In a groundbreaking move, the College of Dentistry at USask has unveiled a pioneering initiative that is not only a first for the institution but also marks a milestone in Canadian dental education. Commencing in the Fall of 2023, the DMD/MBA dual-track program has been developed in collaboration with the Edwards School of Business.
Dr. Walter Siqueira (DDS, MBA, PhD, FCAHS) Dean of the College of Dentistry, expressed immense pride in this unique inter-university partnership. He emphasized its significance in addressing a growing knowledge gap related to dental practice management, an area he deems critical for the success of practicing dentists.
"This program helps address a growing knowledge gap related to the dental office practice and its business management. This is an area that has become critical to the success of practicing dentists," Dr. Siqueira commented.
Dr. Keith Willoughby (PhD), Dean of The Edwards School of Business echoed the same excitement within his college. “The DMD/MBA is an immersive experience in dentistry and business,” said Willoughby. “The dual degree is unique in developing leaders that are adept in clinical practice as well as the business implications of operating a successful clinic. The modular format of the Edwards MBA provides a transformational experience for graduates as they set up their professional careers.”
The announcement of this innovative program was met with enthusiasm from prospective students like Bavneet Kaur Grewal. For Ms. Grewal, the DMD/MBA dual-track program represents the convergence of two lifelong dreams, making it an irresistible opportunity.
Originally hailing from Brampton, Ontario, Ms. Grewal spent her formative years with her family right up until her recent move to Saskatchewan. Her journey into the world of dentistry began at the age of 13, seated in a dental chair, where she was captivated by the precision and focus of the dentist working on her teeth.
While most people experience anxiety during visits to the dentist, Grewal found herself awed by the dental tools and technology surrounding her. This initial spark of curiosity ultimately led her to aspire to become a dentist, driven by a deep interest in dentistry's multidisciplinary approach, craftsmanship, continuous learning, and patient care.
Grewal's Passion for dentistry grew as she shadowed professionals in various dental fields, including endodontics, oral surgery, and dental hygiene. Witnessing procedures such as root canal treatments, implants, and orthodontics not only piqued her interest but also revealed the critical role of manual dexterity in dental care.
Beyond the hands-on dental work, Grewal observed a common thread among successful dentists – their ability to manage and operate a dental practice effectively. When she learned about the opportunity to pursue the MBA/DMD dual-track program, her excitement was palpable.
Grewal recognizes the importance of business knowledge in running a dental practice, including finance, accounting, HR management, and marketing. She believes that the MBA program at USask will complement her existing business acumen garnered from roles as a sales associate, participation in case competitions, and leadership in courses such as Essential Management Skills, Financial Reporting, and Marketing for Organizational Decision Making.
For Grewal, the MBA/DMD dual-track program at USask promises to equip her with a well-rounded skill set, essential for excelling as both a dentist and a business leader. She appreciates the intimate class sizes in the Edwards MBA program, which she believes will foster stronger connections with professors and peers, enhancing her overall learning experience.
When asked about her future aspirations, Grewal's vision is clear. As an aspiring dentist, her goals are centered around helping others. She envisions leveraging the knowledge and skills acquired through the MBA to run her own dental practice(s), with a profound commitment to closing the gaps in access to dental care.
"I acknowledge that there are gaps in dentistry since many people still lack access to dental care, whether that is due to costs or distance to a clinic. Everyone deserves a right to dental care, and it is my goal to help in closing this gap in dentistry," Grewal passionately states.
The introduction of the DMD/MBA dual-track program at USask represents a significant leap forward in Canadian dental education. It offers aspiring dentists like Bavneet Kaur Grewal the unique opportunity to combine their passion for dentistry with essential business acumen, ultimately shaping them into well-rounded professionals committed to improving dental care accessibility for all.