Job Title: Orthodontist and Owner, Pure Orthodontics
Why He’s Top 40: Even after becoming a successful orthodontist, he still finds time for philanthropy and providing free dental care to the needy.
If you could change one thing about Edmonton, what would it be? “One would be definitely to get more direct flights out of here to more destinations. We need Edmonton to be more of a central hub in the world.”
Although he owns three orthodontic clinics, Dr. Amer Hussain says he isn’t motivated by the bottom line, but rather a determination to provide first-class patient treatment, an element he says was sadly lacking when he first started his practice.
As a patient himself, he could relate to those stressed out by long waiting times and rude administrative staff. He didn’t like the limited payment options, especially for low-income families. Hussain not only resolved to never run a practice that operated under those conditions, but deplores those that still do.
“In certain areas where the economy is strong, a lot of places get complacent,” he says. “They can open up shop, get busy and not worry about things like customer service, which really goes down. Being in different cities around the world, I’ve seen instances where it’s not like that, and so you really have to work for your patients and take care of people. I think that was a big differentiator for us.”
But Hussain has gone much further than finding a friendlier way to install braces and retainers. He has involved his staff and patients in some of his philanthropic pursuits. He’s especially proud of one endeavour with Vancouver-based charity Free the Children, which stresses education as a means for Third-World kids to break the bonds of poverty. Hussain even offers child patients an opportunity to divert part of their payments toward building schools. At last count, four of them have been built – one each in Ecuador, Ghana, Haiti and Kenya.
On top of that, he also participates in a program that offers free treatment for children in need and teaches orthodontics at the University of Alberta.
But his biggest rush?
“Honestly, it’s first seeing the kids and parents who are really shy and insecure when they come in,” says Hussain. “Seeing them start to blossom during treatment and, at the end, seeing them smile all the time is like watching them transform into brand new people. The sight of them happy and confident all the time is the biggest thing for me.”