Amandie Cronje has always dreamed of following in her father's footsteps to become a dentist. After receiving her degree in Dentistry during the University of Pretoria (UP)'s recent Autumn graduation ceremonies, she is one step closer to making this dream a reality.
The youngest of four children, Amandie will be the fifth dentist in the Cronje family. Her father, brother and two sisters, who are all practising dentists, also all obtained their qualifications from UP. Her mother is a qualified pharmacist, but also works as a dental assistant in her father's practice in Pretoria North.
Amandie is currently busy with her community service year at a provincial hospital in Parys, and says that she remembers helping out in her father's practice when he had to see patients with dental emergencies during weekends. 'I have been dreaming of becoming a dentist since I was just three or four years old,' she says. 'My father is an inspiration to all of us, and it is through his passion for dentistry that we all developed a love for the profession.'
When asked what advice she would give to prospective dentistry students, Amandie says, 'It is important that you make sure you know exactly what you are getting into when you enrol for a degree in dentistry. It is a difficult course that requires a lot of hard work and commitment, and like with any profession, there will always be parts that you don't like as much as others. I was in the privileged position to have been exposed to all aspects of the profession from an early age, so I knew what a career in dentistry would entail. Once you get through all the hard work and late nights that comes with getting your degree, and if you have a love and passion for the field, you will definitely have a great and rewarding career.'
The Cronje family at Amandie's graduation ceremony