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25 May 2018
UWC dentist brings smiles to Mauritius
UWC’s Faculty of Dentistry, Africa’s biggest dental school, has trained thousands of dentists who have gone back to improve oral health care in their communities and countries.

One of them is Dr Mohammad Shehaad Beebeejaun, who cites discipline as among the key lessons he took back to his home country of Mauritius. Dr Beebeejaun has been working as a dentist since his graduation in 2008. “I still go to work in a tie and shirt, wear my white coat at work (same as on campus), and try to be clean shaven,” he says.

“My staff are properly dressed and everything needs to be in its place and clean all the time. An open drawer can make me stop working to ask my assistant to close it properly. I see my patients on time and hate when a patient pitches up late.”

The 35-year-old enrolled at UWC in 2003 and says his five years on campus developed his passion for dentistry. “I love going to work each and every morning. I enjoy all aspects of dentistry, even though sometimes it is hard with failures in treatment or with many appointment cancellations.”

Although he found the course gruelling, Dr Beebeejaun believes that the dentistry course at UWC equips students to be excellent dentists anywhere in the world. “The five years moving between the campus, Tygerberg and Mitchell’s Plain were very hard. The number of modules we did each term was huge and each module is required for the next module. So failing one module might prevent you from getting to the next year. The number of patients we saw from the third year to the final year was more than adequate to turn a student into a good dentist.”

The biggest challenge was getting up early in winter while it was raining and going to campus. “Often it was still dark outside and I had to park the car and walk to faculty, take off that big jacket and put on the white coat only to see white artificial light till 6pm.”

Dr Beebeejaun runs his own private practice and treatment extends from basic fillings to dental implants via CEREC crowns. Dr Beebeejaun has kept in touch with the University and his former colleagues and hopes to be reunited with them at the Faculty’s 41st-anniversary function in July.