“I had lots of rotten teeth growing up – I loved my sweets. We had a family friend who was a paediatric dentist who explained that I could keep eating this way, but it would probably benefit me more if I didn’t. Their approach was so different – I was treated like a person rather than a child – and I felt connected to what they were saying, as opposed to having someone scold me. I’ve definitely taken this with me into my work and the way I approach things with my patients.

I actually fell into dentistry by accident. I was doing pharmacy but I prefer a more hands-on role and being able to have an active role with patients.

I didn’t think that I’d specialise – as I don’t like the idea of limiting myself – but paediatric dentistry is really unique and you get to do such a variety of treatment. Plus, you have the best patients in the world – kids really make your day!

One of the professors at the children’s hospital here at Westmead said something that really stuck with me; he said “everyone thinks of dentistry as a punishment, but a good dentistry experience could make someone’s day” – and I like that possibility.”

– Ashika Lathif, final year paediatric dental officer at Westmead Hospital

‘Humans of the Hospital’ is dedicated to the inspiring humans working at Westmead, Blacktown, Mount Druitt Auburn and Cumberland hospitals in western Sydney.