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Dentists Who Invest

Side Gigging To Success with Dr. Rawa Jay

Dr. James: 

what’s up team? Welcome back to another episode of the dentistry invest podcast, and this podcast today is all about entrepreneurship and carving a path outside of dentistry, and I’ve got an amazing dentist sat in front of me, dr rawa jay, and she’s going to tell us all about her entrepreneurial activities in just a moment. But before we do that, how are you today?

Dr. Rawa: 

I’m great, thank you. Yeah, really excited to be here. Um, no, thank you for having me on the on as a guest, because I love your show and I really appreciate oh, you’re a listener as well.

Dr. James: 

We never got that far when we talked, did we I?

Dr. Rawa: 

do listen. To be honest, I have like a million podcasts I listen to, so I like don’t listen to one like systemically, but I hop in and out, um. So no, I do love your podcast oh wow.

Dr. James: 

Well, you know what that’s made my day, because you know, from my perspective, it’s just me and a flipping mic and zoom, and it’s hard to believe that anybody listens, and some numbers on the screen and I’m just like, every so often, someone will be like, oh, you said this in this episode and you spoke to this person and this happened.

Dr. James: 

And I’m like did I, yeah? And I’m just like, and then every so often, someone will be like, oh, you said this in this episode and you spoke to this person and this happened. And I’m like did I, yeah? And I’m like, yeah, that’s cool. And then it obviously shows that people listen. You know, that’s amazing man, that’s amazing. Favorite episode of the Denison invest podcast. Rather, thank you. I know it’s so hard to choose. I know I get that all the time. It’s hard to pin it down to one, but if you had to pick one, favorite episode.

Dr. Rawa: 

So there was one about um buying property and selling property with harry singh, and that one stood out to me because actually after that I started researching um, his products and what he does, because he’s got like a whole side gig, um.

Dr. James: 

So I really enjoyed that one but honestly I just I listened to like so many of them, I can’t even pick one of them that was a curveball of a question, but no, it’s good that you could even narrow it down to one, because they all blend into one, right? I? You know, at least for me and other people’s. When I listen to other people’s podcasts, shout out harry sing and shout out episode number one, because I believe that that’s the episode that you’re referring to. I recall that, but listen anyway. Less about the dentist who invest podcast and more about rawa, because that’s what we’re here to talk about today. So, rawa, really interested to know a little bit about your background for the benefit of the listeners before we jump into your entrepreneurial story yeah, well, um.

Dr. Rawa: 

So I’ve been a dentist for 10 years, um, and I’ve kind of moved around the space a lot, like I found myself working in the NHS and then going privately quite early on in my career. I worked at corporates, I worked at independent practices. I literally have done everything in dentistry and I think what I was looking, there was something I was searching for and I never I never quite found what I was looking for. And that’s when I was like, actually I probably need to move into a different direction. So that’s how I realized I needed to go into entrepreneurship, um and move into health technology um.

Dr. Rawa: 

But I’ve worked for different corporates, like Bupa um I’m currently part-time there at the moment um, I’ve worked with like loads of smaller corporates, like smart, and then I’ve worked for loads of really nice high-end private practices as well as like more simple nhs funds. So that’s done a lot, um. And then about five years ago I kind of decided I was going to move into health technology and started to do quite a lot of research and scope out problems and things I was going to try and solve um. So I basically that’s what I’ve been doing since then and made a few interesting kind of breakthroughs with it where I kind of got on the particular program which is specifically for healthcare professionals. It’s kind of curated by NHS England. But yeah, I don’t know if I’m going off on a tangent.

Dr. James: 

Just stop me if I am Absolutely not intrigued to hear your story, rawa, and you know what we should 100% talk about, what your business is that you’ve created. Just in a moment. However, before we do that, I really feel, from what I’ve seen, the mindset of a lot of dentists who are in dentistry they’re kind of going through the motions, maybe not 100% satisfied with it. The mindset of those people is okay, I’m not 100 satisfied with this, but how do I actually get out? Like, how does that process look? How does that start? And I know that there’s no shake and bake formula, you know. But I guess what I’m getting at is how you have and you know you still got your thing. You know one hand in dentistry and what you do. Yeah, I was wondering for you how did that process look like? How did you break free and begin reducing your clinical hours and create a business which gives you some supplemental income, which allowed you to do that?

