Dentist all smiles after fulfilling academic dream
Usmaan Ahmed has spent seven years studying at UCLan
A new University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) graduate has overcome academic disappointment to fulfil his dream of becoming a dentist.
Usmaan Ahmed did not achieve the required A-levels when he left further education to undertake a straight dentistry degree but that did not stop him.
The 25-year-old, who took to the graduation stage in Preston today, said: “My road to dentistry hasn’t been easy. I did well in my GCSEs but was unable to achieve the grades needed in A-levels to be offered a place.
“I was determined to work towards my goal and not give up. When I was offered a place at UCLan for dental therapy I was so grateful to be given the opportunity. It ended up leading to fulfilling my dreams of becoming a dentist.
“I am very excited to graduate as it is a culmination of seven years of hard work and dedication and is the first step in a fulfilling career.”
"I was determined to work towards my goal and not give up. When I was offered a place at UCLan for dental therapy I was so grateful to be given the opportunity."— Newly-qualified dentist Usmaan Ahmed
Usmaan, from Manchester, was inspired to become a dentist after a visit for a check-up.
“As a child I always enjoyed visiting the dentist, which led me to talk to my family dentist about a career in the field,” he said. “He took the time out to introduce me to the working life of a general dental practitioner. I always knew I wanted to work in healthcare as I believe strongly in helping and giving back to the community. By the time I was 13, I was sure dentistry was the career for me and I have been working towards this goal ever since.”
He has been working part-time as a dental hygienist and dental therapist at practices in Morecambe, Kirkby Lonsdale, Blackpool and Manchester.
Usmaan commented: “UCLan really emphasises getting hands-on clinical experience very early on. Within the first week of study, we began our training in the Phantom Head suite where we honed our clinical skills. I most enjoyed spending time at the Dental Education Centre in Blackpool. It was here that I treated my very first patient and here that I grew and developed my skills.
“Dentistry at UCLan helped to prepare me for many challenges when working out in practice and the experience was the best of my life. My time here was not only educational but also great fun and I have made friends for life.”
The former Loreto High School and Loreto College pupil added: “My next steps are to complete my dental foundation training so that I can work within the NHS and gain the necessary experience needed to grow as a clinician. Following this, I would like to spend some time working in secondary care to gain further experience to understand where I would like to expand my field of practice.”
"Dentistry at UCLan helped to prepare me for many challenges when working out in practice and the experience was the best of my life."— Usmaan Ahmed