Shattering The Glass Ceiling - Being a Beauty Boss

Guest Post by Nicole Jimenez, pre-med student at NYU

Modern plastic surgery, which developed in the first half of the 20th century (but has roots back to the 6th century B.C. in India), has historically been a male-dominated field. Even though the ratio of female to male plastic surgeons is increasing, the vast majority of plastic surgeons remain men, and this when the overwhelming majority of patients are female.  As young female plastic surgeons continue to blaze paths and work hard to redresses these imbalances, it is worth looking back in history.

 Dr. Alma Dea Morani

Dr. Alma Dea Morani

Dr. Alma Dea Morani was the first female plastic surgeon in the United States in 1940's.  She revolutionized not just surgery, but also medicine. Her tenacity and fervor to learn led her to become more than merely the “repair doctor” she once was in the Girls Scouts or the sculptor her father wanted her to be.

Dr. Morani entered the fields of general and plastic surgery, and time and time again, she broke the stigma of women not having a place in the operating room with title of ‘doctor.’ She made history by becoming the first female intern and the first female resident of surgery.

During World War II, Dr. Morani volunteered at Valley Forge Hospital and performed several reconstructive surgeries. Through her involvement in the Medical Women's International Association she traveled the world to raise money for clinics in the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan and the Balkans. Dr. Morani placed the first crack in the glass ceiling and subsequently become the first ‘Beauty Boss’ who set the stage for other woman to join the medical field.

 Art by Dr. Lara Devgan made during a class at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Art by Dr. Lara Devgan made during a class at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The biggest stigma in our society is that women who want to be successful cannot have it all. Dr. Devgan is one of the many women who indeed does have it all. To this point, she is ranked the #1 female plastic surgeon in New York with her own private practice and a booming beauty line. She is an art enthusiast who loves going to the Frick Collection as well as painting her own art. The life of a surgeon involves time management skills, which Dr. Devgan truly has mastered as a mother, successful business woman, and plastic surgeon.

Now in the 21st century, Dr. Devgan has added to the several large nicks in the glass ceiling with her revolutionary and innovative techniques such as her Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty and signature “Devgan tip flip,” not to mention her medical-grade beauty products.

Embracing and inviting change is the foundation of a successful business. Dr. Devgan is a firm believer in change and innovation; therefore, each year, she hires interns and directs them into the life of medicine and business. Having a strong, female mentor in medicine and business is something many women did not have in the 1900’s. By inviting several ambitious interns into the office, Dr. Devgan helps foster the growth of future generations of women in medicine and business.

Dr. Devgan aims to advocate, motivate, and encourage women to continue to break the glass ceiling by stating, “Stay focused. Study hard. Do the right thing. Surround yourself with people who love you. Find happiness in the things you already have. Be strong. Have goals. Aim high. Be a woman!”

Just as Dr. Alma Dea Morina provided her services for those in need, Dr. Devgan has provided her surgical services and positively changed the life of a strong and beautiful woman named Francine. Francine suffered several burns after a jealous ex-boyfriend burned down her house. Upon seeing Francine’s strength and positivity after such a horribly abusive situation, Dr. Devgan offered to help with the recovery. Dr. Devgan was featured on The Doctors television show in an effort to help Francine not only recover, but to also help tell her unfortunate story with the intention of motivating women to advocate for themselves and others.

 Dr. Devgan with Francine and the hosts of The Doctors.

Dr. Devgan with Francine and the hosts of The Doctors.

The story of Francine and Dr. Devgan meeting on The Doctors TV show is a fantastic example of women helping women and empowering them.

