Medesthetics

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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medestheticsmagazine.com | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 53 medicine the way I wanted. I wanted to really spend time with y medicine the way I wanted. I wanted to really spend time with y medicine the way I wanted. I wanted to really spend time with p medicine the way I wanted. I wanted to really spend time with my patients," she says. A Leap of Faith Dr. Halem's childhood dreams also guided her practice loca- tion. "When I was young and we visited the city, 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," she says. In 2012, she opened Monica Halem MD PC, which specializes in cosmetic laser and dermatologic surgery. "I was four weeks pregnant with my fi rst daughter—it was a crazy time! But I took a huge leap of faith and found a space on Fifth Avenue," she says. "I was worried my receptionist and I would be sitting here waiting for the phones to ring. But so far it's been great: The practice has been growing and we have a wonderful facility." Dr. Halem wanted the offi ce to refl ect its high-end loca- tion, so she decorated it in a modern Parisian style. "It's elegant and comfortable, with Frank Sinatra playing—it's very Fifth Avenue!" she says. "Patients tell me they love coming to my waiting room area because it's so relaxing. We always have coffee, and we have bagels on the days we do surger- ies. It's very inviting." She employs two front desk staffers, an offi ce manager, two medical assistants and a Mohs technician. "I'm very par- ticular about how I want my patients treated and how I want the offi ce run. Building a good quality team has been the big- gest challenge. I won't hire somebody just because I need to fi ll a position; I want to create a culture that's in line with my ate a culture that's in line with my core values of integrity, loyalty and taking care of people," she yalty core values of integrity, loyalty and taking care of people," she and taking care of people," she says. "I want employees who really care about me and about ho really care about me and about the growth of the practice—it makes a huge difference. It's the growth of the practice—it makes a huge difference. It's —it the growth of the practice—it makes a huge difference. It's makes a huge difference. It's taken a while but I now have the right team. We all go out ve taken a while but I now have the right team. We all go out the right team. We all go out together once a month and we really try to employ those d together once a month and we really try to employ those we really try to employ those core values in the practice." " Inspiring Loyalty Dr. Halem's approach to patient care is one of empathy; she atient Dr. Halem's approach to patient care is one of empathy; she care is one of empathy; she doesn't hesitate to go above and beyond for her patients. "Ev- e doesn't hesitate to go above and beyond for her patients. "Ev- and beyond for her patients. "Ev- ery patient gets my email address, and home and cell phone ddress, ery patient gets my email address, and home and cell phone and home and cell phone numbers—I am here to help them in any way. It's about caring lp them in any way. It's about caring for the person, not just their skin but their overall well-being," r skin but their overall well-being," she says. "I'm very available to people, and that connection in e she says. "I'm very available to people, and that connection in to people, and that connection in the treatment room is important as well. I make eye contact ortant the treatment room is important as well. I make eye contact as well. I make eye contact and really try to connect with them on a personal level, not th them on a personal level, not just patient-doctor. "The other thing I really like to do is educate," she con- like to do is educate," she con- tinues. "I take the time to inform patients, whether it's about nform patients, whether it's about their malignancy or how to address the aging face and rejuve- o their malignancy or how to address the aging face and rejuve- address the aging face and rejuve- nation options. I don't just look at a line here or a line there; look at a line here or a line there; I take the time to teach them what it is that causes aging and em I take the time to teach them what it is that causes aging and what it is that causes aging and how we can address all the different aspects. It helps cement e how we can address all the different aspects. It helps cement different aspects. It helps cement the relationship overall." A core aspect of Dr. Halem's patient care philosophy is lem's patient care philosophy is honesty regarding skin care and treatment options. She is e honesty regarding skin care and treatment options. She is and treatment options. She is extremely selective when it comes to implementing new t comes to implementing new technologies. "It's very easy to jump on the bandwagon with every new device, but a lot of times the marketing gets ahead of the science. Patients will call to ask about a new device or treatment, but if I'm not convinced, I will not bring it into my practice," she says. "I wait at least a year so I can see if it works. I go to conferences, I look at before-and-afters—not from the companies but from individual physicians—I talk to physicians and I talk to patients who've had it done. I really take my time; my patients can rest assured that if a procedure is offered here, it's going to work." Dr. Halem applies this strategy to skincare products as well. She looks to peer-reviewed journals to learn which ingredients and products offer the best effi cacy. She used this knowledge to develop her own science-based skincare line, MONICAHALEMMD, which has fi ve main components: glycolic acid, vitamin C, peptides, vitamin A and a sunscreen with zinc. "I only recommend a product if it has science and studies behind it that show it actually makes a difference," she says. "The products I recommend are the same ones I have in my own cabinet." Dr. Halem's surgical background has helped her become a sought-after injector among both patients and colleagues. "My surgical training really enhanced my anatomical knowl- edge and my aesthetic eye," she says. "It's remarkable what you can do with fi llers just by assessing the patient's face, identifying where they've aged and lost volume, and revolu- mizing with fi llers." Dr. Halem's values—honesty, empathy and loyalty—direct her approach to hiring staff as well as caring for patients.

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