Since 2018, I’ve been working as a recruiter for BGB Dentistry. I joined this program with my partner (who is also a dentist) to build a better future for ourselves.

In the past year, I became a contact person for dentists from Greece and Cyprus. Therefore, I decided to go on my first trip to Greece and meet dentists there! Here I want to share my notes, ideas and experiences from that week in the beautiful city of Thessaloniki!

I arrived in Thessaloniki on Monday, the 21st of November. A pleasant surprise was definitely the weather. After getting settled in the hotel, I took off to see the surroundings and worked from a café close to my hotel. Later, I had a conversation with a dentist from Germany, since I am not just a contact person for dentists from Greece only.😉

After the whole day of travelling and then catching up with work, I was craving a nice meal. And of course, I went for gyros! I never had a better one than in Greece. I finished my night with a Greek beer and was ready to meet dentists the next day!

On Tuesday, I was supposed to meet two dentists during the day, but unfortunately, both of them had to cancel our meeting due to personal reasons. I hope I will still have a chance to meet them at least online. It can happen, so it didn’t put my mood down, and went to work from a great location where many young people meet, work, talk and study. The place is called The Caravan Café.

Besides providing a nice atmosphere, they also make great Greek coffee there, which I of course enjoyed a lot during the week. What I learned: Greek people are coffee lovers!

Thessaloniki does not have only great food and coffee, but it’s also a very beautiful city for sightseeing. So in the evening I went to the places that one of our dentists, Frixos, (who studied dentistry at the University in Thessaloniki) recommended going see. 😊

One of the places I went to see was The Umbrellas sculpture. It was wonderful walk along the shore so I have to thank Frixos for his recommendations! While walking in the evening, I realized that many dentists who are thinking about moving to the Netherlands will like the fact that bicycles, scooters and other small vehicles, have separate roads in most places in the Netherlands. For me, the traffic in general was very chaotic in Thessaloniki. On the other hand, I believe that without the constant honking and people passing by, the city wouldn’t have the nice, free, vibrant vibe it had for me.

On Wednesday I met dentists in a place called Tabya. As I understood, it is a place where most students like to hang out, study and work. I actually liked the place and I think it was a perfect environment for sharing more about Dutch dentistry and BGB.

That day I met some experienced Greek dentists but also students who are close to wrapping up their studies and looking for a good opportunity. Most of them struggle to find a clinic where they can practice high-quality dentistry and be allowed to do a variety of treatments. In the Netherlands, everyone has a chance to start as long as they are confident to start working at the Dutch dental clinic. I had a feeling that the students I met were more than capable to become dentists in the Netherlands to start practicing what they studied for.

All in all, I think that Greek dentists are eager to work and they are not afraid to start working abroad. The most valuable thing for them is to be recognized as good professionals and receive good working conditions. Another important thing is a stimulating work environment that allows them to grow professionally.

We always support our dentists in learning and developing their careers in the Netherlands. Our colleague Rita, a dentist advisor, is always ready to give advice on where to search for a course, and she also offers courses organized by BGB or in cooperation with other organizations.

After long talks with friendly and enthusiastic dentists, I rushed to get some good Greek food again! Because I didn’t manage to have a warm lunch that day, I was so excited to eat a nice meal from a typical Greek restaurant. Unfortunately/fortunately, on my way back to the hotel, I was “forced” to stop by a beautiful bakery. I couldn’t resist and grabbed a dessert and cappuccino freddo to go! 😊

The next day was my last day before I had to head back to the Netherlands. So on Thursday I still planned meetings with dentists. I had very productive meetings that day as well, which allowed me to get to know even more about the current state of Greek dentistry.

After long days of having productive meetings and sharing knowledge, I went for a walk to think about everything that I had learned myself that week.

It’s not an easy task to study for five or more years to become a dentist, and then end up doing nothing but fillings, extractions and regular check-ups for the next couple of years. Or on the other hand, owning your own clinic but having to be available basically 24/7 to help your patients. Or working for 12 hours a day at multiple different locations to be able to gain experience, which would not be possible while only working at one clinic. At least those are the stories I heard the most during that week.

In the Netherlands, most dentists work from 8:30 till 17:00 (17:30). It’s a full-time job and not an easy one. You should be ready to treat between 15-20 patients a day after you build up your agenda. The positive part is to always have an assistant and other people to help you with a good workflow. After some years of living and working in the Netherlands, most dentists switch to a 3-4 day work week so they can spend the rest of the days the way they would like to or further educate themselves.

The reason why I and my colleagues are talking to dentists online or on the location about the possibility of becoming a Dutch dentist is the shortage of them in our country. While this is an ongoing issue for our country, it is also opens up a big opportunity for dentists such as yourself.

Are you a dentist from Greece or Cyprus? Then get in touch directly with Aneta! Are you from another EU country? 😊 Contact us, and we will make sure the right person will get back to you asap! We will be more than happy to share more about becoming a Dutch BGB Dentist!