Dr.Zainab: Dr. Ahmad, Thank you so much for talking with us. Of course, most of our readers are well-versed in your work and achievements, but for those who are new, could you please tell us a brief about your dental practice?
Dr.Ahmad: First, thank you for inviting me to this interview it’s my great pleasure and honor to be with you and our lovely colleagues. Though it’s difficult for me to talk about myself, since it is helpful for those who do not know me, I hold a Ph.D. (Manchester University, United Kingdom), MSc, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Endodontics and Operative Dentistry. I am a Former Professor and currently a Consultant in Micro-endodontics. I am an international keynote speaker; a supervisor of courses. An Associate Editor, Official Reviewer, and Advisory Board Member of prestigious endodontic journals. I have over 50 publications in top peer-review journals. I was one of the TOP 5 Researchers in the Health and Medical Sciences in the 2011 Scopus Young Researcher Award in the United Kingdom and won the Second-place prize. I was classified as one of the 100 TOP Doctors in 2021 by the Global Education Summit. And last but not least, I am the founder of the “Excellence in Endodontics” educational platform.
Dr.Zainab: Congratulations on attaining a new landmark of ‘Seventy-Five Thousand’ followers on your Facebook scientific page! The number itself is suggestive of your passion and dedication to dentistry. Could you tell us a little bit about your journey from a hundred to Seventy-five thousand till now?
Frankly speaking and though I used to deliver presentations worldwide more than 15 years ago, just a few years ago I realized the need to exchange knowledge and experience with colleagues worldwide through social media platforms. You know how we are living in a small village, thanks to the revolutionary world network that connects people more effectively, rapidly, and closely. So, I decided to take advantage of this great tool to exchange knowledge and experience with colleagues as well as to educate patients.
Dr.Zainab: You have been actively involved in educating budding dentists. Do you think the traditional approach to dental education needs a shift?
Dr.Ahmad: I always believe in innovative approaches. Everything is changing, and definitely, our education methods should follow this. During my Ph.D. in Manchester (United Kingdom), I worked on an Enquiry Based Learning project for almost one year. One of the great things that I learned is that we have to change positively and we need to keep innovating to be able to deliver the right message in the right way at the right time, otherwise we will be out.
Dr.Zainab: What drove you to establish and create the Excellence in Endodontics groups?
Dr.Ahmad: Thanks for this excellent question which highlights the importance of the new era of education; Social Media Education. To be honest, my real start with social media learning was when I created the Excellence in Endodontics Facebook group. I noticed that some dentists are absorbing misleading concepts published on social media platforms, in specific Facebook groups. Unfortunately, the majority of FB groups are run without strict and scientific control over what is reported. Also, gaining popularity, I prefer to call it: showing off, has been for most clinicians the reason to publish cases and report personal opinions without a real and correct educational message. This definitely has had a significant adverse impact on dentists worldwide, which in turn may negatively affect the endo treatment offered to our patients, especially on the student level.
So, I decided to establish the Excellence in Endodontics Facebook group first with the main strategy: Don’t Show Me How Good Your Case Is, Tell Me How You Have Done It.
Therefore, and unlike all other Facebook groups, for the EiE one, we don’t approve any post or any case if it does not include a piece of information, clinical tips, or hints that are useful for general dentists. I believe this has made the EiE a unique group and it explains its fast and remarkable growth, as it has been the second-largest group worldwide in less than two years. And proudly we are now over 104K members after just three years of its establishment.
Dr.Zainab: Most Clinicians do not readily accept their mistakes in handling a particular case. We have seen you frequently sharing mistakes and lessons learned from them. Do you have any advice for our colleagues on how to handle such a situation?
Dr.Ahmad: Let me first add to what you mentioned, I do share not only lessons from dentists’ mistakes but also, I share what I have learned from my mistakes. I always tell my students and dentists attending my courses and lectures; mistakes and short-term failures are part of our journey to success. Therefore, dear colleagues; as long as you are doing your best scientifically, don’t be ashamed of your mistakes and keep going on in your journey to self-satisfaction and success.
Dr.Zainab: Comparing Endodontics from where you started your career to now, what have been the greatest developments?
Dr.Ahmad: For me, the greatest developments and innovations in endodontics are three: Magnification, CBCT, ultrasonics, and NiTi instruments.
Dr.Zainab: What is your favorite thing about Endodontics?
Dr.Ahmad: Dealing with fractured instruments because it's challenging and ultrasonically activated irrigating the complex root canal system anatomy because it's joyful.
Dr.Zainab: Which is that one product/equipment in clinical dentistry you cannot do without and why.
Dr.Ahmad: Microscopic magnification, because real endodontics is about managing tiny spaces and details, so we need to see what we do.
Dr.Zainab: What are your views on DentalReach?
Dr.Ahmad: I believe DentalReach is an excellent educational platform that is run and managed by excellent staff and members. I had the honor to participate in its scientific activities and I could see the professionalism of its staff and the way it is managed. I urge colleagues to take part and benefit from it.
Dr.Zainab: Any special message for our readers?
Dr.Ahmad: Aim for the greatest heights and never stop because success is an endless journey.