Hosted by Dr Erica Hwin

There is so much stress and anxiety that comes with graduating and entering the real world of dentistry, and it’s so easy to get swept up in it all. As new grads, at some point in our first few years there will be a moment where we hit a bit of a wall, when the magic and glamour starts to fade, and we’re left to wonder, “Is this it? Is this what I want to be doing? Is this all there is?”

Are you in love with dentistry? I’m not sure if it’s a conversation we often talk about, but I’m sure it’s something we all think of.

After sustaining a back injury that left her unable to work for four months, Dr Cathleen Dong was forced to reflect on her dental journey – what she enjoyed, what she didn’t, what was rewarding and what she wanted to change or pursue. In this episode, we dive into her story. We talk about exploration, about dabbling in different avenues to find out what it is that we enjoy and thrive in, and we dissect the whole concept of finding fulfilment in what we do.

Dr Cathleen Dong

Dr Cathleen Dong graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Dental Science in 2016. During university, she was actively involved in dental student committees on both a local and national level. Cathleen enjoys being a part of ADA NSW and is a Board Director, Councillor and the current Chair of the Recent Graduates Committee as well as the Education and Research Committee. She is passionate about providing resources and consistently improving membership value for recent graduates in addition to championing the importance of career sustainability in the profession. Cathleen also works as a Clinical Educator tutoring final year Charles Sturt University dental students. Having started her career in the public sector, Cathleen currently works in private practice on the Central Coast. Outside of dentistry, she co-founded JOGOWEAR – a medical apparel brand specialising in streamlined, functional and innovative scrubs.

Dental Protection Limited

Dental Protection we’re the first to come on board supporting dental students and graduates through the Dental Head Start Podcast and now they’re stepping up again by release the new publication Young Dental Practitioners as well as the Survival guide, their e-Learning platform ‘Prism’ and Sign up for Risk Wise Connect. Find it at the links or on their Facebook Page.

Dental Practitioner Support

Dental Practitioner Support is the first national 24/7 telephone and online service to support dental practitioner health and wellbeing in Australia.

The service is free, confidential and independent. Remember, good practice involves seeking support when you need it. Dental practitioners can call and speak to an experienced team ready to provide advice on a wide range of issues, including mental and physical health, workplace issues and general wellbeing.

Call them anytime you need, and even save the number in your phone so that it’s there on the day that you need it.

1800 377 700 or visit the website

Admetec Loupes by Byron Medical

Lightweight, sturdy and stylish, Admetec’s refractive Ergoloupes are designed to optimise your posture, so you’re not popping a disc trying to prep the distal of that 47. Level up your scales and cleans when you can actually see every tiny fleck of calculus fly off the tooth. With a tiny wireless battery that clips on magnetically and switches out seamlessly even mid procedure, say goodbye to getting tangled in your wires and the painful indents on your nose bridge from having to support heavy loupes.

Byron Medical are Australian based, and are quick and easy to get in touch with and address any issues you have. They’ll even come to your workplace for your initial consult and fitting session. 

For more information, visit

And don’t forget to mention Dental Head Start, to get a special added bonus with your loupes. 

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