Dr. Ashok K. Bhardwaj, BDS, DDS, FRCD ©
Founder of the Current Concepts in Dentistry program
Practitioner, visionary, collaborator
On Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 we lost one of our key stakeholders, Dr. Ashok Bhardwaj.
Born and raised in India, Dr. Bhardwaj, at a young age, moved to the United States for higher education and eventually settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia. There he was a faculty member at Dalhousie University and became the most sought after oral and maxillofacial surgeon in the Maritimes before he relocated his practice and family to Victoria, BC.
Beyond a practitioner, Dr. Bhardwaj was a visionary. He had a passion for lifelong learning and approached the Division of Continuing Studies at the University of Victoria in 1998. He had an idea; he wanted to provide academic continuing professional development to local and rural dentists in an environment that could host the best of the best in their practice. That became the beginning of a collaborative relationship between the University of Victoria and Dr. Bhardwaj that has grown throughout two decades.
Dr. Bhardwaj prided himself on excellence. Excellence in his practice, excellence in himself, and he encouraged and promoted such excellence in those around him. Because of his vision, excellence and precision to detail, we developed a program that we are all very proud to lead.
Current Concepts in Dentistry started 21 years ago. It is now considered one of the foremost programs in the field of dental continuing education. Each year, we provide dentists and their staff four days of guest lecturers who are outstanding leaders in their fields of expertise. Throughout 21 years, over 13,000 dentists and staff have attended this event. An event that started as an idea from a man with a vision.
In all aspects in collaborating with Dr. Bhardwaj, he was a true gentleman. He had a special talent of getting things done precisely how he intended them to be done; he was kindly persistent and rarely accepted no…and yet, always open to the possibilities. Colleagues noted if Dr. Bhardwaj asked—others quickly said yes. A talent that transcended all aspects of his life, no doubt. When colleagues, past and present, heard the news of his passing, they all said the same thing. He will be dearly missed.
Dr. Bhardwaj’s legacy will continue. His vision is our UVic commitment and each November at Current Concepts in Dentistry, he will be honoured. The program will continue—with his excellence.
Respectfully submitted by Laura Vizina
Director, Health Sciences Programs and colleague and friend of Dr. Bhardwaj
- Posted Oct. 1, 2019