Being a dentist, one will not always choose the most common career path of working in a hospital or setting up a clinical practice. Some may want to serve and work for the country but never knew about this opportunity. Many of us might have dreamt of studying at Armed Force Medical College during the prep time of medical entrance exams, which unfortunately did not happen. But there is always a second chance for every opportunity.
Indian Army has a specially designed organization, Army Dental Corps, for all the dentists around India to serve and work for the country. Being a dentist, one can serve as Short Services Commissioned Officer in the defense by joining the Army Dental Corps. In this organization, every year, about 50-60 vacancies are opened for registered dental graduates. and the notification for the same gets published in May/June every year, in the daily newspapers and on the official website of the Indian Army, i.e., www.indianarmy.nic.in or www.joinindianarmy.nic.in
A career in the Indian Army as an officer would fetch you a kind of satisfaction owing to the benefits in terms of career prospects, salary and perks, career stability, and a chance to serve the nation at the national level, etc. The Indian Army has been recognized for its excellent job opportunities for the youth, and you can avail the same entering the Indian Army as an officer.
There are two stages into the Army Dental Corps:
1) Short Service Commission (SSC)
For SSC, there are specific eligibility criteria to be fulfilled by the candidates to apply for SSC. The eligible candidates should appear in the NEET-MDS exam and should tick the option of SSC AD Corpse in that online application. The shortlisted candidates will be called for interviews, and the final list of candidates will be based on your performance in the interview alone. Selected candidates will undergo the medical test, and then they will be incorporated into the service. The initial tenure for SSC candidates is 5 years, which will be extendable by 5 years and further by 4 years according to specific rules.
2) Departmental Permanent Commission (DPC)
For DPC, the serving SSC Officers get a maximum of 3 chances to serve for the DPC grant. The serving SSC officers get their first two chances in their first 2 to 4 years of service, and the third chance they will get in their 5 to 8 years of service. Age must not be more than 30 years for BDS-SSC Officers and 35 years for MDS-SSC officers on 31st December in the year of application. After two (02) years of service, desirous and eligible Short Service Commissioned(SSC) officers undergo selection for Permanent Commission(PC), to take up Armed Forces as a career. PC Officers are eligible for post-graduate training in Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge, Periodontology, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics, and Orthodontics & Dentofacial orthopedics after putting in four (04) years of regular service. Click on the link below to check more detailed information.
Working in the Army Dental Corps may be risky at some point of time, but at the same time you put on the uniform, life indeed changes, this change is a matter of perception, you could either take it as a risk or choose to make it as a thrill. Indian Army gives a lot of opportunities to learn as a dentist. During your field postings, you are managing a small dental section on your own, which is almost equivalent to a small civil setup. In contrast, during your peace postings, you are posted to more prominent dental centers with different specialists posted. Working in such centers under close supervision and guidance of specialists of all branches gives you a lot of professional exposure.
P.S.: This blog aims at giving a basic overview of the Army Dental Corps, and the information may change with time.