Women in Dentistry: Practicing Dentistry Across Borders and Cultures with Dr. Emel Arat
The Women in Dentistry Series concludes with Dr. Emel Arat, Orthodontist in Toronto. Dr. Arat, is a native of Turkey who studied and practised dentistry in Turkey before moving to Canada. She speaks about her journey to becoming the President-elect of the Ontario Association of Orthodontists.
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Chiraz Guessaier, CDA Oasis Manager
Dr. Emel Arat is originally from Turkey and chose orthodontics as a career when she was as young as 16 years of age. She is the first dentist in her family and she was encouraged by her father to pursue dentistry as a career because she showed early that she cared about others. Additionally, dentistry would allow her to be self-employed and give her more flexibility in life.
Emel later immigrated to Canada with her husband and retrained at a Canadian university. She obtained her general dental degree and then, her post-graduated training in orthodontics which allowed her to practice as an orthodontist. Moving to Toronto was a wonderful experience for her, but the language barrier and learning terminology in English was challenging, at first.
Upon graduation, Dr. Arat taught at the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry and associated simultaneously in various offices. She decided to open her own practice when she started a family to achieve a better work-life balance.
Currently, Emel is the President-Elect of the Ontario Association of Orthodontists and the only female board member. She believes strongly that her role in the association is to give back and support her current and future peers. As the future president of the association, Emel hopes to show that no matter where you have trained or where you are from, you can be actively involved, represent your peers, and contribute to the profession of dentistry.
Dr. Arat feels that it is important for women to become involved in organized dentistry especially that in dentistry women work differently from their male counterparts. Boards need to hear and understand that while women contribute to the profession, women need to be comfortable and supported in their workplaces.
Full Interview (24.56″)