HR Leaders of the companies and enquire about any job opportunity
- Virtual Scribing :- A Virtual Scribe is a person who listens to and documents the doctor-patient encounter in real-time. Virtual Scribe will be busy entering notes, CPT and ICD codes, eRx, orders, and other relevant data directly into the patient’s chart — while the doctor is busy seeing and providing care to the patient. These are relevant for US Healthcare but many companies have outsourced this work to India. IKS Health, headquartered in Mumbai is a major firm that employs hundreds of Dentists for this role. Though it’s not actually a managerial role but it still is a good way to enter corporate and get an exposure to US Healthcare norms.
- Lifescience/Research Analyst Roles at Consulting Firms :- Consulting firms such as Deloitte (and sometimes Boston Consulting Group too) employ Dentists for the entry level analyst role. Though these roles too typically require an MBA but there is no harm in trying.
- Medical Advisor Role in Pharma Companies :- Though earlier this role used to be strictly reserved for MBBS graduates but lately I have seen reputed firms such as Abbott hiring Dentists too. Your knowledge of basic medical science (BDS 1st & 2nd Year) might come handy to bag such a role.
- Medical Underwriting:- Medical underwriting refers to the process by which a life or health insurer uses an applicant’s medical history to decide whether they can offer them a policy, and whether the policy will include pre-existing condition exclusions and/or a premium that’s higher than the standard rate. Insurance companies such as HDFC & Credihealth regularly employ Dentists for the same.
- Operations Manager in Dental Clinic Chains and Hospitals :- Dental Clinic Chains (such as Clove, Axis etc) and prominent Hospital chains such as Apollo & Fortis employ Dentists for clinical job but you can also make your way upwards into Operations if you develop the relevant skills.
PLEASE NOTE that some of these job profiles might not be conducive to your expectations. But they open the gates of corporate to a Dentist and then later on you can pave your way upwards with a suitable MBA degree.
Let me know if you have any queries in the comments.