When Dr Lima Eghlima was a 16-year-old student, a female dentist came to her high school as part of careers day.
“She was a fantastic dentist and a fantastic speaker,” Dr Lima recalls. “It really made me want to become a dentist.”
Becoming a dentist
At the time of the inspiring talk, Dr Lima lived in Iran with her family.
To become a dentist in Iran, she first had to work very hard to pass selective exams for free university tuition. “I studied six and a half years at Tehran University – the same as for becoming a doctor,” she says. “Once I finished my degree in 2006 I had to work for the government, treating people on very low incomes – that’s the rule if you study for free. But I also worked for myself and had two jobs for years.”
She married architect Pedram Eghlima who had begun the process of applying to emigrate to Australia to join his two sisters. Dr Lima and Pedram emigrated to Adelaide in December 2009 and have lived there ever since.
Once in Adelaide, Dr Lima found work as a dental assistant while studying to be recertified as a dentist.
“I didn’t know it would be such a challenging process,” she recalls.
“From 2010 to 2014 I worked as a dental assistant while also studying. Once I was certified I went from being a dental assistant on Monday to a dentist at the same practice on Tuesday.”
After 18 months there, Dr Lima had a baby, daughter Liliana, now two. The practice she’d begun work at was sold and she worked at two more locations before joining National Dental Care in North Adelaide in January this year.
National Dental Care North Adelaide practice manager, Tracey Wilson, says Dr Lima is focused on high-quality dental care with minimally invasive therapy.
“She has a friendly demeanor, integrity and a gentle approach,” says Tracey. “She is experienced in all aspects of dentistry and focuses on ensuring everyone is looked after properly and thoroughly.
“She’s a valued asset for this practice with a long-term career here.”