Lara and Priya are the new rising surgical talent in Plastic surgery and Maxillofacial surgery who rank number 1 in the country for surgical applications.
They have over 10 degrees, more distinctions and merits that can be counted on both hands and a plethora of some of the most competitive prizes and awards in the country (with one of the ladies holding over 30 prizes alone).
The long term friends have now collaborated to establish one of the most credible training academies in the world of facial aesthetics called Acquisition Aesthetics. Serving to train and educate the brightest of today’s cosmetic practitioners, their fully recognised and accredited courses are game-changing for the industry. It’s a joy to welcome this dynamic duo to the blog.
Describe a typical day for you.
There is no typical day! My time is split between 3 full time ventures – developing Acquisition Aesthetics, my dental studies at King’s College, London and working as a doctor in maxillofacial surgery departments across London.
A few recurring themes… Whatever the day brings though I always start with a morning coffee. Can’t function without it! I try to fit in as much exercise as possible. I love Classpass and I’m a big fan of their hot yoga and HIT classes. Finally, I guess my days are generally always ‘people-orientated’. Whether I’m treating patients in A+E, the dental clinic or our cosmetic clinic, the majority of my time is spent with people who I can hopefully help in some way. This is by far the most rewarding element of what I do and I’m very thankful for it.
When I’m in the hospital, my day starts at 0600. I’m usually consenting patients by 0730 and operating by 0830. I’ll be working on the business at any given opportunity, stealing moments here and there- I’ve been known to dictate emails on a quick toilet wee break! Never waste a minute!
Earl grey tea and food feature heavily- generally healthy snacks, as my husband won’t let me get away with anything else these days! If I’m not in the hospital working, I’ll have business meetings lined up all day long.
Home around 7pm- always intend to go to the gym..never manage to, send some more emails, write tomorrow’s to-do list, cook dinner and spend time with my wonderful husband and then bed around 2230 (old boarding school habit)! And of course, the evening is always saved for speaking to my wonderful parents.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
I’m incredibly proud of my amazing circle of friends! Some of them I’ve known for as long as I can remember, some from school and university and some more recently but they really are an incredible and formidable bunch and they definitely reflect the best of what I’ve managed to achieve in life so far.
Becoming a doctor was undoubtedly an important moment for me and something I hope will always define me.
Summiting Kilimanjaro whilst battling with horrendous altitude sickness also felt like something of an achievement although my memories are a little blurred!
Last year, I was identified as a match on the Anthony Nolan register for someone needing a bone marrow transplant. I felt privileged to be able to provide someone with something so special and I was happy to hear last month that they are alive and doing well so I’m hoping at some point down the line I’ll get to meet them and hear their story. I love it when people come together and although its often because of adversity, sickness or hardship, it usually evolves into something positive and beautiful.
Truly, I’m not sure I’ve made that ‘big achievement’ yet. I’m still waiting for it- when will I know?!
Setting up Acquisition Aesthetics with a full time job has been beyond challenging in a variety of ways. Last year I ranked number one in the country for applications in Plastic Surgery- so I suppose that is a good achievement, which I was very proud of. And the year before, I ranked first out of 1.5k applicants- so that was also very good. They’re probably my biggest achievements to date but I hope the next few years will bring more personal big achievements rather than just work related ones.
What’s in your handbag?
Too much! I probably only use about 10% of what is in my bag. I know there’s a lot of foreign currency in there and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a few cashews floating around. I always carry my phone, laptop (its Gold and I love it), chargers, stethoscope, Clinique eye cream and mascara.
I’m a bit OCD with my handbags- usually always a Mulberry (which Lara and my family tease me for)! I think it’s the plastic surgeon in me! So I have my laptop, phone charger and to-do book (I never leave the house without these) in addition to black eyeliner, an umbrella, chewing gum and my surgical operating loupes/ glasses. On a long day, you’ll also be able to find my trusted deodorant in there!
What are your ambitions in life?
Work wise, I would love the chance to explore the reconstructive side of maxillofacial surgery and work with acid attack victims in the Middle East and SE Asia. I definitely want to have a family some day, maybe learn to bake cakes and all of that stuff. I hope I continue to travel and seek out adventure, explore new places and meet new people. I would like to learn French properly too, beyond being able to say “Un autre bouteille du vin, SVP”…
To figure out what my real ambitions in life are! To spend more time with my parents and take them on holiday more. Also, to be a business woman and find a comfortable ground where I can marry a business with plastic surgery and not lose out on either side and of course, to start a family.
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
Absolutely nothing. I am very fortunate to say that I have no regrets about any of the choices I have made in my life. The fun has been in the journey and I wouldn’t want to spoil that by telling the younger me about the surprises and curve balls waiting around the corner. Even the stressful and upsetting times have been an opportunity to grow and learn.
That people will make their own minds up eventually! People will always be jealous, say nasty things and you will always, if you’re like me, care what people think. It will always get you down- and that’s normal. But if you give it enough time, act with integrity and always be a nice person, people will stop listening to hearsay and make up their own minds. And that will always prevail.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I will hopefully be approaching the end of my training towards becoming a consultant maxillofacial surgeon. I can’t see myself leaving London, I love the energy of this city. In 5 years time I sincerely hope my pick’n’mix addiction is under control. I’d also love to have a dog.
As a plastic surgeon finishing training (given the time out I will take for maternity leave), as a mother and as someone who relaxes a little more and realises there’s no need to rush. I’m still working on that last bit!
What advice would you give a budding maxillofacial surgeon?
Identify those who want to support and nurture you and cling on tight!
Remember it’s a marathon and not a race.
Keep a record of everything! Trawling through your drawers for certificates, theatre logbook information, that interesting case you saw last month is truly painful.
Your body is a gift and an important tool- don’t neglect it. Exercise.
Work hard in your early years. It pays off and by the time you realise you should work hard, or that it’s the key to success, you’ll be that little bit older, it’ll be that little bit harder, you’ll be more tired and your priorities will have shifted.
Finally, happiness is…
Laughing hysterically with my friends and family, usually over something silly, ideally over espresso martinis and more often than not – to the point that a little bit of wee comes out. No better feeling than the sudden realisation that you have in fact wet yourself.
Marmite is also an important part of my life.
So many things! My family and my friends and their health. It sounds cliché doesn’t it?! But anyone that knows me, knows that all I ask for is health for my parents, sisters, family and friends.
Happiness can be measured in so many ways! It’s also completing a to-do list on some weird level and being efficient. It’s having a great operative outcome for a patient. It’s matching your underwear- how do people manage to do this in the mornings? It’s always having perfectly done nails and blow dried hair. It’s blending my contouring perfectly and having great dress style. It’s being able to say what happiness is to you and not feeling bad when people judge you for it! I’m a plastic surgeon in training but I love makeup and contorting…so sue me! 🙂