Biomed graduate a boost to regional Tasmania’s dental services

Local media and east coast residents welcome Qiannan Huang after she completes her Bachelor of Biomedicine and Doctor of Dental Surgery at Melbourne.

Growing up in rural China, Qiannan Huang had little exposure to preventive dentistry and would have to travel for hours to see a dentist.

So, she can relate to the challenges many regional and rural Australian communities face when it comes to accessing high-quality oral health care.

“It has always been my dream to pursue dentistry in a developed country,” she says. “Helping people is a very rewarding experience. Their smiles and satisfaction always make me happy.”

Qiannan studied a Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne before graduating with a Doctor of Dental Surgery last year. She is now an associate dentist at St Helens Dental, in Tasmania.

After the School of Biomedical Sciences profiled Qiannan’s achievements in late 2018, the article attracted local media attention. And, since being featured in the Coastal Column (the regional newspaper), east coast residents have expressed their joy at her appointment as the community’s first permanent dentist in more than a year.

“Dental services have been difficult to access here, there have been mostly visiting dentists during the past 12 months after the previous permanent dentist relocated,” she says.

While Qiannan was studying at the University of Melbourne, she lived on campus at Ormond College and was the recipient of the Ormond Scholar Award in 2014, as well as the Sir Harold Dew Medical Scholarship in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

She also won the Melbourne Global Mobility Scholarship in 2012 and was appointed as the University’s Dental Ambassador to promote dental health in local communities from 2013-2017.

“Studying at Melbourne really broadened my horizons and further enhanced my passion and determination to help people through dentistry,” she says.

Read more about Qiannan and other Bachelor of Biomedicine students.