The Alumni Interview: Salar Zeinali, DMD

For the first part of the Alumni Interview Series in June, we spoke to Salar Zeinali, DMD, class of 2012.

Please, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello, I’m Salar from Tehran and in my last year of the Periodontology specialty at the Faculty of Dentistry, at the University of Szeged.

What made you decide to study dentistry?

Well, I’m sure it’s all my father’s fault, as I studied enrolled for civil engineering classes right after high school. However, soon thereafter I started to spend more and more time with my dad in the operating room, at first watching and later aiding him. He and the other surgeons amazed me; I enjoyed the working environment, the intellectual level.

In short, I fell in love with this profession, and my parents were very supportive when I told them about the change of plans. Answering your question and why I chose dentistry: it suited me more than Medicine, promised less stress, and I could still get to do all the good stuff.

Why did you choose to study in Hungary?

I couldn’t study dentistry back home because my major in high school was mathematics. After some research, Hungary and Dubai became my primary choices. Following an entrance exam in Tehran, I received my letter of acceptance, and there I was in Szeged.

What is one of your fondest memories from your time in Szeged? 

There are so many great memories, but my graduation day tops all of them: I was the representative speaker for international students and had give the commencement speech in front of heads of University, teachers, parents of students and their relatives. It was nerve racking, but I pulled it off.

Which field of Medicine do you work in, and why did you choose it?

Periodontology is the part of dentistry with surgeries. I like doing surgeries, felt that I’m good at it and decided to do the specialty in that field.

Where do you currently work?

Right now, I work at the dental department of our University, finishing my specialty.

What is the workload like?

It’s pretty good and quite a mixture. We get a lot of training from our professors at the clinic; also, there are many guest professors and specialists, a lot of conferences, practices and lectures with the students and of course treating patients. Actually it’s not good, it’s great.

Compared to other professions, lawyers, teachers, accountants, etc. do you feel you’re paid better/worse/the same?

I’m not getting paid, so I’m saying worse.

How well did your university studies prepare you for work life?

I’m very positive that as a freshly graduated dentist you’re prepared enough to deal with the usual dentist’s deeds.

What skills were you missing or wish you had acquired before starting working?

I wish I learned the Hungarian language better.

What skills were most critical for your success?

There are soft skills like interpersonal skills, communication skills and other qualities, which help you in your work place. Then there are other skills like good hand-eye coordination, finger dexterity, management, documentation and many other that make you good. I believe an individual requires a lot to be successful.

Any words of wisdom or advice for students deciding on where to work and in which field?

Don’t be afraid to start, whatever you choose to do has its own problems, so never give up. Spend some time at the workplace of what you are going to study for, to see if it’s really for you. After all, it’ll be your job for the rest of your life.

Thank you for the interview and sharing your thoughts with us.

The Alumni Team

Interview by Benedek Bozoky and Georg Kaposvari