Joel Lim

Dentist, JL Dental Clinic

What’s a convincing tell that a person enjoys their work? When they can’t imagine doing anything else. Cliché! But there’s an earnestness about dentist Joel Lim that can’t be feigned. As a dentist, he finds joy from relieving tooch-aches. Another cliché! But only because you’ve never had a root canal. But if you have, you’ve surely forgotten the personality-subverting pain it can cause. Our conversation went like this:

Where did you serve before setting up your own clinic?

I was serving at the Temerloh government hospital, where I was on duty at the E.R. usually after working hours. We did oral sutures, pushing broken jaws back into place, dealing with a lot of accidents in the wee hours. Surprisingly, not a lot of scaling or polishing. So it was a great learning experience.

What did that teach you?

One — when the blood starts spurting and oozing, calm yourself and remember all the training you have undergone. Two — your mind has to be 100 percent focused on serving people because it is a thankless job. Three — there are always new things to learn. But you’ll only absorb the full lesson if you’re in the right frame of mind.

Yikes. A-Listers are about handsome men taking nice pictures. Can you at least tell us what you do for fun?
I love a good iced Americano and I love to travel. I’ve hitch-hiked across China solo, visited Iran, Georgia… some really uncommon destinations. I’m not a loud person by any stretch, so I was really nervous and a little doubtful of myself. But my richest experiences came from these trips. My dream is to visit every country at least once.

If you weren’t a dentist, what would you be doing?

I have always loved animals. I had a tarantula, hedgehogs, parakeets, so maybe I would have become a veterinarian. But my hometown is a small one and that didn’t leave a lot of space for imagination in terms of a career path. So I was encouraged to take up something else. But I do enjoy every minute of what I do.

What did you think when August Man asked you to join the A-Listers programme?

Did you guys call the right number? I was pretty incredulous but decided, why the heck not.

Jacket, shirt and shoes by Coach; Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver Blue with blue rubber strap

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