Dr. Rawa: 

yes, that’s a brilliant question because it will look different for everyone. The key thing with that is you need to explore and kind of you need to start exploring the new kind of avenue you want to go down in a. For me, it had to be in a risk-free way, because a lot of people have families and they need to still make some money. Um, and in terms of, like health technology in particular, the credibility factor is a massive one. So even like a lot, like a lot of people who would move into health technology, even if you’ve got five years background researching it and a massive network and you you know you’re credible, people will still look at you like you’re still a dentist, um, so that’s a big factor and I think it’s key to kind of skill up, so like get some courses under your belt, start exploring. That way you can get loads of really simple ones over the internet just to kind of gauge what you think you like in a really risk-free way.

Dr. Rawa: 

I went to a lot of meetup groups as well and I thought they were brilliant at kind of testing the waters and understanding and just networking as well. Like I think that was where most of my opportunities actually came from just going to events and meeting people and talking to people. So meetup is a great app for that. Um, and the other thing was hackathons. I think they’re really good so, especially if you’re interested in health technology, hackathons are really really good. You’ll always feel stupid going as a non-techie person, but just go there with that open-minded attitude and be really upfront about the fact you’re not techie, you’re just interested and generally people are quite curious and they, you know they’re quite welcoming. Um, so, yeah, that’s that’s. I think that’s the key thing to start your research, basically, basically.

Dr. James: 

You know what. You’re actually the second person who’s went down the whole entrepreneurial path, who said to me that actually, james, it’s about going to networking events and meeting new people and just seeing what’s possible, because it really expands you. And you’re thinking, if you’re literally in the surgery looking at teeth all day, well, we’re only really focusing on that, on that one thing, whereas in reality there’s lots of other people out there who have different lifestyles and do different things and part of the inspo can come from understanding a little bit more about their lives and understanding what you can pull across to the dental world to serve people, because ultimately, you create value and you’ve potentially got a business yeah, it’s a difficult thing to do because you know we have such a niche skill skill set and I and I found if I was working any more than three days a week it was impossible to actually build a side hustle in this, because my aim is that, obviously, to start it as a side hustle and go in full time and basically lead dent.

Dr. Rawa: 

But I couldn’t do that if I was doing dentistry five days a week, because dentistry is so all encompassing that when you are in front of a patient you have to be so present with them that it’s really really difficult to be thinking about anything else and and you know, and so that mindset shift is really difficult. I would say, if you’re, if you’re looking to get out of dentistry, it’s, I would say it’s probably going to be near impossible to do if you are a full-time dentist create space and then, when you create the space, nature abhors.

Dr. James: 

A vacuum is a saying that I absolutely love. What that means is, when there’s a vacuum, something has to flow to be in it. So if you make that space and you have the opportunity for other stuff to flow into your life, but you’ve got to create it in the first place, not the other way around, wait for it to appear, so to speak, but anyway. Anyway, I really like that. I can’t remember where I got that anyway, I like that too, and I was, I always.

Dr. James: 

I like to remind myself of that sometimes, but anyway, okay, cool. So you’re in dentistry.

Dr. Rawa: 

I’m right and right in saying that you weren’t like 100 lit up by dentistry in and of itself yeah, okay, there’s things I love about dentistry, but there’s loads of things I really don’t love about dentistry and unfortunately, you have to do everything sometime. So I couldn’t go down the specialist route because I just didn’t want to, I didn’t want to pour tons of time and money and yeah, just it wasn’t, wasn’t, it’s not for me. There’s things I love, but it’s not all for me so there we are.

