Rashmikant Shah

Rashmikant was born in September 1950 in Kenya, East Africa, moving with his parents when aged about 7 years old to Uganda where he was educated up to secondary level. From Uganda he went to Mumbai, India, to study for his dental degree and then came to the UK in 1975. His parents had come before him following the mass expulsion of Ugandan Asians from the country. When he came to the UK he undertook some more training and study as he found the degree grade he had obtained overseas was not recognized in England. He decided to go into dentistry while his brother became a pharmacist - they saw it as important to be financially independent in order to help their parents, so seeking well paid work was essential. He first worked as an associate then purchased his own practice. He found the targets set for dentists over the last few years quite demanding and has now retired, though he does regular NHS work to continue to help the local patient population.

Language and Discrimination

I was doing a primary exam and there was a bit of a racist comment. They asked me a question and I could not answer it at the time and the lecturer said something like, 'These are the sort of people you get'. Some people were quite good but we got comments like that. All you could do was keep quiet otherwise you wouldn’t move forward. You wouldn’t get a job or anything. The way you spoke, the dialect you had were sometimes slightly frowned upon. Because I was a natively born Asian I didn't have the problems of accent or language or intonation and because of that I think I've been treated fairly well. I've seen people who are similar who didn't get treated as well purely because of accent or communication skills and that's a recurrent theme as you go up the ladder in the NHS.  

Rashmikant Shah

Kenya