Interview – Dr Karyn Nankivell

Dentist – Dr Karyn Nankivell

What do you consider the most rewarding and challenging parts of your job?
The most rewarding part is the patients who trust me as their dentist. Working with them to achieve great outcomes and seeing them come back, happy and motivated. The most challenging part is managing time. I don’t like to keep anyone waiting and we plan our day as a team so that everything runs smoothly for our patients. Sometimes, like all health professions, dentistry is unpredictable.
If people were considering working as a dentist what advice would you give them?
Dentistry is challenging both physically and mentally. Communication with your patients and the dental team is very important.
What qualifications or experience is required to become a dentist?
First, a degree in dentistry, then registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Registration Board of Australia. Ongoing continuing education is mandatory to your registration as a dentist and fun.
What path did you take to become a dentist?
When I left High School, I enrolled at the University of Queensland. I first studied a year of science then 4 years at the Dental School.
Were there any other careers you considered pursuing when you left school?
I really liked Biology at school and thought I’d like to work as a health professional. I considered optometry, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy. (I didn’t want to be a doctor- doctors have patients that die, dentist don’t!)
Is this your first career?
Can you see yourself remaining in this line of work forever?
Dentistry is my first career. I’m also a qualified jeweller. I like being a dentist. One day, I can see myself working part time with something creative.
What did you want to be when you grew up? 
In grade 2, I wanted to be a librarian, an Olympic swimmer or a singer. I remember drawing a great picture of my future careers.
What are your standard hours?
7:45am- 5:15pm
Is there anything you can tell us about your job that people wouldn’t expect?
There’s a lot of art in dentistry. I like to think of myself as a tooth sculptor.