Francine, Dr. Devgan and Dr. Alma Dea Morina all have paved the way for today’s women and young girls to stand up for themselves and to strive to be the best they can be in whatever path they choose in life. While there is still work to be done for women in society, we honor the women who have brought us to where we stand today and empower the women of tomorrow to take a step towards shattering the glass ceiling.

https://www.plasticsurgery.org/about-asps/history-of-plastic-surgery

https://cfmedicine.nlm.nih.gov/physicians/biography_229.html

 

Laser Treatments at Dr. Lara Devgan's Office

For patients seeking significant improvement of their facial complexion, lasers are an excellent non-invasive option. Laser resurfacing helps improve the look of skin and is great for reducing fine lines and wrinkles, or unwanted pigmentation such as age spots, melasma, or freckles. Dr. Lara Devgan offers laser resurfacing as a stand-alone procedure or in conjunction with a surgical procedure such as a blepharoplasty or a facelift. 

Lasers send out brief pulses of high energy light, which is absorbed by water and chromophores -- substances within the skin. The light from the laser is transformed into heat energy, which then impacts small sections of the skin, layer by layer. As the small areas heal, new skin grows to replace the skin treated by the laser.

Erbium Lasers are used for facial resurfacing and help with erasing fine lines, reducing dark spots and pigmentation, improving tone and texture of skin, and improving the appearance of scars. The procedure requires only a short period of social downtime and one’s skin looks rejuvenated after two weeks.

A Long Pulsed Nd:YAG Laser is used for vascular reduction, which can help reduce the look of unwanted blood vessels or other vascular lesions.

An IPL laser can also be used for hair reduction, reduction of acne scars, and the removal of pigmented and vascular spots. Treatment may require several sessions and patients are extremely happy and feel confident about their results.

While the treatments achieved with various lasers is certainly exciting, it is important that patients seek qualified and trained medical professionals who know how to properly use lasers to avoid burns, scars, and infection.

Dr. Devgan and her team are highly skilled and experienced with lasers.  They are able to counsel patients regarding which lasers are suitable for their skin type, sensitivity, and texture. Dr. Devgan aims to provide each of her patients with a safe laser treatment accompanied by fantastic results.

If you are interested in consulting with Dr. Devgan or have any questions regarding laser hair removal, please do not hesitate to call 212.452.2400 or email office@LaraDevganMD.com.

Do I Look Like a Surgeon? #internationalwomensday

 Dr. Lara Devgan in the operating room.

Dr. Lara Devgan in the operating room.

In honor of International Women's Day, we are reposting this personal essay by Dr. Lara Devgan that was originally published in Intima, Columbia University's Journal of Narrative Medicine.

Intima | Field Notes | Spring 2014

By Lara Devgan, MD, MPH, FACS

As a plastic surgeon, I am interested in how people look. Whether I am piecing together a fractured face or reconstructing a cancer-scarred breast, I am focused on appearance, symmetry, contour, and lines. I am always thinking about how our bodies are the physical manifestations of who we are.

What I am never thinking about is how that sentiment applies to me.

An intern and I recently rounded on a patient who had been admitted to the hospital with a hand injury by the on-call reconstructive surgeon the night before. I examined her, asked her a few questions, and told her about the next steps in her care. She waited for me to finish, then turned to my intern, seven years my junior and utterly inexperienced in reconstructive surgery, and said “What I really want to know is what you think.”

As he stumbled tentatively through his answer, I took a close look at him. Six foot three, blond, and in scrubs—he really did look like he was in charge.

* * *

Doctors are taught the importance of making a good first impression starting from our first days of medical school. We wear professional attire, make eye contact, and introduce ourselves. We say “please.” We put patients first. Yet there are aspects of a first impression that are not so easily taught and learned. Underneath our stethoscopes and surgical gowns, we are trapped in our bodies.