Dr. James: 

Okay, cool. So that’s how you felt. And then what was the moment of inspiration where you thought right, there’s a real opportunity to serve and help Dennis and therefore potentially create a business. What was that moment? Or was there one moment, or was it more like a process or a journey?

Dr. Rawa: 

Yeah, it was a process. So in 2017, I heard something that was happening in the health tech space and it was to do with Babylon Health and how they’d like built a. It was essentially a virtual GP which was able to diagnose patients with 80% accuracy. Gp which was able to diagnose patients with 80% accuracy um, as you know, the same as a human level of accuracy. That was the point at which I was like consumed with knowing more. I just I couldn’t explain what that moment did for me, but I just had to know more. So I started to research.

Dr. Rawa: 

Just tech really heavily at that point became my main focus, and it wasn’t until 2019 that I decided I was going to move into health technology and I was going to build a business. I had an idea on what I was going to do, but the problem, the thing that I kept doing, was I kept doing the due diligence, making documents and kind of having all this like research and stuff, but I wasn’t actually building anything. Um, and it wasn’t until 2020 that I started to build my network around me and actually started to take action. Um, and I think so. The eureka moment was, firstly, understanding in 2017 that things were changing and there were. There were new opportunities out there, but I didn’t actually yeah, I didn’t actually act on it, I guess till about 2020, when I really started to um, meet mentors and investors and really find out more information.

Dr. Rawa: 

I think the thing is, you have to be so brave because no one’s going to spoon feed you the information you’re going to have to get out there and find out about it and you’re always going to look a bit silly, like you’re moving into a space that you don’t know anything about. Your skills lie in a different area and you just have to be really brave about the fact that you are going to look silly sometimes, but slowly you’re going to learn your craft and, um, yeah, over time I just got more and more confident about it and just met kind of more of the right people who directed me and, and you know, some of my mentors are amazing because you can ask them really kind of basic questions and they’ll not make you feel stupid because they remember when they were on that journey. Um, so I think mentorship is really key in this and, like generally, I’d account a lot of my successes to them, uh, to mentors. But but yeah, that’s that’s kind of the advice I’d give um move into the right circles by the right mentors.

Dr. James: 

I forgot the question and that’s the best part, and that’s the best part. We just freestyle. You know, we don’t even need a question, we’re just speaking, speaking from the heart. I love that. And listen, you know what I’m itching? To jump in and say like 10 things to compliment what you’ve just said, only because I see the parallels in my own journey.

Dr. James: 

Number one is mentors, which I could bang on about all day. And then number two as well is that shifting your beliefs and understanding that these negative inverted commas, feeling feelings like feeling silly, feeling like out of your comfort zone are actually part of the process, whereas most people try to avoid those feelings. But in actual reality, that means that we’re growing and that is something that we should embrace if we want to grow a business. But anyway, I’m not going to steal the limelight. Let’s go back, and it’s true and I see every business owner goes through these things effectively, which is cool. But anyway, back to yourself. So your company I think you hinted at this a second ago what it does is it presumably uses AI to make diagnosis from radiographs in dentistry. Have I got that right?

Dr. Rawa: 

It’s actually much more simple than that. It’s really so. Basically, our team is the key thing here. Obviously, I’ve got the dental background and my co-founder is a PhD sorry, he’s a lecturer in AI and he’s got a PhD in machine learning. So the AI route is the route we are going to push down more and more. But we have to solve a more simple problem to get ourselves established as a business. So our problem is super simple. We’re just solving how dentists communicate with their patients.

Dr. Rawa: 

Um, we’ve done a lot of research into this space and we know that, like generally dentists, well, patients forget 49 of the information they’re told during the consultation. And then your dental notes, even though they you might spend ages writing them, you might get perfect notes, but it’s really hard for that to be foolproof because it’s always going to be seen as like slightly biased records. So we’re fixing that problem and we’re kind of centralizing the consent process and semi-automating it, making it really nice and simple, digitalizing it and creating kind of a new workflow for the team. So it’s a much more simple problem. But the ai um enrichments are stuff we’re going to build in very soon. Um. So we’ve got yeah, we’ve got obviously a really exciting product roadmap um, but for now we’re just fixing that really, really simple, simple communication issue.

