Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj on Managing Multiple Roles in Dentistry

Bright Smiles, Bold Strides: Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj's Dental Saga
Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj, BDS, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India (2017-22)
Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj, BDS, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India (2017-22)

Today's enlightening interview features Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj. With a diverse background spanning his roles as a junior resident at Safdarjung and VMMC Hospital, and the founder of LBS DENTO-facial school, Dr. Bhardwaj brings a wealth of experience and insights to our discussion.

In this interview, Dr. Bhardwaj shares his perspectives on a wide range of topics, from the evolving landscape of dental education and patient care to the challenges and opportunities facing young dental professionals today. With a notable presence on social media platforms, particularly Instagram, Dr. Bhardwaj offers valuable insights into the importance of digital engagement for dentists and the strategies he employs to connect with fellow professionals and students.

Without further ado, let us embark on this insightful conversation with Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj, a leading voice in dentistry, as we explore the past, present, and future of this dynamic profession.

Dr.Nidhi Arora: As a junior resident at Safdarjang Hospital, you have firsthand experience in the dental field. How has this role influenced your perspective on dental education and patient care?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj: Before I joined JRship I knew certain boundaries with regards to dental treatment but after joining VMMC, I realized that dental science has a very important role in our healthcare center.  For example, cancer related cases are treated by dentist, we remove cancer then we reconstruct the area, I wasn’t aware about this, once I joined JRship, I realized that there is more to dentistry.

Dr. Bhaskar speaks about Dental Education
Dr. Bhaskar speaks about Dental EducationDr.Bhaskar is Jr at safdarjung hospital

Dr.Nidhi Arora: Balancing work as a resident, running your dental teaching school, and maintaining an Instagram presence can be demanding. How do you manage your time effectively across these different roles?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj: There is designated time for everything for e.g. 9am to 4pm I am in hospital then from 4pm to 8pm I am occupied in my Dental business school and after 8pm is for my social media presence, so one can manage everything only if they have the will to do it.

Dr.Nidhi Arora: Your Instagram account has gained a significant following within the dental community. How does it feel to be loved and respected by so many from the dental community?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj: The world things, that there is entire community of people who are showing love, I must be overwhelmed by it, and that is true that I am liked and loved by all on social media, and I do feel grateful about it, in any conference I go people know me. But apart from this there is huge responsibility on my shoulder, I have community to represent and cater to, I can’t be wrong, I can’t talk about anything without proper amount of research and knowledge, because people who are listening have put their trust in me. So yes, even this fact keeps me on my toes to always do right by my audience.

Dr.Nidhi Arora: How do you use this platform to connect with fellow dental professionals and students?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj: I always try to connect via live sessions, I am usually live on Instagram everyday around 10 pm, the benefit to go live is that people ask me questions and I give them reply that very moment, this makes kind of one-on-one connection.

Dr.Nidhi Arora: What inspired you to establish your own dental teaching school, and what unique approach do you bring to dental education through this initiative?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj: There are many private colleges in India who don’t teach anything to their students, there were so many students that used to tell me that they are pass out and the don’t know how to do RCT, simple extraction and now there are in that phase of life where they don’t know what to do, where to practice, where to start. That made me open a dental school where they are taught all the basic procedure, so that they can improve on their clinical skills, and the most unique feature of this school is that I provide maximum hands on with least amount of fee.

Dr.Nidhi Arora: Can you share some insights into the most pressing challenges you see facing dental students today?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj: The most challenging part is a smaller number of jobs, and the sad part is government didn’t work on this for a very long time until supreme court didn’t intervene.

Dr.Nidhi Arora: In your experience, what are some common hurdles that dental graduates encounter when establishing their own practices or joining existing ones?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj: Private clinics pays junior dentist so low that it doesn’t even make sense, and if newly pass out thinks about opening a clinic they don’t know what the right location for them will be; there is so much of saturation in this field, that there is a dentist in every 500 meter and the newbies won’t know how to establish themselves.

Dr.Nidhi Arora: Financial concerns often weigh heavily on new graduates. What advice do you have for managing student loan debt and navigating the financial aspects of starting a dental career?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj: If a one has student loan, then they must start preparing for NEET MDS in such a way that one is able to qualify JRShip, that is the only option I see right now. Because you won’t get anything if you work in a private set up because the pay scale is so low.

