UQ Dentistry graduate: from childhood refugee to award-winning dentist
A decade after fleeing his native Iran, Dr Hooman Baghaie, knows the importance of being able to smile.
This is why the University of Queensland Bachelor of Dental Science graduate and childhood refugee gives back to those in disadvantaged communities.
“I arrived in Australia at the age of 12,” Dr Baghaie said. “My parents, my younger sisters and I were forced to leave Iran because we belonged to the Baha’i faith.
“Part of my development as a dentist has been to give something back to the community.
“I have been fortunate enough to be involved in numerous research projects with refugees, rural Australians and those suffering from mental illnesses.
“UQ has supported me to provide volunteer dental care in East Timor and Cambodia, and in Australia with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.”
Head of the UQ School of Dentistry Professor Pauline Ford said Dr Baghaie had achieved the highest clinical marks in both his third and fourth years of a Bachelor of Dental Science and described him as an exceptional student and an inspiration to others.
“Hooman received a number of prizes, awards and medals in recognition of his academic achievement,” Professor Ford said.
“He has displayed a passion for helping those in need, and volunteered a generous amount of his time to serve those, both in Australia and abroad.
“He had already been employed by the School of Dentistry as a casual tutor and, in 2015, he received the Pierre Fauchard Award in recognition of his character, work ethic and academic ability.
“These qualities, along with a dedication to research and advocacy for the disadvantaged, were also keys to his nomination as valedictorian in 2016.”
Dr Baghaie is now working as a dentist on the Gold Coast, and is continuing his studies and research.
Studying at the UQ School of Dentistry
The UQ dentistry program has been in operation for more 75 years, and is one of Australia’s longest-running dental programs and also its highest-ranked dental program. The Bachelor of Dental Science (BDSc) (Honours) program which provides students with the knowledge, skills and attitude they require in order to become competent practitioners of dentistry. These include the application of scientific principles to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases and abnormalities.
Program: Bachelor of Dental Science
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 5 years
Application deadline: Rolling admissions—the sooner you apply the better. Apps close officially on October 30 each year.