Featured Dentist: Aws AlDarkazali
May 21, 2015
A major goal of ours here at Supply Clinic is to allow dentists and doctors to focus on patient care, and worry less about the supplies they’re buying. By bringing the market together on a single platform, we take the guesswork and negotiating out of what should be a simple process.
In doing so, we have the opportunity to help not only patients across the country, but their incredible health care providers. One of these individuals is my close friend Aws AlDarkazali.
Aws graduated after 5 years of dental school in Baghdad in 2002, and began a 2-year general practice residency. It was smooth sailing for a short while, until the war broke out in 2003. He recalls: “I had a rotation in the south of Iraq, and had to travel back and forth out of Baghdad. The frequent trips in and out of the city became very difficult.” By 2004, the possibility of needing to leave the country became a necessity.
Aws left his family and all his possessions in Baghdad, and fled to Cyprus. In Cyprus, Aws worked as a translator and dental assistant; he was no longer able to practice dentistry, the profession he had spent so many years of his life training for. “I left to start a new life; I left everything to move to a new environment.”
In 2007 Aws made his way from Cyprus to England, where he spent one year before learning of the U.S. Refugee Act for Iraqi expats. This opportunity prompted him to quickly move to New York City. “Because of the Refugee Act I was able to finally settle down, and pursue my dream of becoming a dentist all over again.”
“I studied for my boards in 2009, and was accepted to start at The University of Pennsylvania in March of 2011.” It was at Penn that I became close with Aws. Truth be told, I was incredibly humbled to be in the same class, completing the same work as someone who was way more qualified and certainly more experienced than I was.
For Aws, it had been a long, grueling journey from Baghdad, but he had the drive and mental fortitude to become certified again here in the States 11 years after his 2002 graduation as a dentist in Iraq.
While studying for his boards in New York City, Aws met Ruth, an ambitious and spunky young Venezuelan asylee who had also come to NYC to pursue her career dreams. The unlikely Iraqi-Venezuelan couple shares a healthy perspective on life, and rich sense of humor. They recently moved to Texas and got married.
“New York was too cold, saturated and expensive,” explains Aws. “Our quality of life has improved tremendously here in Texas; people here have a great mentality and are incredibly hospitable.”
Since he has moved to Texas, Aws has worked in the corporate dental world. “I consider myself blessed to have that opportunity, but my entire life I have dreamt of running a successful practice of my own.” Aws explains, “When I have my own practice I want to focus even more on high quality work and have total clinical control, without worrying about just numbers.”
And he’s utilizing all the tools available to him to focus just on what matters. Aws and I share the opinion that healthcare should never have to be burdened by a disproportionate focus on “just numbers.” It’s always been about the quality of service for patients, and it ought to stay that way.
“Supply Clinic will help me focus on caring for my patients. It will allow me to continue to provide high quality dentistry, while relieving me of the financial burden of running a practice.”
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help Aws and other young dentists who are looking to start a practice. All of Aws' hard work can be admired on his practice website at www.gallerydentaltx.com!
Aws truly has been through a long journey. “When I left Iraq in 2004, I never could have imagined that I would be able to pass my U.S. boards, get accepted to and graduate from an Ivy League school, and maybe one day have the opportunity to open up a practice of my own.”
May we all create opportunities as Aws has, and have the commitment and drive to pursue them.
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