Globally and in Australia they are some of the most successful specialists in the aesthetics space.
Here are reflections about the best words of wisdom to impart to their younger self from my Doctor Diary series.
Dr Belinda Welsh Dermatologist
Complete Skin Specialists
“I think you just have to maintain your integrity, hold your moral compass, keep your sense of humour.
That has been a key.
Keep your sense of humour because that sustains you. Just for me, a little thing, there were two little things – while I was at uni and while I was building my practice, I had this little cartoon on my desk. It’s an image of this little frog being swallowed by a stalk. The frog’s front legs, it’s going head down the neck, and the frog’s front legs holding onto that stalk, its neck and trying to choke it so that it won’t be swallowed. The caption is ‘Never give up’. I love that.
That has sustained me quite a bit. The second thing I want to live with is another quote that the origins was supposedly from US president Calvin Coolidge, which I’ve always loved. It goes like this: ‘Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not, nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not, unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not, the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race.”
Dr Lee Walker
Aesthetic Dental Surgeon
Lee Walker Aesthetic Academy
Liverpool United Kingdom
“Be patient, be humble, I think that’s the biggest thing that I’ve been taught, is to don’t think you’re something that you’re not, because everyone’s human.
Humility is a trait which not a lot of people tend to have in this industry, they wallow in their own ego, and they bathe in the light which comes with all of those bright lights on the stage. I like to be humble, and I think that that’s helped me. So, I would say to my young self, be patient, be humble, be respectful. And if you get an opportunity, take it. Don’t have a life of ‘what ifs?’, have a life of ‘so what’s?’, that’s what I would say to myself.”
Professor Greg Goodman AM Dermatologist
Dermatology Institute of Victoria
“When I was finishing medical school, I was slated to become a gynaecologist and started studying for the first part gynaecology, then decided it wasn’t for me. Then I studied for the first part surgery, decided that wasn’t for me.
Then I started studying physician training, and I was doing cardiology as a prelim to presumably try to end up being a cardiologist.
At the time with cardiology, we were doing the first stent in Australia in the unit that I was in, and it really had the cardiothoracic unit on standby in case the whole thing went pear-shaped.
I worked up the patient and it was really quite an exciting time. At the same time, I was doing dermatology outpatients which I didn’t think too much about, I just walked into dermatology outpatients and saw the patients, walked out of dermatology.
I never really thought too much about it, but then I came the end of this stent, which went very well, you know. And you get this, ‘Is this as good as it gets?’ And it was as it was as good as it was ever going to get.
And it just didn’t quite do it for me. So, there I was, thinking, ‘How many -ologies can I try before I work out what I want to do?’
And then as I was walking out of dermatology outpatients on the last day, Nick Downs a very nice dermatologist (who has, I think, just retired) turns to me and he says: ‘Have you ever thought about doing dermatology? You’d be a really good dermatologist, I reckon.’
And that was just one of those moments where it hit me right between the eyes at the time I was most vulnerable. And the rest, as they say, is history.”
Dr Philip Bekhor Dermatologist
“My father was born in Iraq, and so we came here like refugees, I suppose, and I had no role models, and I always underestimated my ability a lot.
And I think in retrospect, I should have been more confident in my abilities at a younger age.
And I think, one of the signs of aging is not taking things on it. People may say I don’t take stuff on, but I made a decision.
I’m not taking on procedures which fail in 50% cases. And I’m not interested in procedures that, like for example, there was one procedure that maybe an alternative to a facelift.
And I looked at the data and the really good ones were sort of lifting by three millimetres. Well, I said: ‘Three millimetres you won’t even see it in a picture.’ I want to be in the space where if you look at a before and after picture, it’s obvious to everybody that it’s worked. So, if I’m going to choose technologies, I want technologies that definitely work.”
Dr Steven Liew Plastic Surgeon
New South Wales Australia
“Believe in yourself. No one knows you better than yourself.”
Dr Cara McDonald Dermatologist
Complete Skin Specialists
“Look, I think my words of wisdom are not to be too hard on yourself, to listen to your gut instinct as well, and not always worry about what other people are saying and doing.
I think we all have a tendency to wonder or compare to others and worry about whether we should be in Sunbury because someone says we shouldn’t be.
All those sorts of little things that could be a sliding doors moment in your life and really change what you end up doing. It’s pretty cliche, but you’ve got to believe in yourself, you’ve got to believe in your own decisions and your own progress as well. Know that every little step will count, even if it feels like you’re really swimming under water at the time… Even going back to school time and uni, I remember feeling that sometimes, and just thinking, if I just get through one day at a time, the next day will come and eventually you get things under control or you get to where you want to be. It’s very easy to let other people influence you or to get too upset about where you’re at and what you’re doing and worry about whether you should have done this or should be doing that. But yeah, it’s just really trust yourself, trust your gut instinct and try to take one step at a time to keep moving forward when it’s tough.”
