Dentistry: Dr Christopher Tan

The skills and relationships Dr Christopher Tan built at the University of Melbourne gave him the foundations to start a successful business.

Dr Christopher Tan

After graduating from the University of Melbourne, Dr Christopher Tan had a goal of opening a dental practice. Now, his practice has six clinics throughout Singapore.

Why the University of Melbourne?

I was attracted to the University of Melbourne by the good reputation of the dental faculty. I also wanted to spend time living and learning in the city of Melbourne.

I built strong friendships and professional relationships with my peers at the University, and found my life partner, who was one year my junior in the same course.

Tell us more about your role and how you got there.

I’m currently a practice owner with six clinics in Singapore. When I finished university, my wife and I set a goal to set up our own dental practice. I am proud to say that we have stuck to the plan.

My studies not only helped with professional skills but have also prepared me for human resource management and business development by allowing me to interact with people from different cultures and different walks of life.

What are some career highlights so far and what’s next?

Building the practice from scratch to a current six has been a highlight. I now have the ability to move into other fields, such as angel investing and also blockchain technology.

Next, I would like to explore if it is possible to integrate teledentistry within the practice and how to innovate and incorporate technology to keep dentistry affordable.

What drives you to do your best at work?

As healthcare providers, the first things our mentors in the University say is to do no harm. Further to that we were also inspired to always do our best and get the best outcome possible for the patients we serve. These teachings provide the driving force for me at work.

What challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them?

The COVID pandemic proved to be one of the biggest challenges we have faced as a practice. It was unprecedented to us and required a different type of resilience to pull the practice through lockdowns.

Our staff proved to be a great team and together we went through periods of doubt and, at times, despair when lockdowns were lengthened time and again.

What advice do you have for current students?

Always do your best in everything you set out to and do not take anything for granted. Nothing will come easy and there is never an easy route to success.

If you want success, you will have to work hard for it. Success takes time and even if you fail the first time, continue striving and grinding. Don’t let failure put you down.