Dr Saman Hayat Soomro is a travel enthusiast and content creator who covered a great variety of topics like food, fashion, events, lifestyle and much more.
By Dr Muattar Hanif
A dental graduate from Altamash Institute of Dental Medicine, Saman always had a passion to make her name in the world of Social Media. She formally started her career from an online platform, ‘Parhlo’ as a travel live show host. Despite a meandering start, Saman gained positive recognition for her gig and traded in for her own Instagram Page, Stroll with Saman. Her engaging and unique aesthetic content, helped Saman to steadily build her following on her page.
With nearly 24.3K followers on Instagram and 12K followers on YouTube, Dr Saman also enjoys collaborations with multinational companies like McDonalds, Maybelline, to just a name few. Now, Dr Saman manages her time between her dental practice at Karachi and continues to break stereotypes through her social media presence.
Dr Saman recently sat down with Dental News to talk about her journey as a Content Creator and discuss some pointers pertaining to Social Media and Dentistry
- Dental News: When and how did you decide to pursue dentistry? What appealed you the most about this career choice?
Dr Saman: Honestly speaking, I never wanted to become a dentist. It was never part of my plan. I wanted to become a doctor, but my dad convinced me that dentistry would be better for me and it will be more sustainable. But, now I have my patients calling me for their dental problems at 3am, so yeah! (laughs). It wasn’t a calculated decision but once I started studying, it made me realize that this is actually quite interesting. I have always been into science. I would like to call myself a nerd! (laughs).
- Dental News: Being a doctor treating patients, and then being a blogger, what motivated you to shift into the world of social media?
Dr Saman: My inclination towards the world of social media was even before I graduated. I started back in 2017 and during those days I was enrolled in my dental school. I have always been into making videos. I like talking to the camera! Putting up my pictures, taking pictures and stuff, has always been a fascination to me. I have always been someone wanted to do something out of the box, something that would make me stand out and also make my life interesting because I didn’t want to sit on one desk, treat patients and not do anything exciting at all.
Now at times, patients do come to me and say that I know you and I know you’re a blogger. These moments just make me so happy. And I’m like, I must be doing something right!
- Dental News: How did your family and friends respond to Strollwithsaman? Also, tell us a little about your strollwithsamanjourney…
Dr Saman: Initially, my family, especially my dad did not really accept the idea of me doing this. But slowly, when I started getting recognition, that’s when he felt the worth of my work. Now, he actually motivates and encourages me. Despite of religious, cultural, traditional obligations, my family is now actually very proud of me. I have always managed to juggle between my dental career and my ‘passion’. I graduated with eleven distinctions. I’ve never neglected studies. My dedication was very obvious to everyone around.
My message to future dentists is to have a reality check
But there were times when I couldn’t manage time between my two worlds. There were times when it got really hard for me to create a schedule. The process of content creation is very taxing. It really takes a toll on you. People think it’s just taking pictures and simply uploading them. But no, it’s not like that. At times it takes hours or so, to strategize and come up with new ideas. You have to keep up yourself with the wave of change coming after every hour on social media. So it is a lot of work. It is very much like a 24 hour job!
But again the love and appreciation that you get from your fans, is really gratifying. And to develop that honest connection with my following is something that I have formed over the time. Allah Almighty has been really generous to me throughout my journey!
- Dental News: Dental practice or Strollwithsaman- which of the two consumes most of your energy, time and effort, and is that by choice?
Dr Saman: I think both takes equal time. You can say 50-50 percent. But the good thing is that I am not bound in any way. As sole owner of my page, I can enjoy flexible working hours. Also my dental practice is appointment based, so I manage my time efficiently.
The choice is definitely very much mine. That’s the best part!
- Dental News: How do you think social media can benefit dental students?
Dr Saman: We know for a fact that everything is now being shifted into social media. Everybody has an easy access to social media, same goes for dental students. I feel like what they’re doing wrong, is that they’re putting everything into their books. I feel they need to come out of that. They need to also explore the world of social media and understand it’s potential.
If you have a knack to create your own content that you feel passionate about, then do it. Make an audience for yourself. Even if you’re studying, you can do many things side by side. It’s true that the reach won’t be made overnight, but keep on trying.
Follow your passion and the result will become obvious
Similarly, if you completed a dental case and want to share it, then do it. Don’t worry about the remarks or what people will say about your clinical work. There are many people who will learn from your experience. You can also upload easy tutorials for complex dental topics. There are already hundreds of people all over the world doing it, but sadly very few in Pakistan!
I also feel that Social media is an excellent platform to spread oral care awareness. People need to be educated about harmful products that can cause oral cancer. If we are not going to do it, then who will? I feel like it’s a responsibility of every dentist. So use social media for your own benefit and for others too, but please use it to make a difference.
- Dental News: Introduce the viewers to the concept of ‘Dentistry and Beyond’ using your experience. How important do you think it is to not feel limited by your degree, and to pursue your dreams beyond your profession?
Dr Saman: Dentistry is a very saturated field. Again, it’s saturated to the extent that even seniors are struggling. I was told that a career in dentistry will make you rich but now many of my friends are looking for alternative careers. So this is the reality and we need to accept it.
Social media is an excellent platform to spread oral care awareness
What we also need to accept is that sticking to one career option is also not right. During such conditions of recession, one should be prepared for rainy days. This is applied to both men and women. They both should work to follow their dreams. Everyone wants to have a modern and more luxurious lifestyle. So if you do have a passion for something beyond dentistry, then go for it. Your education and career can be different. It’s not a must to rely on one job option. Always have a backup plan!
- Dental News: Any suggestions you have for the new generation of dental surgeons, regarding priorities etc.
Dr Saman: My message to future dentists is to have a reality check! This is very important. Think before getting into this field. Many people are blinded by the fact that they will start earning millions the moment they get degree, but that’s not like it. It will take time and hours of hard work and struggle to make name for your own self as a dental professional. So you need to understand what it really takes. Don’t do it for just financial stability, because there is not much of that. But that is something that goes for every career option!
So always follow your passion and the result will become obvious. Do things that make you stand out! Try to be one in a million.