Dr Marie Rostek Plastic Surgeon
Coastal Plastic Surgery
“My younger self? Well, I was thinking about that the other day actually. It’s difficult to know what to say to your younger self because I’m only me because of the experiences I went through. If I told my younger self what not to do, then I might not be the same person sitting here talking to you. It’s very difficult. What would I say? I would say not to sweat the small stuff, but everyone must go through that journey. That it’s the journey. The joy is the traveling to the destination, not the arrival. Also, if you don’t have any problems, it means you’re dead.”
Dr Davin Lim Dermatologist
“Yeah. It’s funny because you’ve interviewed a few of my mentors, people I’ve really looked up to, including Greg Goodman, who I give credit for. He’s probably the godfather of procedural dermatology. Phil Bekhor, as well, who’s a really good friend of mine. And both guys inspired me heaps. And I’m good friends with Steven Liew as well. So, he and I are doing quite a fair few things nowadays. But surrounding yourself with these seniors who are just so passionate about learning, so passionate about teaching, really carved my way.
So, it’s not for me to go: ‘Oh, cool. I’m going to do this.’ It’s my mentors who basically say: ‘Hey Dav, you want a really good…’ I guess, not like a career path, but a really good academic path as well. So, in all honesty, I’ve got so much to be grateful for my mentors…
I think the main thing is find your passion. Because when you find your passion, you’ll wake up and go to work and just go: ‘Cool. I can’t wait to make that difference,’ or, ‘I can’t wait to actually go to work.’
You don’t want to drag yourself to work, and you don’t want to do something which you’re going to regret for the rest of your life or not enjoy. My biggest, I guess, advice is don’t worry about the money. If you do good stuff, things will happen. Do it from your heart, do it from passion, and everything will fall into place no matter what you do. Don’t try to force it. I think that’s very important.”
Dr Sean Arendse Cosmetic Physician
Flawless Skin Rejuvenation Clinic
“I probably would have looked at overheads a little more, and over the last two years try to reduce those so that if we did get hit with this again, then it’s a much easier exercise to navigate with regards to what we have to pay. Try and build some redundancy into your cashflow so that you do have a certain amount of cashflow that’s, for instance, if something was to happen and you had to shut down for four to six weeks, it’s not going to really impact you. You can ride through this. Yeah, that’s probably… From a business perspective, that would probably be it and then just look at… It’s a good opportunity to look at your business and see what’s profitable and see what’s not. And if it’s not profitable, even though you may like that treatment, you’ve got to think of it as a business, not as your personal kind of, what you’re doing.”
Dr Nik Davies Cosmetic Physician
New South Wales, Australia
“Words of wisdom to my younger self? Just be, I guess more confident. Yeah. Put yourself out there. Be more confident. I think I’m much more confident than I was maybe five years ago, more so than 10 years ago. I think that’s important just to be confident and not really care what other people think of you.”
Dr Alice Rudd Dermatologist
Skin Depth Dermatology
“One of the biggest lessons I learned was that not everything’s going to go perfectly and not every staff member is going to do what you want them to do when you want them to do it, like you would do it.
And you have this very high expectation of yourself and therefore people that you work with, which probably isn’t very practical.
And it’s been a huge thing for me and very confronting to have kind of accept that things won’t always go according to my plan.
And I think a lot of doctors are in that sort of … That this is a type A personality, perfection trait, but I’ve learned the hard way that it doesn’t always go how you want it to go. And it’s confronting when you’ve done it for however many years, most of your life, to change that mentality.”
Dr Ritu Gupta
New South Wales, Australia
“As a doctor, you give so much of yourself all day because you’re talking all day, you’re explaining all day, and if you’re not looking after your own self, then it’s hard to give well to your patients and I notice that when I’m due a holiday, you can find that underneath, you’re feeling a bit tetchy, you’re feeling a bit impatient that you’re explaining this thing for the fourth time that day and when you come back from holidays, you’re so happy, you’re refreshed and you can give more and be better for your patients. I think keeping a little nugget of yourself aside, that time for yourself aside, is important.”
Dr Mansoor Mirkazemi Plastic Surgeon
Collins St Plastic Surgery
“So, this is something that I’ve taught my son who doesn’t speak Persian. He can say the sentence in Persian, but he doesn’t even know what the words are. But one thing that my mum always says is that there is nothing that’s impossible. You can do whatever you want. And that’s her attitude to life. And really, I always thought that my dad was the biggest influence on me and now realize that it’s both of them, that every time, even now, when I speak to my mum, she has words of wisdom and keeps repeating that you can do whatever you want, and there’s nothing that’s impossible.
And I remember it came to me and it flashed in my mind when Trump won the election, and I thought: ‘That’s what she meant.’ Everybody thought this was impossible for him to win, and yet he did it. So, absolutely believe that there is nothing that’s impossible. Whatever you want to do, put effort into it and dedicate the time it needs, with good intentions, and you’ll get there. It doesn’t matter what it is.”