Dr.Nidhi Arora:  Burnout and stress are prevalent issues in healthcare professions, including dentistry. How do you suggest self-care and maintain a healthy work-life balance as young dentist embark on their careers?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj: Stress is in every field these days, just the difference in medical and dental field is you bring that stress home, so keep in mind when you are in hospital you are there as a doctor and once you leave hospital or your clinic you are a like any other human being.

Dr.Nidhi Arora: what are your thoughts on the importance of business acumen for dental graduates in establishing and managing successful practices?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj: The most important part is patient management. If you can manage your patient effectively, then you can manage anything.

11. Dr.Nidhi Arora:  Dr. Bhaskar, the dental field has seen significant growth in recent years, leading to concerns about market saturation in some areas. How do you perceive the current state of saturation in the dental profession, and what implications does this have for both practicing dentists and aspiring dental students?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj: The main issue is that saturation levels have already been reached in dentistry. As more people enter the field, more problems arise, so we need to focus on diversifying our focus. For instance, today, people are increasingly focusing on cosmetic dentistry.

Dr.Nidhi Arora:  In your opinion, what role do you believe the education system should play in addressing this issue is this high time to regulate or screen admission in BDS?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj: According to me, private colleges that do not provide quality education should be closed. Moreover, we know that 50% of these colleges fall into that category, as they lack good education, adequate patient flow, and are producing dentists. Therefore, they should be closed. That's the only solution.

Dr.Nidhi Arora: There seems to be a notable discrepancy between the number of admission seats available in BDS programs compared to MDS programs. This funneling effect, where a larger number of students graduate from BDS programs but only a fraction proceeds to pursue MDS, raises questions about the balance of supply and demand in the dental workforce? Yes, one can say that it might be because of quality over quantity but what about the careers of young bds graduate?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj: Yes, you could say that the ratio of BDS to MDS seats is one-fourth. Currently, there are around 22,000 seats available for BDS, while there are only 6,000 to 7,000 seats for MDS, including government seats. However, I believe even these MDS seats are excessive because there aren't enough corresponding government job opportunities. So, the imbalance doesn't make sense.

Dr.Nidhi Arora:  Dr. Bhaskar, there are growing concerns about private dental colleges charging exorbitant fees while failing to provide students with adequate clinical training. In your view, what are the most significant implications of this trend for the dental profession, students, and patient care?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj:  I agree, implementing regulations across all courses, not just in dentistry but also in fields like MBBS and engineering, is crucial. The government needs to ensure that education standards are maintained at all levels. It's concerning to see colleges charging exorbitant fees without providing adequate facilities or patient flow. Addressing these issues is essential for the overall improvement of education quality.

Dr.Nidhi Arora: what role can regulatory bodies or accreditation agencies play in holding private dental colleges accountable for the quality of education and clinical training they provide?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj:  When it comes to regulatory bodies like the DCI, they don't seem to prioritize these issues. Even when they're aware of colleges that fail to provide adequate training, they don't take action. They should be more proactive in addressing these concerns.

Dr.Nidhi Arora:  Building a strong community on Instagram requires consistent interaction with your followers. How do you manage to engage with your audience?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj: One should go live every day, and it's especially important to be honest with the audience because the information I provide must be trustworthy.

Dr.Nidhi Arora:  Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your job was at stake due to criticism or backlash received on Instagram? If so, how did you address this situation and work towards resolving any potential repercussions

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj:  No, as I mentioned earlier, whatever happens, whether someone's actions are positive or negative, you will benefit in every scenario, and the other person won't be affected.

Dr. Nidhi Arora: How important is it for dentist to have their digital print on social media platform?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj: Nowadays, it is crucial for every dentist to have a digital presence on social media. This allows people to remember you across a wide geographical area for the long term. For example, if you practice in Delhi, people within a 2-kilometer radius will know about you, but by leveraging social media, you can extend your reach to distant locations, thus increasing your value

Dr. Nidhi Arora: Do you collaborate with other dental professionals or brands on Instagram, and if so, how do you select your collaboration partners?

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj:  Yes, of course, I collaborate with other people. However, the person must be competent, and I need to verify whether everything is correct or not

Dr.Nidhi Arora: what are your future goals within the field of dentistry? Are there any specific initiatives, projects, or areas of focus that you are particularly passionate about pursuing in the coming years?"

Dr. Bhaskar Bhardwaj:  I want to expand my finishing school to every state in India, reaching every region. I aim to establish branches across the country, ensuring that every student benefits, regardless of their location.

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