It was our greatest honor and pleasure
to meet a female figure that has pioneered and driven the field of dentistry in
Kuwait. As the first Kuwaiti woman to receive a dentistry degree, Dr. Eqbal
Al-Asfour is also one of the select founding members appointed by the Ministry
of Health in establishing the Kuwaiti Dental Society. After an honorable
service in the public sector for almost 24 years, Dr. Al-Asfour now owns and
manages the established multispecialty dental clinic, Al Mubarakiya Dental
Why did you initially pursue Dentistry
for your higher education?
My father really wished for one of his
daughters to become a doctor, and he was my main supporter from the start of my
Did you feel a great pressure placed
upon you to achieve more in your career as the first Kuwaiti female to graduate
with a dental degree?
We were five Kuwaiti ladies who
attempted to study dentistry, and I was the first to graduate with a fellow
female colleague in 1970. At the time, I felt extremely pressured because being
a female doctor, let alone a dentist, in Kuwait was considered a very strange
notion to the public. I used to work at different clinics, and when patients
were confronted with a female Kuwaiti dentist, many reacted adversely at first.
I had to prove myself as a Kuwaiti female and a qualified dentist.
Do you feel like you reached your
career goal in establishing Al Mubarakiya Dental Center?
After almost 24 years of public
service, I figured I should start my own small practice; I deserved to give my
self a chance. My transition was very fast, and I had established my first
practice, which was much smaller, immediately at a time when there was a lack
of private dental services available. It was always my personal goal to grow my
practice into a dental center. Expanding is a huge step, and with the
encouragement of my loyal client base, friends and family, I took the next step
Do you believe that it is important to
better educate and train dentists about the latest techniques in dental
I always support my team to go for any
additional training they feel would better their career and future, and this in
the long run, has truly paid off in building a sustainable and successful team.
Do the dentists at the center educate
Of course, I make sure that doctors are
always communicating with the patients. That is after all, the most important
aspect of earning your patient's trust. Even though we provide our patients with
plenty of educational brochures for them to read, doctors are trained to
communicate with patients. When patients read our brochures, they come to the
doctor with questions, and even when they don't, the doctors are supposed to
ensure that the patient understands his dental condition and what needs done
every step of the way.
How has Al Mubarakiya Dental Center
improved across the years?
Since 2004, we've expanded our
services, modernized our medical equipment, and furthered the knowledge of our
team to include new services like orthodontics and implants. Also, we now have
a secondary branch in Egaila.
What is the most important quality that
you feel separates Al Mubarakiya Dental Center from its competitors?
I believe it is the genuine
relationship between patient and doctor, and the familial atmosphere at our
clinic, it makes people come back for repeat visits. We're also very conscious
to offer expert dental care at affordable prices, as the flexibility of our
pricing structure at our clinic makes it accessible to everyone. This truly
separates us from the rest, as we don't wish to pressure the patient more in
the hardened economic conditions we live in now. Sometimes, prices scare off
the patients and that would lead to greater health risks that I wish to avoid.
As doctors, we are supposed to help people.
As an established Doctor, and
high-powered businesswoman, what do you do to relax?
Traveling is my only release. I love
it! I always worry too much about my work and family, and only when I actually
leave the country, I am able to finally relax.