Dr. James: 

Sweet, okay, cool. So you had your moment of inspiration, you started building the company and circle. What era was that? 2020, 2021?

Dr. Rawa: 

uh, no, actually I continued to kind of build my network. I was going to build another product, which I I didn’t do in the end.

Dr. James: 

Um, we actually launched this company in 2022 yeah, end of 2022, so it’s not been too long wow, and you’re in a place right now where there’s enough income coming in from that company, where you can reduce your clinical days yeah, well we’re, there’s a lot kind of happening all at once and what we found was it took us such a long time to actually build the product and like we had to pivot so much to get the product useful.

Dr. Rawa: 

You know, because it realistically, a clinical environment is so intense, like we all know as dentists, how much is asked of you in terms of admin, in terms of patient demands, um, and when things go wrong, it can really be such a small thing, such a small issue with communication that just sort of tips the whole process against you. So we really had to think carefully about how to build this um, and you know the product’s still in a better phase at the moment. So, um, you know, but it functions beautifully, it’s helping a lot of teams and we’re live in dental practices, um, and we, our pilots are very small at the moment, so we’re actually live in five dental practices, but at this point, very soon, we’re going to open the doors up to everybody to try and use it and see what they think.

Dr. James: 

Exciting stuff. Are you excited about that? You’ve got to be.

Dr. Rawa: 

Yeah, I’m really excited. I mean, this has been a long time coming and I think I’m always looking five steps ahead. So, like now that this time is here, I’m kind of still focused five steps ahead. You’ve got to be, you’ve got to be, as, like, the kind of one of the founders. You’ve got to always be thinking really far ahead in the roadmap, like it’s got to be a dynamic company, it’s got to be growing. So, yeah, we’re very excited and there’s so much we’re going to do with it, so we can’t wait boom, and are we allowed to talk about the name of the product today?

Dr. Rawa: 

yeah, sure, yeah, it’s called medikube, um. If you want to find out more information, you can go on medikubeinfo and there’s information there. Um, people are very welcome to register their interest because very soon we’ll be able to contact you to actually be one of our next pilot users. I mean, it’s coming out of pilot phase very soon, to be honest, but yeah, so it’s called MediCube.

Dr. James: 

Medicubeinfo is the website wow, and when do we see you on the fortune 500 then?

Dr. Rawa: 

time. There’s going to be a lot of strategy involved with that. I’ll work my way there eventually. It’ll take some years, I think you’re smashing it.

Dr. James: 

Well, watch this space. Watch this space. Rawa, jay and medik Medicube is all I can say to the Dentistry Invest listeners. So you know what, rawah? Let’s jump out of the company itself and let’s go back to the more human side of things. There’ll be a lot of people out there today who will look at you and be like, wow, she’s managed to create an escape path out of dentistry. Not that we have to escape dentistry, let’s just roll back from that slightly. You know what I mean.

Dr. James: 

But what I mean is that you’ve been able to demonstrate firsthand that there’s alternative paths, which are there, should one wish to make use of them, or should one wish to explore possible avenues in which that might be the case. Of course, it’s all horses for courses. Do you know what I mean? I guess the main message of these podcasts and with Dentistry Invest is do whatever makes you happy, however that looks, and know that these possibilities are out there. So then you can make a conscious choice about deciding whether to go down these paths or not, rather than the unconscious choice to stay where you are, surely because you’re not aware that they exist. But anyway, that’s what we’re here to talk about today. So, on that very note, there were people out there who are thinking to themselves I’d really like to explore myself outside of dentistry. I don’t really know what to do. What would you say to those people? What would be your words of wisdom?

