An interview with Gina Vega

Gina VegaGina Vega talks to us about her career in dentistry, her proudest accomplishments and how she unwinds outside of work.

Factfile

Name: Dr Gina Vega

Position: Principal dentist 

Practice: Bishopsgate Dental Care

Tell me about where you grew up and what your family life was like?

I grew up in Mexico City; I am part of a very large family my mum had seven siblings and my dad 11, so my weekends were always spend with family!

We used to meet at my grandma’s house every Saturday and play all kind of games in the streets.

Every birthday lead to a big party where we used to dance every rhythm you may think of. That’s how my love for dancing originated!

My childhood was a very happy and free one!

What led you to a career in dentistry?

I was only eight years old when I fell in love with the smell at the dental practice my mum used to take us. Crazy I know but I decided then I wanted to be a dentist!

What do you like most about it?

The satisfaction I get every day by taking care of my patients, helping them when in pain or giving them the smile they dream of makes me happy.

I also love the social interactions with my patients and staff and the fact that there is no monotony at work – every day is different. I feel so lucky to be a dentist!

What are you most proud of accomplishing?

When I bought my practice in 2010 I did not know that it was on the verge of bankruptcy. The previous owner lied to me. My solicitor and accountant found out and I was so involved with the practice, I decided to go ahead and buy it regardless of its financial condition.

By the time I signed the contract, I was already working there two days a week and working from home very long hours in order to get CQC compliant as that December was the date to submit all the applications and paperwork.

It was a real challenge, as at the time I had no idea of how to run a business and had a very busy home life too, with a one-year-old baby and a four-year-old just starting school!

It took a lot of hard work and dedication to move the practice forwards. Now Bishopsgate Dental Care is a multi-award winning dental practice, all the hard work paid off. I am very proud of my team and the service we provide to our patients.

The interesting thing as an owner is that every year brings with it a challenge; so far I have had three very difficult periods running the practice, times where I had to take difficult decisions and work extra hard to get through, one of them being this pandemic

Who have been your strongest influences in life?

My parents, both worked very hard to give my siblings and me every opportunity in life by providing us with a good education.

Their example was the biggest influence I have had in life; I hope I am providing the same example to my children.

How would friends and acquaintances describe you?

I hope they will describe me as a chatty, fun and easy going.

Share with us something about yourself that you want to improve.

I would like to improve my fitness and get into meditation; I have been particularly lazy since the first lockdown and I know I have to go back to some kind of exercise. People that can switch off work and relax through meditation, I envy.

How do you unwind outside of dentistry?

I enjoy doing puzzles, reading and watching Netflix.

Where’s your favourite holiday destination?

I love a European city break; I enjoy walking and getting lost in the streets and trying a different place to eat every day, as well as enjoying a lovely evening in a terrace with a good glass of champagne seeing the world go by.

What’s your favourite film?

An Affair to Remember 1957 with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.

It was my grandma’s favourite film and I remember her listening to the lyrics of the film when I was a child. I fell in love with this film because of her.

It makes me cry every time!

How do you keep fit?

I don’t, that is the problem!

Are you vegan or vegetarian?

Not at all, a good meal for me has to include some kind of meat!

What was the last picture you took with your phone?

A selfie in my front room, it was a very sunny day and it had a great special effect so I posted on my Instagram page.

Sum yourself up in three words?

  1. Stubborn
  2. Determined
  3. Social.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Just to give one piece of advice to the young dentist out there, be genuine and do not compete with anybody but yourself.

This article first appeared in Private Dentistry magazine. You can read the latest issue here.

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