The difference is in the detail

Photograph of Ajay Thakar working in the simulation lab
Jennifer Parraga, BA’93
Hearing Ajay Thakar meticulously explain the process for setting teeth, listening to his precise and specific language, understanding the care he takes with his patients and the pride he feels when they walk out of the clinic, gives you a glimpse into who he is as a person and future dentist.

Thakar, Dentistry Class of 2020, arrived at the School filled with gratitude to be in the program and determined to use his experiences as a volunteer and mentor who had a strong interest in research.

Born and raised in southern Ontario, Thakar says he always wanted to pursue a health-related career. With two dentists in his family and the idea that after four years of professional school, he could begin to practise, dentistry was very appealing.

On his way to dental school, he completed his science degree majoring in biology. He also became involved as a first generation peer mentor, worked as a tutor, a student success leader, a teaching assistant and a library assistant, undertook aquatics research examining the nesting patterns of fish and determining lead levels in Hamilton and volunteered at a local distress centre.

Photograph of Ajay Thakar“My favourite thing is to help people and to make things easier for someone,” Thakar said thoughtfully. “It’s rewarding and I get a lot of joy out of helping people. It reaffirms why I like dentistry so much.”

It’s something he continued throughout the past four years. He’s served as a general member of DOCSKids, the Dental Academic Research Trainees group, acted as a mentor for the past three years, and participated in admissions interview weekend. Most recently, he also served on the search committee for the new Dean of Schulich Medicine & Dentistry - a role that gave him an opportunity to really see the School from many perspectives.

Thakar has also been involved in University of Western Ontario Dental Student Society (UWODSS), serving as Vice President External and Vice President Finance. Now he serves as President, a position that comes with the responsibility of serving as the dental student voice on various committees, chairing meetings and digging into the details and working to resolve student issues.

“While I wasn’t planning on being president, I’m happy I took on the position. It has really given me a chance to learn more about the School and work on finding resolutions to any challenges for dental students,” Thakar said.

The future dentist describes the past four years as a whirlwind. Each year came with its own highs and lows and through it all, he is most proud of the confidence that he has developed in his decision making, in his skills and in his ability to provide care.

Looking ahead to the next few months, Thakar feels good about his pending graduation and says that it’s something that keeps him going as he takes one day at a time and tries to not feel overwhelmed with the expectations of the program.

As always, his focus is on the clinic and working in the lab to ensure patients get the best possible results from their visits.