What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
Cosmetic doctor and founder of Victor & Garth.
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
I switched between wanting to be a journalist, radio presenter and doctor. I have quite an inquisitive mind and grew fascinated with the human body so being a doctor trumped all the other options (I don’t actually think the others were realistic options for me!). I was most drawn to the field of surgery and my current career path reflects this.
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
Traditionally in medicine there has always been quite a linear trajectory and whenever someone has tried to steer away from this, they would be greeted with shocked expressions and negative mutterings. I’ve often been told “If you’re asking yourself that question then you probably already know the answer”. When it comes to decision-making, sometimes we don’t want to vocalise what we already know in our hearts; we turn to others to validate what we want to hear. if I could have given my younger self career advice, I would have said be honest with yourself (in terms of what it is that truly fulfils you), trust your instincts and follow your own path. I think I have largely followed this advice but with a bit of dilly-dallying along the way.
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
Although I have a routine, each day is varied. I like the autonomy that Victor & Garth provides but I also relish in the opportunity to swap tips and tricks with colleagues in my other roles.
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
I would like to see Victor & Garth have its own premises. For it to have grown into a clinic that has embraced innovations within the field, with an amazing team and loyal patient following, cheering it on. No doubt I will still be attempting to juggle all my other roles too.
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
This may be slightly biased but my good friends have recently launched Tits London, whilst holding down their impressive day jobs. Their aim is to showcase their favourite female designers and 10% of proceeds is donated to Coppafeel. It is amazing that they have been able to turn their vision into fruition. Look out for their next pop up shop in London:
What drives you?
The patient is always at the heart of my consultation. Although, my clinic days are centred around performing anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers and medical grade chemical peels, seeing a patient walk out of clinic feeling empowered with their self-confidence restored never gets old.
I’ve had to stop referring to Victor & Garth as my side hustle as it now takes up a large proportion of my time. When I am not working as an NHS doctor in the hospital, I will be consulting patients in clinic for non-surgical treatments. Victor & Garth is based in FountShoreditch and I split my time, working as an Aesthetic Medical Consultant for a well-established clinic, Melior, in Harley Street and Sevenoaks. My days are also spent attending Aesthetic Medicine training courses, conferences and seminars, which are invaluable for further professional development and making new friends in the industry. Oh, I am also a non-surgical trainer for Derma Medical, which is an accredited aesthetic medicine training company.
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
Hopefully this doesn’t sound like I am skirting the question but I don’t think it’s fair to pinpoint one thing. I could be expected to say that it was obtaining my degree in Medicine and then my Masters. However, I believe there have been a culmination of proud moments, inspirational people and a whole lot of self-belief and determination that have enabled me to become the person I am today.
Tell us about a a woman who inspires you
Both my mother and grandmother. This can be extended to all the women entrepreneurs I know personally, who are putting their ideas into practice. My family have shown me that so much can come from education but they have also fostered my ambition through their unwavering support. By witnessing their achievements across different aspects of their lives, I have been able to realise my own goals.
What was your biggest failure?
Again, I think attempting to describe one’s ‘biggest failure’, largely depends on the context. Throughout school, you’re often led to believe that failing an exam is the end of the world. However, as an adult you will find yourself in situations where things do not always go your way (life would be very boring!). As I have grown older, I have found myself more equipped with tools and skillsets to face adversity. Resilience can only come from past experience of difficult situations. It is also important not to compare your level of success with others; everyone is on their own journey and you will get to where you need to be in good time.
What do you like most about yourself?
I am a good listener and am genuinely fascinated by other people’s stories. I used to feel that you couldn’t have your professional hat on and still build a true rapport with colleagues and patients, that went beyond the surface. I am very much a part of my patient’s journey; a more favourable tone is set when you can both be real and honest with each other.
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
As a black female born in London, this is a topic close to my heart. I hope there will come a time when we see beyond race, gender, religion and just acknowledge the person and their talent. We can learn and grow so much through having a diverse workforce. If big brands begin to advocate the need for wider representation, this will trickle down throughout society. The conversation needs to be had first.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
As well as manual dexterity, listening is a large part of the consultation. My patients will seek out treatments for a number of reasons and a key quality is not to be non-judgemental. If I think someone isn’t suitable for a treatment, I wouldn’t let them go ahead with it. Patients’ need a practitioner who acts with integrity and puts them at the forefront of the consultation. If I cannot be a patient advocate then my goals within aesthetic medicine are certainly not aligned.