Researchers at Harvard have demonstrated that our looks may matter more in assessments of our competence than we may like to admit. In one experiment, college students were asked to anonymously evaluate professors after watching six seconds of silent video footage of them teaching. Their conclusions about the professors’ likeability and competence were essentially the same as a control group of students who sat in those professors’ classes for a full semester.1

Indeed, we live in a frustratingly perception-oriented society: A political candidate who is “babyfaced” is not only deemed less competent than his sterner-looking opponent, but he is also more likely to lose the election.2,3 An employee who is short earns an average of $789 less per year for every inch below average he stands.4 And an obese job applicant is not only rated less ambitious and determined than her normal weight counterparts, but she is also less likely to be hired.5

Even amongst surgeons, perceptions of competence can be wrong. A study at Baylor looked at how medical students performed on their surgery clerkships. There was absolutely no correlation between the students’ performance on written and oral exams and the ratings senior doctors gave their medical knowledge.6 It’s impossible to know what factors caused this discrepancy, but it forces us to ask ourselves: if it’s not knowledge that’s being assessed, then what is?

* * *

I, like almost every female surgeon I know, can remember being called “Nurse” instead of “Doctor” on the wards. Despite our white coats and nametags, we have been mistaken for secretaries, scrub techs, translators, and social workers—all valuable members of the health care field, to be sure—but none reflecting our actual identities.

It calls to mind the “Warren Harding error,” a misattribution of ability named after the handsome, tall, masculine ex-President who has become known as a famously incompetent American leader.7 If looking presidential earns the spoils of winning, does looking doctorly earn a referral?

My world view—and the world view of many others, I suspect—is governed by somewhat rigid archetypes. It’s easy enough for me to imagine what a kindergarten teacher or a police officer looks like. Why is a doctor any different? Yet the more rigid the archetype of what a doctor looks like, the more likely we are to get our judgments wrong.

The patient with the hand injury did fine. She had a team of well-trained people taking care of her, and she was discharged home uneventfully. But her impulse to rely on the intern was a faulty one.

First impressions do not convey enough information to evaluate a surgeon’s competence. Demographics are changing. A talented surgeon may look nothing like a Norman Rockwell painting, and her education, training, and surgical skills may not come across in the first six seconds.

References

1. Ambady N, Rosenthal R. Half a Minute: Predicting Teacher Evaluations from Thin Slices of Nonverbal Behavior and Physical Attractiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 64 (1993): 431-41. http://ambadylab.stanford.edu/pubs/1993Ambady.pdf

2. Todorov A, Mandisodza AN, Goren A, Hall CC. Inferences of competence from faces predict election outcomes.Science. 2005 Jun 10;308(5728): 16236. https://psych.princeton.edu/psychology/research/todorov/pdf/Todorov_Science2005.pdf

3. Zebrowitz LA, Montepare JM. Psychology. Appearance DOES matter. Science. 2005 Jun 10;308(5728):1565- 6.http://www.brandeis.edu/departments/psych/zebrowitz/publications/PDFs/2000+/Zebrowitz_Montepare_2005.p df

4. Judge TA, Cable DM. The Effect of Physical Height on Workplace Success and Income: Preliminary Test of a Theoretical Model. Journal of Applied Psychology 89, no. 3 (June 2004): 428- 441. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15161403

5. Larkin, J. C., Pines, H. A. (1979) No fat persons need apply: experimental studies of the overweight stereotype and hiring preference. Social Work Occupations 6: 312–327. http://wox.sagepub.com/content/6/3/312

6. Awad SS, Liscum KR, Aoki N, Awad SH, Berger DH. Does the subjective evaluation of medical student surgical knowledge correlate with written and oral exam performance? J Surg Res. 2002 May 1;104(1):36- 9.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11971675

7. Malcom Gladwell, “Blink,” New York, NY: Little, Brown, and Company, 2005: 72-98.

Click to read this piece in Intima.

Our Favorite Products for Dry, Sensitive Winter Skin

Maintaining healthy, luminous skin in the throes of winter can seem elusive to many women. Exposure to harsh winds, biting cold, and exuberant indoor heating can leave your skin dry, flaky, and extra sensitive.  Dr. Devgan’s medical grade skin-care products provide a regular skincare regimen that will help your skin look radiant and healthy all year long. These are our top recommendations for hydrating, soothing, and protecting winter skin.

