BDS Honours - Cream of the Crop
Getting through the BDS course itself is already a rough and tough path. But getting Honours on top of that is something that one should cherish. From 1937 until 1999, only 5 persons had got the honours. And the last person to achieve this honours was none other than our present dean, A/P Keson Tan and that was in 1985. Therefore, it is such that we should celebrate the fact that Marlene Teo managed to end this dry run after 15 years. It is indeed a good beginning for the new millennium.
Marlene graduated last year and is now working in National Dental Centre. She lives with her parents and one younger sister. Her father is a medical doctor, her mother is a former Biology teacher and her sister is a medical student. She attended the Raffles Girls' School and later the Raffles Junior College.
Interview- Marlene Teo
Q 1 : Congratulations Marlene! We are proud of you. How did you feel when you found out that you have achieved the highest accolade - the Honours degree?
Thank you! I felt disbelief at first. I was on holiday in Melbourne
and had just got off the plane when my sister thrusted a bunch of flowers
in my face and screamed "AAAAAHHHH!!!! Congrats on getting Honours
jie!" I was like "huh?" I had to call 5 classmates to
check if she was serious. It took 5 days for the information to sink
in but when it did, I was so happy! Of course, after the
Q 2 : Could you let us have some insight into your formula of your success?
In dentistry it's all about not giving up when things get rough. I was
also lucky to have family, and friends who were loving and supportive.
Q 3 : Who/what was your greatest inspiration?
Marlene: I have never told her, but my greatest inspiration was and still is A/Prof Grace Ong. I admire her ability to balance her family and career. You forget how small-sized she is when she teaches because she's so dynamic and puts her points across very well. As a student, you also feel that she is not only concerned about our grades but also our personal lives. She also takes care of her husband and kids without a maid in the house. I want to learn some of those time management skills from her!
Q 4 : Could you let us have a peek into your personal life eg what is your favourite past time and interests?
My favourite past time is sleeping. I need at least 9 hours of sleep
Q 5 : How was life as a dental student and what was the best memory you had as a dental student?
Dental School was tough. It was no easy ride. Failing competency tests,
redoing dentures, feeling permanently tired and crabby became routine
after a while. Looking back however, I would choose to go to dental
best memory is of the dance we put up for the dinner and dance at the
6 : If you were to give advice to your juniors in one sentence, what
Marlene: Hang In there Life is good after dental school!
Q 7 : What is your greatest challenge as a clinician now?
Marlene: My greatest challenge is to get patients to trust my clinical judgement. I also want my patients to leave my chair feeling less fearful of dentists and to become more aware of their dental needs.
Q 8 : What are your future goals?
At present, I have an interest in Orthodontics and Periodontics. As
yet, I am still unsure about which path would interest me more. I'm