Dr Thuy Ngyen describes the values that underpin the work she does at her dental practice in Saigon, Vietnam.
Why did you become a dentist?
Dr Rose: It’s a very interesting question. When I was a child, my mother gave me antibiotics to help me with toothache. I wanted to have a beautiful smile and a better life, so now I can help the other people with the same problems, so I decided to be a dentist. It wasn’t easy. I had to study hard at high school and it was difficult, but that is the reason.
When I was a child, I often had a toothache; my mother used to give me antibiotics and took me to an old dentist near my house to pull out the teeth. Those are painful and horrible dental experiences that haunt my childhood those days. Those days the technology is not yet developed, all treatments have no anaesthesia. So, I wished that I would have a beautiful smile when I grow up and I wanted to bring the same wish to everyone. Therefore, I decided to become a dentist.
Becoming a dentist was not easy for me because I had to study hard to overcome millions of other students to win a ‘ticket’ to the most prestigious university in Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine.
The dream kept growing with me over the years, now my profession is my passion and my life. Every day is an adventure and the opportunity to help others is a gift to me. The chance to heal, eliminate someone’s pain, help someone to love their smile and themselves is the most rewarding experience I can think of.
I also have other dreams. I love my country, Vietnam. It’s a country that has suffered too much pain and loss due to war. It had gone through thousands of battles over thousands of years; thousands of years suffered from the invasion of Chinese aggressors and hundreds of years under the invasion of the Western empire. Now, to live in peace, I wish to bring benefits and foreign currency to my country.
I dream that, the medical services and health practitioners in Vietnam will be recognised by many people around the world as offering high quality services and safe and effective techniques.
I dream that my colleagues and I will have the opportunity to make people feel better about themselves and their beautiful smiles. I want to give confidence, happiness and success to the patients and customers. I wish to create more jobs, reduce poverty, and bring a prosperous and happy life to my employees and people around me.
What are the biggest marketing challenges that you face and how do you deal with them?
Dr Rose: I don’t do any marketing right now, only one-to-one. But I plan to next year when I take on more surgeries. I’ve decide to do marketing then and plan to review new website.
I have never used marketing for Rose Dental Clinic ever since. All thanks to the help of existing customers, after using Rose Dental’s services, they are very happy and voluntarily introduce their families, friends and colleagues, some of whom still volunteer to take Rose Dental brochures to their home countries to advertise and find customers for us for free. I am very grateful to them.
The most difficult thing about marketing for me is knowing how to make customers recognise the difference, sincerity and dedication of our services.
Marketing has changed considerably in recent years. What does that mean for dentists? Is it easier now or harder?
Dr Rose: It’s harder. The competition everywhere is stronger and more difficult in every business. I’m an optimistic person. I can overcome these difficulties and I will win.
Of course, things are becoming more and more difficult in today’s market place. Competition is increasingly in every industry, but I am always optimistic and looking for ways to cope with challenges. I am not afraid to fail and I believe that Rose Dental Clinic will come to the right goal and vision as I have planned.
What role does cosmetic dentistry play in your practice today? And what do you think the future holds?W
Dr Rose: The future is very promising. Our dentists our well trained and it’s a good place for dentists and good tourism.
How do you manage the dual roles of being a respected dentist and business owner? What tips do you have for other dentists that are starting out?
Dr Rose: That is a good, very interesting question. We had to hire dentists and we were looking for people with good morals. We wanted someone who was a good person first and foremost. It’s not about money.
When I recruit doctors, in addition to skills, qualifications and experiences, what I need most is integrity and diligence.
I have always taught my doctors to be compassionate and treat patients with all their heart, not for money. They must understand and sympathise with the pain and dental disease that patients are suffering from, so that they will provide the best care to patients.
Some practices they give out unnecessary treatments – even in America it happens – but that doesn’t happen here.