For those looking for a Filipino Dentist in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Shamira Tonio is the name to remember.
Shamira graduated from the Centro Escolar University-Mendiola College of Dentistry in the schoolyear ending 2007.
She hails from Kidapawan City and speaks Cebuano, Tagalog and Hiligaynon (Ilonggo). For the past 5 years, she has been working in a clinic owned by a Saudi national and is the only Filipino dentist in the center.
Shamira is currently the Mass Media Officer of the organization for Filipino Dentists in KSA in Riyadh. The organization has already become a chapter of the Philippine Dental Association.
About getting licensed as a dentist in KSA, Shamira said that one has to take the prometric examination in the Ministry of Health. Some Filipino dentists took the exam before they left the Philippines but she took the prometric exam in Riyadh.
Filipinos are given three months from the time of arrival in Riyadh to take the exam.*
Pinoydentist.com asked Shamira, "Being from Kidapawan in Mindanao, did it make it easier to adjust in KSA considering that you came from an Islamic setting back home?".
Dr. Tonio candidly replied, "Not really, because the people in Kidapawan are mostly Christians and I am a Roman Catholic. I grew up studying in a Catholic school. But being from the province and studying in Manila away from the comforts of home, I have learned to become independent. Being here is just like being in Manila, but with foreign co-workers. They are not necessarily dentists and are mostly nurses but they are Filipina.
*Information provided has been based on published procedures as of this writing. The Filipino Dentist still recommends that those interested to practice their dentistry in KSA, should check with the embassy and other authorized offices of the Kingdom, prior to buying any tickets to KSA.
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