Dr. Rawa: 

Well, okay, first thing I’d say is it’s to be hard. Like, don’t expect it to be easy, expect to fall over a lot, expect to be, you know, to sort of struggle through it and have to learn loads of new skills. But if you’re up for the challenge, it is amazing. Nothing feels better than having your own startup. Nothing feels better than building your own network and having people vouch for you and back you, um, and having a strong team that you know you can turn back to and, you know, build solutions with. So I guess my words of wisdom would be build your resilience, be up for a journey, um, try and ground yourself and also be aware that this sort of journey comes with a lot of compromises, and you need to know what you’re willing to compromise and the cost you’re willing to pay to get the things you want to get. I think that’s really key, because if you’re, if you’re, kind of thinking, I want to just like, make loads of money and et cetera, it’s not that simple. Like, things are hard, you’re going to have really hard days and you’re also going to have to give up a lot of things in order to get there. I think that was a message that was really instilled in me throughout my networks that it didn’t ever come as a surprise when I, you know, when things started going moving really fast, um, I kind of understood evenings were just dedicated into the late evenings. I was going to have to work and power through and get things done, you know, for that week, and that just wasn’t a surprise for me. But I think for a lot of people who haven’t got that network yet and haven’t got those mentors telling them this stuff, it’s really important to know that, um, but also it’s important to do your research. Podcasts are a great way to research and things are changing so fast.

Dr. Rawa: 

So, like in terms of ai and healthcare, like things are, things are really changing. There’s a lot of regulations and that are about to come out this year, um, and so keeping on top of things is important, um, and technology is probably going to change dentistry quite a lot and we need we kind of know like there’s a massive school of thought at the moment that dentists, but that generally healthcare professionals, are going to uh, probably adopt products that are going to act like a kind of an assistant almost, and so doctors are probably going to have like something that’s going to help them with making a diagnosis and that’s just hopefully going to lead to maybe better safety in healthcare or just helping them, helping doctors work faster. So dentistry is likely to follow that route as well, and I think it’s really important that dentists are open-minded about technology, because generally we know as dentists we’re very risk-averse, but we’ve got to be a bit open-minded about how technology is sort of taking over the world and things are kind of moving that way. Um, you know, if you don’t adopt things at some stage, it might be that you know it’s hard to keep up with the other practices that are doing it. So I think these are these are really key things.

Dr. Rawa: 

So anyone that’s looking to get into this space, do your research, be passionate and curious. Um, I think that’s the key thing. If you’re not passionate about it, those evenings are going to feel horrible. If you’re passionate about it, it won’t actually feel like work. It will feel like you’re just pursuing something that you love. Um, so I guess you know if you’ve got that or not. You’ll know very early and you know what.

Dr. James: 

What a lovely note to go right ahead and wrap up on Rawa, and I want to thank you personally for sharing a lot of things that you shared with us today and also, as well as that, to express gratitude on behalf of the audience for inspiring us, as I’m sure there’s no doubt that lots of people out there will feel today and understand that there are possibilities, because I look back on a version of myself five years ago and I certainly feel like I didn’t know where to go or where to get started, and now I see it in the absolute opposite way. I’m like, actually, there’s so many things you could do. It’s just that time is a limiting factor. So it really is information, knowledge, your skills and also your mindset which are absolutely flipping, massive, and those are like four things that we touched upon in this podcast today, which is wonderful.

Dr. James: 

Rawa, I’m really looking forward to checking in with you as the journey progresses. I really want to see what happens next. It’s like a flipping series, isn’t it? Every business is like that man. It’s so different every week a lot happening.

Dr. Rawa: 

I would say also, if anyone um wanted to reach out and get advice, definitely um email me. You’ll find my, you’ll find the email on the medikubeinfo website. Drop me an email. I’m more than happy to, yeah, talk through things with anyone, because I know what it’s like when you’re really early on in the journey and you just kind of need some advice. So contact me um good, yeah, no, it’s been lovely. Thank you so much. I’ve really enjoyed it awesome raba.

Dr. James: 

Thank you so much for your time and I’m sure we’ll speak again very soon thank you, I can’t wait.

Dr. Rawa: 

All right, speak to you soon. Take care.

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