UBC Reports | Vol. 50 | No. 5 | May
International Dentist Polishes her Degree with UBC Patina
Gains greater experience with more training
By Hilary Thomson
When Lovedeep Kaur Randhawa accepts her degree in dentistry
this month, it will mark the end of an educational journey
that has spanned 23 years and half the globe.
After obtaining a dentistry degree in India, the 26-year-old
moved from Punjab to Canada in 2000 and to UBC in 2002 to
participate in the Faculty of Dentistry’s two-year International
Dental Degree Completion program.
En route, she lived with relatives in Toronto where she met
her husband, Jaspreet, an RCMP officer. The couple were married
in 2001 and moved to Vancouver.
Randhawa knew something of Canadian culture from North American
students who attended her university at home. She was surprised,
however, to find samosas and other popular Indian food in
“Vancouver is so multicultural. I didn’t feel
like an outsider when I got here. It was easy to fit in.”
The oldest of three sisters, Randhawa’s education
has been greatly influenced by her father, a civil engineer.
Encouraged to excel, she started school at age three and consistently
placed first in her classes. Last year, she placed in the
top 10 per cent of her dentistry class.
“My family is a huge support for me -- I’m here
today because of the way I was brought up,” she says.
“My parents inspire and motivate me.”
There are many differences between Indian and Canadian dentristy,
she explains. There is no insurance coverage for dental services
in India and many people can’t afford treatment. This
means general dentists do very basic dentistry with more interesting
work performed by specialists who treat affluent patients.
“Here in Canada, the dentist is a primary oral health
caregiver and there is greater variety and scope of care,”
she says. “I now have much greater experience in the
procedures I was trained in.”
Randhawa will work in general practice after graduation but
her academic journey may not be over yet. She loves to study,
she says, and may take further training as a specialist.