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Vimla Sood: India’s First Female Dentist and Pioneer in Healthcare

Vimla Sood, born in 1922, emerged as a trailblazer in the field of dentistry and holds the esteemed title of India’s first female dentist. Her journey is a testament to unwavering determination, an unceasing passion for her profession, and an unyielding commitment to shattering gender-related barriers that persisted in the predominantly male-dominated dental field during her time.

Early Life and Educational Journey

Coming from a family of medical practitioners, Vimla Sood’s upbringing naturally led her towards a career in healthcare. She embarked on her educational odyssey at the DeMontmorency College of Dentistry in Lahore, where she was the sole female among a cohort of 30 students. Her relentless perseverance bore fruit when she graduated from the University of the Punjab in 1944, marking the inception of her illustrious career.

Pursuit of Excellence

In a quest to enhance her knowledge and skills, Vimla Sood journeyed to New York, where she pursued internships and explored dental practices across America. Her insatiable thirst for knowledge culminated in her earning a master’s degree in Pediatric Dentistry from the University of Minnesota in 1955. These experiences abroad not only enriched her expertise but also elevated her to the status of a trailblazer in Indian dentistry.

Dental Care for Underserved Communities

Vimla Sood devoted herself to providing dental care to underserved communities. She ventured into villages in a mobile van, ensuring that essential dental services were accessible to those in need.

Inspiring Future Generations

Vimla Sood’s groundbreaking career served as an inspiration for generations of dental professionals, particularly women. Her journey became a powerful example of breaking gender barriers in a male-dominated sphere.

Respected Figure in Dentistry

As the first lady dentist in India, Vimla Sood earned immense respect in the field of dentistry. Her unwavering commitment to improving oral health made her a revered figure in the profession.

Academic Contributions

In the later stages of her career, Vimla Sood became an integral part of the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research. In this role, she continued to shape the future of dentistry through her teachings and contributions. Her mentorship and expertise left an indelible mark on the education and training of dental professionals.

Legacy of India’s First Female Dentist

In November 2016, Vimla Sood organized a White Coat Ceremony for dental students, symbolizing their dedication to the dental profession. Her influence extended far beyond her own practices, as she inspired and mentored future dental professionals.

Recognition and Awards

Vimla Sood received recognition from the Indian Dental Association as a senior respected faculty. She was honored by IDA Chandigarh on Teachers’ Day, September 5, 2020. Her legacy as India’s first female dentist was celebrated by the faculty of Dr. Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences & Hospital, where her remarkable life journey was commemorated.

A Lasting Impact

On August 1, 2021, Vimla Sood passed away at the age of 99, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire and empower aspiring women in dentistry. Her contribution as the first female dentist in India to the field will forever stand as a testament to the power of determination and passion. Vimla Sood’s remarkable journey has paved the way for countless women to follow in her footsteps and make their mark in the world of dentistry.

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