Preventing

Dr. Devgan’s unique Platinum Revitalizing Cleanser provides the foundation for healthy skin by preventing the buildup of oil and dirt, cleansing and invigorating skin, hydrating against the elements, and protecting against aging.  Using this face wash morning and evening creates a clean and protective base upon which to fortify skin to “battle the elements.”  Formulated by Dr. Devgan, this gentle daily cleanser contains a rich, anti-aging peptide complex with 11 botanical essential oils while hydrating the skin with essential anti-aging nutrients including Vitamins C & E.

Using a gentle cleanser in winter months (and really, year round) is an excellent way to rid the skin of impurities without making it dry and red.  Apply Platinum Revitalizing Cleanser over a wet face and work into a lather. Rinse with water and then pat dry. Use twice daily or as directed by a physician. An excellent cleanser ensures that your face is clean, free of impurities, and refreshed in the morning and before bed.

Protecting

In the winter, the sun does not hibernate -- nor do its UV rays.  Therefore, wearing sunscreen all year long is essential. Dr. Devgan’s Platinum SPF 45 Daily Tinted BB Cream not only protects the face from the sun, but also provides light daily coverage that matches any skin tone and gives a smooth, glowy finish. Platinum SPF 45 Daily Tinted BB Cream contains titanium, which has been scientifically proven to be the most effective physical sunscreen block in existence. Also, it contains the market’s most effective photostabilizer to significantly enhance broad spectrum sunscreen protection against UVA and UVB rays linked to sunburn and premature aging.

Apply to the face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Wait at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure or as directed by physician. Reapply after prolonged physical activity, swimming or perspiring. This is an essential step for post-cleansed skin to provide light, natural coverage and ensure the skin is protected from the sun’s harmful rays. We suggest shying away from heavy, drying, full coverage foundations for daily use, as they can look flaky and cakey around dry areas of the skin and can go on the skin unevenly.

Replenishing

Replenishing your skin is essential to maintaining a healthy complexion. Dr. Devgan’s Platinum Hyaluronic Serum stimulates collagen and elastin production in order to replenish the properties the skin loses naturally. The serum contains hyaluronic acid, the substance found in dermal fillers like Juvederm and Restylane, and uses this to resurface and improve the quality of aging skin. 

Apply 4 to 5 drops onto fingers and smooth over face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Allow the product to absorb before applying additional products. The serum can be used twice a day or as tolerated. Replenishing the skin after cleansing the skin before applying makeup in the morning or before going to bed at night is vital to maintaining a luminous complexion.

Extra Replenishing (Especially After Treatments)

Winter weather challenges our skin but the most effective skin care interventions (including retinols, peels, lasers, and microneedling) can cause sensitivity, too, as the skin acclimates to them. Whatever the case may be, Platinum Recovery Cream is specifically designed to be used with medical-grade skin care to soothe, calm, and repair the skin.

Indulging in a skin intervention shouldn't mean you should have to compromise healthy, moisturized skin. This serum reduces inflammation by down-regulating signalling molecules including COX2, IL-1a, and IL-8.  Additionally, Platinum Recovery Cream helps restore the skin’s barrier function with concentrated coconut extract rich in Medium Chain Triglycerides. These ingredients ensure your skins stays hydrated and supple all season long.

Apply a generous amount to soothe irritated skin as needed. Allow to absorb before applying additional products. This serum can be used twice per day or as needed to soothe irritation. Regularly using an emollient moisturizer ensures that your skin doesn’t get dry or irritated from treatments/or outdoor elements.

While skin care routines may differ for each individual, Dr. Devgan’s wide variety of products can be tailored to fit into your beauty routine perfectly and give your winter worn skin a complete transformation. To learn more about Dr. Devgan Scientific Beauty and the products mentioned here, please visit our online shop.