Oral Health Group
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Chairside Chats: A Word With…Dr. Amin Shivji

August 9, 2021
by Oral Health


Dr. Amin Shivji
CEO and Co-Founder of 123Dentist

What is one thing you know now that you wish you had known at the start of your career?

I wish I had a better understanding of how hard it is to run a business. Being a great dentist doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a great business owner. That’s why we feel it’s important to give back to the dental community, such as helping a struggling dental practice during a pandemic where we can. It’s the right thing to do.

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What are the two key qualities you look for in a new team member?

The two main things we look for in a new team member is cultural fit and professional competency. It starts with culture: we are a close-knit team, and we believe strongly in customer service, so we look for people who thrive in a team environment and want to deliver excellence. And, of course, we want skilled, qualified professionals.

What is the one piece of equipment or technology you could not work without?

Personally, my phone. It’s like the remote control of your life. It truly is a lifeline to communicate with family, friends and my 123Dentist family. I review x-rays on my phone and share information with colleagues. In the clinic, a fully digital office is very important for the team and patient care. It allows us to provide better patient service and care.

What is the most important piece of advice you would give to a new practitioner?

First, make the patient your priority. Focus on the treatments you can do and refer everything else. Second, dentistry is about continuous learning and building relationships. Experience and
knowledge will guide your treatment planning, and mentors will help take you to the next level. It just makes you a better dentist.

What do you do to make sure you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

I love coming in to work because we’ve created a great culture. That said, I make time to take holidays and I encourage everyone to do the same. Taking care of yourself means you can take care of others better. I love to travel and ride my motorcycle. I am also a car enthusiast.

What do you consider to be your best and worst qualities?

I have the same quality for both, which is being too nice. It is easy to see how that is a good quality, but I think sometimes being too nice means that I don’t make tough decisions as quickly as I should.

What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?

I would love to be a pilot. It is the ultimate freedom.


Dr. Amin Shivji was born in Africa and moved to Vancouver in 1973. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1989 with a BSc in Biology and entered the Faculty of Dentistry at UBC, graduating in 1993. He opened his first practice in Vancouver in 1993 and still practices today.


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