NOV-DEC 2016

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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52 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 | Med Esthetics She attended the University of Miami School of Medicine with She attended the University of Miami School of Medicine with the goal of becoming a trauma surgeon. "I fell in love with surgery. On free weekends, while all my friends were at South Beach, I was at the trauma center. I used to ride around with fi re rescue and air rescue—it was my love," says Dr. Halem. "I got into the surgery program and did a residency in general surgery. But towards the end of residency—when I was on call 24/7—I realized that I needed to take a break and see whether 24/7—I realized that I needed to take a break and see whether there was something else that was of interest to me." Discovering Dermatology Dr. Halem had no exposure to dermatology during medi- cal school or her general surgery residency, but her mother asked several times, "Why don't you check out dermatology?" "I kept answering, 'Mom, I'm a surgeon!'" she says. "I didn't even know dermatologists did surgery." In 2003 she met Leslie Baumann, MD, a Miami-based cosmetic dermatologist who inspired her to take a closer look at the fi eld. "I realized it was the perfect specialty for me," says Dr. Halem. "I found the aesthetic component really appealing, and I could be as surgical as I wanted; it was just the best of everything, so I made the switch." After completing a research fellowship in cosmetic derma- tology as well as a dermatology residency at the University of Miami Department of Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery, Dr. Halem attended the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) for a cosmetic, laser and Mohs surgery fellowship. "I saw that you could really change people's lives. To help a pa- tient and improve their skin—whether on the medical, surgical or cosmetic end—is really gratifying and impactful," she says. After graduating from UCSF, it was time to fulfi ll another childhood dream. "I had wanted to move to New York City ever since I was a little girl," says Dr. Halem. "So when I fi nished my fellowship, I applied for a position as a Mohs cosmetic surgeon at Columbia University; I got it and moved to New York." Four years later, her entrepreneurial spirit pushed her to- ward private practice. "I wanted to run the show and practice INTEGRITY AND GRATITUDE Elegant black-and-white décor refl ects Monica Halem MD PC's upscale Fifth Avenue location. "When I was young, I would see all the doctor's offi ces on Fifth Avenue by Central Park, and I wanted to have an offi ce there someday too." BACKGROUND: CHRISTOPH KADUR © GETTY IMAGES

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