April 01, 2016 385
GetDoc: Could you start by tell us what interested you about the medical field that you chose to become a doctor?
Dr Amy: I was kind of influenced by my aunt, who is a staff nurse. When I was around 12-13 years old, she would always return home from work and tell me stories about how doctors saved patients. Stories of giving other people hope fascinated me. I felt it will be a satisfying job apart from the fact that I will be able to save people’s lives. So ever since, it was my ambition to become a doctor.
GetDoc: Why did you choose to shift to the aesthetic medicine line?
Dr Amy: Dr Anna Hoo was university mate and even my roommate. We were posted together to Hospital Pulau Pinang for 2 years for housemanship and I returned back to my hometown in Malacca to work in Hospital Melaka. At that time, I wanted to be an internal physician, but after a few years in the hospital, I realised that work-life balance is important. So I went on to become a General Practitioner (GP) after taking necessary courses – I have a Diploma in Family Medicine, under the Academy of Family Physicians Of Malaysia.
Now, the works that a GP does includes treating common diseases like cold and coughs and also follow up on chronic diseases like hyper tension, diabetes, and also a mix of skin diseases. For the chronic diseases like hypertension, I can only help them control but not cure the disease. I can feel that my patients are not happy when they come for follow up, because they need to take medications for life long. So I thought I needed to do something else.
At that point in time, Dr Anna Hoo contacted me and explained about aesthetic medicine. I realised that aesthetic medicine is not only about enhancing looks but by treating this we actually bring about all-round development of that patient. By changing one’s look, not only you can help them externally, but also internally, emotionally and psychologically. This is noticeable for both my male and female patients, with their boosted confidence level after going through the treatment. That is what encouraged me to shift to this field, and also because I can make my patients happier and have a better life.
GetDoc: Do you get job satisfaction being an aesthetic medicine doctor?
Dr Amy: Oh yes, it is very satisfying. It is also very challenging – you have guidelines for medicines diseases like diabetes but that is not the case of aesthetic patients. Each one is a different case, no standard to follow. You need to adjust according to the patient’s profile. A proper consultation is very important – you need to spend time with them, know them in detail. We don’t only focus on what they want, we try to find out what the exact reason for their presence at the clinic. Only then we can help them internally and externally.
GetDoc: Aesthetic medicine in men – do you see a lot of male patients nowadays?
Dr Amy: In Kuala Lumpur, we are seeing more male patients, however, this is not the case in Malacca. When people think beauty, skin care and anti-aging, they typically think of women. However, personally, I would like to see the breakdown of this stigma.
GetDoc: What is your take on this, should males shed their inhibition and also take treatment?
Dr Amy: Of course yes, it definitely helps. There is no need to be shy on all this. Well, nowadays people are getting more aware. And we welcome more and more men to take up aesthetic medicine. It not only helps you externally, it also gives a confidence boost and I have seen it to improve relationship between husband and wife the inner self-confidence and self-esteem is boosted.
Society expects that men should be content with themselves, no matter what they look like. In my opinion, everyone is entitled to make their own decisions about their appearance. After all, we want to live a happy life, why not use aesthetic medicine to help you achieve that goal, right?
GetDoc: What treatments could suit the men?
Dr Amy: Hair therapy, hair loss treatment. For the face, they can go for laser and Botox. Men are not keen on fillers. Laser makes the face look brighter and lifted. Botox will erase the wrinkles and also make them look younger. Fillers are more for women, but it can also be done for men.
GetDoc: What will you say as the most satisfying case you have treated so far?
Dr Amy: Well, there was this patient – 50+ year old male patient. He had come for a consultation, I suggested a Botox rejuvenation treatment for him. After that injection, we could see a dramatic change in him – his face became lifted, the wrinkles had disappeared. The patient has become more confident after the treatment. It’s amazing to see how aesthetic treatment not just helping someone enhances his outlook, but also helps to elevate them internally as well!
GetDoc: What has been the most challenging case you have worked on?
Dr Amy: Most of the patients do not have the patience to wait for their results! We need to continuously educate them – for example: after a laser treatment for pigmentation, we cannot see the results at the end of the first session itself. You can only see some results after a few sessions and the patient need to understand that when they first sign up. Everything cannot be instant! We also need to be a good communicator in terms of sending across the message correctly and in the right manner to the patient. We need to team up with the patient, convince them about what is good for them and only start the treatment.
GetDoc: So how do you constantly update yourself with the advancements in this field?
Dr Amy: Yes, this field requires the doctor to be constantly up-to-date with all the latest developments in terms of technology, techniques etc. So we attend conferences, go for training abroad, since this field requires lot of practical experience, it is not all book knowledge. I also further my study to obtain Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine, under American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine. The safety profile is very important; you need to have adequate knowledge on all the safety aspects of the techniques as well. We need to explain this to our patients– to see what will suit their profile.
GetDoc: How do people view aesthetic medicine today, compared to say five years ago?
Dr Amy: People are accepting aesthetic medicine more today, than earlier. They have begun to accept that it enhances beauty aesthetically and not call it a fake anymore (yeah, we have heard those comments a lot, earlier on) They have begun to realise that aesthetic medicine helps improve their lives actually. People in Kuala Lumpur are more accepting to this fact than say people in smaller towns in Malaysia. Some of them still don’t seem to know what aesthetic medicine is, they confuse it with plastic surgery.
GetDoc: What would you advice to people regarding aesthetic medicine?
Dr Amy: If people wish to get aesthetic treatment, they need to do some research. They need to realise that this has to be done in a legal, accredited centre, with a qualified and trained doctor and not in any beauty salon. Also, I would advise people to not consult people who are not resident in Malaysia, because you never know where that doctor “disappears”!
There are a lot of such beauty centres that do “aesthetic” treatment and it only results in complications. It is huge risk that people are getting into, if they decide to do this in a beauty centre. The price is almost same in both clinic and beauty centre, but it is only the mind-set of the people that has to change.
GetDoc: What treatments do you offer here, what is your speciality?
Dr Amy: We do laser, mainly for pigmentation and rejuvenation. Our laser will have lesser down time, meaning you will not have any skin peeling after the laser; you can go back to work also after the laser treatment! We can see great results with our laser, on pigmentation – pigments are faded; face is more rejuvenated and lifted.
We also do Botox, we not only erase wrinkles, it also has lifting effects and makes the face look younger. We do filler injections to replace volume loss, to enhance features eg. higher nose bridge, more attractive lips and others. Apart from these, we also do hair loss treatment - we do a meso hair therapy for the hair loss patient.
I also have a special interest in anti-ageing; our clinic mantra is not only to treat patients externally. We use a holistic approach so we look into the health aspects as well. For anti-ageing, we use hormone therapy that helps patients age gracefully. It helps them psychologically as well, in temper control, increase their ability to handle stress.
GetDoc: Do you design these treatment programs by yourself?
Dr Amy: For anti-ageing therapy, we ask the patient to undergo some tests. Upon assessing their profile based on the results, we decide on the type of hormones necessary for the therapy. The hormone therapy is different for each patient.
GetDoc: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years?
Dr Amy: I hope the clinic in Malacca will expand so I can educate more people. Being a small town, people in Malacca are still ignorant of several things. Actually aesthetic medicine can help them internally and externally, I wish to achieve this goal in the coming years.
To know more about Dr Amy, kindly check here
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Qian's interest in healthcare industry came about after her father was diagnosed with bladder cancer. This experience has led her to become a strong believer in empowering individuals to take charge of their own health. View all articles by Qian.