Dr Mass Nasir on meaningful work

No matter what he’s set his mind to, be it obtaining his dentistry qualifications or opening his own practice, Sydney dentist Dr Mass Nasir’s overarching motivation has been to live his best life.

  3 minutes


Defining a personal philosophy can be confronting for many of us. Not for Sydney dentist Dr Mass Nasir. “I've always had this drive to try to be the best version of myself every day,” he says. “What's the saying? ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act but a habit’.”

While that sounds like a mantra, Dr Mass has used it to guide the decisions he has made throughout his career. From pushing himself out of his comfort zone to travel around the country and world, to leaping into practice ownership early in his working life, he’s driven by the desire to “live a really fulfilled life”.

If that all seems quite philosophical, know that Dr Mass actually is a philosopher. He studied philosophy for three years reading the works of Aristotle, Socrates and Kant amongst others. It was in his third year when he realised it probably wasn’t going to pay his bills. “So then I started thinking, what kind of life do I want? I like to help people, I like using my hands, and having a good lifestyle, and that pointed me towards dentistry.”

Eyes on the prize

You don’t just walk into a dentistry degree, however. Dr Mass was the youngest of six children, and his parents were Afghan immigrants escaping the Soviet invasion in the 80s. He hadn’t attended a selective school or done particularly well in his HSC. Once he’d decided to move into dentistry, he applied for every course he could find, and eventually got into an Oral Health Therapy degree at Newcastle University. “I remember being in the library during that summer break teaching myself what an atom, proton and electron was,” he says. During that time, he took a step back and asked himself, ‘How do I become the most competitive applicant for dental school?’ During his mid-year holidays, he volunteered in Alice Springs and also did an elective placement in Mexico studying public health.

“I also decided to move out of home, because I needed to learn how to cook, clean and do life,” he recalls. “So, I moved up to Newcastle, studied my butt off, and would drive back to Sydney on the weekend to work at my local Woolworths in the deli. I’d finish the midnight shift on Sunday night then drive back up to Newcastle and start the process again.”

His hard work paid off, and after a while he was accepted to do the dental degree at James Cook University in Queensland. In his last year at dental school he applied for the FutureFocus grant from BOQ Specialist and was selected as a successful recipient.  “I went to Fiji and I did my placement there, spending four weeks in Suva, Lautoka, where we just treated patients all day long. It was quite eye-opening.”

Going solo

Dr Mass always had dreams of opening his own practice and had a plan to do so with a university colleague, Dr Raymond Lee. “Over the first few years, your dental philosophy is revealed to you before your own eyes, as you work a little bit and realise what kind of clinician you want to be,” he says.

Dr Mass already had a positive view of BOQ Specialist after being selected as a FutureFocus grant recipient, and that was reinforced by his experience with Thomas Wald. Dr Mass and Dr Lee started looking for sites in shopping centres, reasoning that post-COVID life for most people became more locally centred. They found a spot in Kareela, in the Sutherland Shire district of Sydney which ticked all their boxes.

Despite some delays with building and staffing, they opened the doors last year. “It's been a rewarding journey. We've done well because we've put the patient first. We haven't focused on money as our primary metric. Our metrics for growth have been making sure we give value to the patient, making sure we are growing as a clinic, and making sure we are retaining patients. Those have allowed us to grow really well.” 


Thinking about starting or growing your practice? Click on the link to find out more about our tailored financial solutions for setting up a practice.

Ready to take the next step? Contact us to find out how we can tailor a practice finance solution for you, or call us on 1300 160 160.

Subscribe to Best Practice

Our bi-annual magazine which features case studies from our clients and gives you first hand examples of how we can help you to grow your business.

Subscribe now


Related products

Commercial property 

Asset finance


  • Important Information

      The information contained in this webpage is general in nature and has been provided in good faith, without taking into account your personal circumstances. While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information is accurate and opinions fair and reasonable, no warranties in this regard are provided.