The condition of dentistry in India has been one of the most important topics of discussion on all platforms and forums, officially or unofficially, for quite some time now. Every year when a fresh graduate comes out of college, their first question most of the times is: is MDS a good option? Is it worth to stay in dentistry and doing MDS?
This question in 2021 has taken another form. Graduates who chose to stay in dentistry in 2020 and decided to give NEET-MDS exam are today questioning the existence of this profession in this country.
More than 30,000 BDS graduates appeared for NEET MDS exam in on December 14, 2020, with the hope of doing post-graduation in the field they plan to make a career in. The result was declared on December 31, 2020, giving these dentists hopes for better years ahead. Every year, the admission procedure usually begins in second week of March and MDS course is started by first week of May in colleges all over India. All of these things are done digitally, more so, everything was done online for the 2019-2020 admissions considering the ongoing pandemic due to Covid-19 virus.
The MDS aspirants in 2021 kept on waiting for admission procedure to begin the similar way. The month of March got over with no sign of admission procedure, and so did April. May went on to crush their dreams when no announcement was made to address their studies.
All this time, the government pleaded doctors to join forces with them to fight the virus. Every hospital and every college presented their need for more doctors. About 30,000 doctors were waiting at their homes to be given this opportunity to serve the nation. But to their shock, their desire to step forward was constantly ignored because our healthcare education system is visually challenged to see these dental professionals. Yes, for them, dentists are not doctors.
A question arises, is it not possible to conduct admission counselling for dentists? More importantly, do dentists even exist for the higher authorities of this country?
Are these 30,000 dentists invisible? Do their careers mean something? Do the authorities even know they have wasted one year of 30,000 young doctors?
We talk about raising awareness in public for oral care.
We say Indians are way behind when it comes to dental health.
Have we ever asked if the government is aware of dentistry as a filed in healthcare? Do the medical authorities care if this field is dying in India? If they do, why is the plead of these 30,000 professionals ignored for five months?
This is not only the story of few thousand dentists waiting for authorities to acknowledge their profession, this is the sad reality of this country that a highly respected profession in developed countries is treated like invisible dirt here.