Confessions in a Medical Spa

The number of clients I see in my medical spa increases rapidly from September to December.  Everyone wants to look great for their holiday parties and look amazing when they spend time with family members, ex- husbands and ex-wives.
Women Confess “Biggest Secret”
I often hear quite a bit about the lives of my clients and their incentives for keeping up their appearances. Recently, I have had several women confess some of their biggest secrets. “I need to look as good as I can because my husband is over twenty years younger than me!”
This was a confession that I don’t hear often. So needless to say, it caught my attention. “Isn’t that stressful?” I asked. “Not at all!” my client replied, “I just need to keep up on my preventative maintenance.”  What was most interesting to me was that my client felt she needed to confess her marriage to a younger man. She wasn’t necessarily ashamed by it, but she felt she needed to confess to avoid being judged.
Double Standard Alive and Well
In contrast, my male clients boast about being married to a younger woman. Perhaps society is more accepting of this phenomenon. After all, it is much more common, but it reflects a common double standard in our society.
Men tell me that they are attracted to younger women because they are more attractive (aka haven’t let themselves go like women in their age group), and they participate in similar activities. They feel younger women are more compatible with them from an energy and vibrancy standpoint.
This doesn’t just apply to women, as I have certainly seen my fair share of men who have completely given up on themselves and on life. So the question is, when will the double standard become extinct? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, isn’t it? And who are we to judge what makes others happy?  
Live Your Life
I personally appreciate how honest my clients have been with me over the years, as it has expanded my perspective and changed the way I viewed things in the past.  My personal opinion is that people should be able to live their lives fully in the way they see fit.  The judgment of others is inconsequential.  But I guess I will only know how I really feel if my son brings home a woman twice his age.  

Love Your Shoes!

It may seem trivial and superficial, but women typically bond over shoes, while men bond over cars. Women will usually go out of their way to compliment another woman’s shoes. I have to admit it is a great feeling when a stranger compliments your shoes.  
Now, you may think because I am a doctor that I have a closet full of Prada, Gucci, and Louboutins; however, that is not the case.  Of course, these shoes are beautiful, but I refuse to pay over a $1000 to be uncomfortable, despite their beauty.  I like shoes that are unique (most of the high-end brands have shoes that look too similar for my taste) and comfortable.
While on a trip to San Francisco, I stumbled upon a brand that was unique and comfortable – a dream come true! John Fluevog is a Canadian shoe designer noted for his progressive art deco styles with messages engraved on each sole. I was concerned that the styles might be too edgy, and not professional enough for my Saint Augustine clientele, but I bought them anyway.
These shoes really reflected my style perfectly. Almost every female patient would exclaim “I love your shoes!” as soon as I walked in the door. The shoes seem to be an immediate ice breaker with any patient, new or established. They immediately felt less anxious about seeing me, the doctor, because we talked about shoes for a few minutes before we began the medical portion of the visit.
One patient declared that if the surgery fixed the problem that she has had for 30 years, she would put a “statue of me outside of her house….with those shoes on!” Contrary to what you may think, I have had my fair share of conversations with men that start off the same way.  
I learned a valuable lesson from the internal conflict I faced when buying those shoes in San Francisco.  If you remain true to yourself, your style, and your personality, you can never go wrong.

What It's Really Like to be a Physician

Looking in the glass house, a physician’s life may look like a perfect picture.  A nice house, nice family and a successful career.  
What few people know is that this glass house can be easily shattered.  Helping people feel better may be alluring as a career, but few people understand the challenges a physician faces.  
Some scary stats
Many of us share the same strengths –  intelligence, perseverance, and confidence.  However, the top stressors of the job include lack of sleep, loneliness, 24-hour responsibilities and self- criticism which can lead to depression and even suicide.  
In fact, physicians are more than twice as likely to commit suicide than the general population.  Here are some other scary stats…

  • Depression is reported in as many as 30 percent of physicians
  • Forty percent of suicides are associated with alcoholism, and 20 percent of suicides are associated with drug abuse
  • Divorce rates are 20 percent higher than those in the general population  

Getting to the root of the problem
How can physicians properly take care of others if they can’t even take care of themselves? Giving into the pressures of working longer hours, the demands of the patients, and regulatory demands from the government can lead to angry and despondent physicians.  
The “normal” work week for a physician is 60 hours a week and a 40 hour week is considered part time.  This leaves little time for physicians to develop proper interpersonal relationships, fitness regimens, and taking time for hobbies.  
I hear patients complain about physicians that barely took the time to address their complaints or were short tempered.  As the demands on physicians continue to escalate in conjunction with decreased pay,  this temperament is bound to increase.  
The solution is not an easy one, but it has to start with the emotional foundation.  Physicians need to be mindful of their emotional and physical health.  They need to develop a strong family foundation for support and take care of their bodies.  Only then can the house of glass be transformed into a house of bricks to handle the stressors of this career choice.