Dr Zuber Bagasi is no stranger to challenges.
Having taken part in numerous charity 10K runs and half-marathons over the years, the Iron Man Triathlon was his biggest challenge yet.
Dr Bagasi, from Synergy Dental Clinic on Central Drive in Blackpool, completed a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile cycle and a full marathon in a time of 15 hours, 29 minutes and one second – a personal best.
He was inspired to take on the challenge to raise money for hospices across the North West and dental charity Bridge2Aid.
He also wanted to demonstrate how engaging in a fitness-related hobby can help to alleviate some of the psychological burden that dentists may carry, to ensure they are at the peak of their professional capabilities at all times.
Dr Bagasi said: “I think it is often an under-reported aspect of the profession, but a lot of dentists suffer from stress and burnout which has negative psychological impacts on them outside of their surgeries and trickles into their personal lives.”
The stress and burnout he refers to stems from a number of sources – all of which are essential to stay on top of, if dentists are to run a successful practice.
Elements such as complaints from disgruntled patients, financial concerns placed by the pressure of NHS’ Units of Dental Activity (UDA) targets, dealing with personal issues, changing regulations and ongoing Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections, to name but a few.
“I’ve been very fortunate not to suffer from severe stress and burnout – largely due to the fantastic team I have to support me – but I have a lot of friends in the industry who regularly turn to me for advice and tips.
“My approach is always the same for each case – to provide a shoulder to lean on, to listen and then to advise them on how to tackle the problems based on how I have dealt with them in the past.”
The 36-year-old, who has grown his dental practice empire from a single practice to eight in just over 10 years, says training for long-distance endurance challenges has helped him prevent the stresses of being a busy dentist from overwhelming him.
“Taking on the challenge of the Ironman was like no other challenge I have trained for before.
“Due to the magnitude of the challenge and its near-impossible demands - it had to become a lifestyle for me.
“I had to balance work, training, nutrition, recovery and of course leisure time, too.
“When I look back retrospectively it has made a hugely positive impact on my personal and professional life,” he added.
To support Dr Bagasi’s fund-raising and help his chosen charities, visit his Just Giving Page www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/iron-man-challenge