Antoine Skaff is a dentist who practices in West Virginia and has been featured in international news platforms for his contributions to his community and beyond as a mentor and as a good samaritan.
Originally prominently featured for his immigrant success story, having fled a civil war by boat with only $200 to his name in 1976, Skaff is taking to online platforms and his own website to encourage people to follow their passions in dentistry, or whichever path they choose.
While Antoine Skaff provided concrete advice to aspiring dentists, he is also quick to help those who are starting their educational journey in a new country. He recommends that young people work hard today so that their effort can pay off in the future when they embark on their careers.
Skaff’s education started at the University of Ottawa in 1977, and it continues today as dentistry is ever changing.
One of Antoine Skaff’s main pieces of advice is to continue learning no matter what stage you are at in your career. Whether you’re a new dentist familiar with more modern techniques or someone who has been practicing for decades, it’s important to be receptive to new information and seek to get better.
By getting better at dentistry, you’re doing a favor to your patients, yourself and your family.
Skaff says that it’s important for young dentists to realize that they play a significant role in improving the quality of life of their patients. When you care about your patients and seek to give them the best treatment possible, you’re doing more than just enhancing their smile. You’re helping them live a fulfilling, healthy and more worry-free life.
Antoine Skaff goes on to say that it’s important to always advise patients on what is best for them, and to do so in the most honest way possible.
“Even though pulling the tooth is the cheapest route, it’s not always the best route and it should be the last resort because to replace that one tooth is going to cost you and be much more expensive than fixing it.”
Skaff also has advice for budding dentists who are thinking of opening up their own practices. He says in the early days, he put as much as he possibly could back into the business. Skaff says this is one of the best decisions he ever made in the early days of his practice because it allowed him to pay down debts and open a second location.
To expand on this point, Skaff says he saved as much money as he possibly could when he was a student so that he could have more options and opportunities when he began working.
Skaff remembers walking 20 miles to get home to avoid paying taxi fare when the buses stopped running late at night. He also remembers living in a 10 by 10 flat with no heating, surviving on pork, beans and expired bread when he was a student.
While Skaff doesn’t recommend people following in his footsteps deprive themselves, he does encourage them to be mindful of their expenses and their cash flow.
“It’s important to keep your eye on the future.”