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This female surgeon will teach you how to win in business (and medicine)

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On November 6, 1847, Elizabeth Blackwell arrived in Geneva, New York to attend Geneva Medical College. In doing so, she became the first woman to attend medical school in the United States. She applied to countless other medical schools and was rejected. did.

I think they have a joke.

Blackwell later wrote: Very slowly I realized that the doctor’s wife at the table was avoiding communication with me, and that a woman stopped and stared at me as I walked to and from college. rice field. It was then that I found Geneva’s validity so shocking that the theory was fully established.

Two years later, in 1849, Blackwell completed her medical degree, opening the floodgates for all female physicians who followed her.

Fast forward 175 years and women now make up the majority (52.7%) of medical students in the United States, according to a 2021 report produced by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

However, women only make up 22% of all general surgeons, and that proportion is declining in more specialized surgeries. I have a question. why?

Kriti Mohan, MD, board-certified plastic surgeon, has some answers. Mohan, who immigrated to the United States from India at the age of eight, faced ethnic and racial discrimination in elementary school. In medical school, however, the discrimination was different.

“When I was in medical school and residency, actually being a girl was harder,” recalls Mohan. “”[My] The race was fine. Being a woman was a challenge. ”

Still in the 21st century.

“When I was in medical school, about to start my residency, I was told, ‘You shouldn’t wear makeup. You have to downplay your femininity.’

“And I was a little surprised. I’m not wearing makeup for you. I’m wearing makeup because I want to. I’ve seen a lot of women become very aggressive and controlling to counter them.

“Accepting the fact that I am a woman has become a really big thing for me. was.

What were the benefits?

“It gave me the opportunity to interact independently with my patients in a slightly different way. They are honest with you, most likely familiar with you, and tell you things you might not otherwise tell your doctor.”

What were the disadvantages?

“Especially in plastic surgery, it was thought that being a girl or being pretty would give you some favor. I always went over and over to prove otherwise.” I always made sure I was the first to be rounded up and the last to leave, and I honestly think it made me work harder and do more.”

“And I think it paid off in the end,” continues Mohan.

Today, Dr. Mohan oversees Ciaravino Total Beauty, the world’s leading plastic surgery center specializing in breast augmentation in Houston, Texas. Dr. Michael Ciaravino has established a reputation in breast implant surgery, performing more than 800 breast implants annually. After taking over his practice, Dr. Mohan outnumbered his Ciaravino in his first year.

“He entrusted me with his practice to continue what was like a third child to him. I can do it.

Dr. Mohan hopes that one day Ciaravino will become a household name in implants and an authority on cosmetology and injections.

For her, the clinic’s standards are clear.

“What we do, how we do it, how we care for the patient before and after, how we give the patient these results that will last a lifetime without them having problems. , should be like a philosophical institution, which is always Ciaravino’s way: the whole package of complete holistic care.”

Medicine as a (big) business

I asked Dr. Mohan how her medical prowess enabled her to become a successful business owner.

“For the first year, I went to work at 5:00 am and didn’t leave until 9:00 pm. There was nothing I didn’t have my eye on, from patients to running a business, finances, marketing, whatever it took.”

Dr. Mohan’s most successful marketing is through social media.

“We had social media, Instagram, Facebook, but it was more stock photography. , in my opinion, hadn’t showcased it.

What advice would you give to up-and-coming female leaders?

1. Willing to do hard work

“I think it’s all about hard work and dedication.

2. Lead by example

“I have more than 10 female staff, but I am always the first to arrive and the last to leave because you have to set an example. can’t expect

“Even if I want my staff to be nice to patients and have some kind of rapport with them, it won’t happen if I don’t show it myself. If you speak badly to your staff or someone, they speak badly to each other, so it applies to anything and is really, really a role model.”

3. Be honest with yourself

“I always tell my staff, never do or say anything that you wouldn’t want to be on the front page of a newspaper. That’s how I live my life. And fortunately , I can be honest with myself by doing it.Because in this day and age we live in, the truth comes out.Everyone knows their true character, so I think you have to be honest with yourself.”

4. Find a mentor

Find someone who inspires you and paves the way for your success.

5. Be passionate and love what you do

“I really love my job. I love everything about it. And I know you can’t run your business if you don’t run it well, so find your true passion for yourself.

“They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life, and it’s completely true. If you don’t really love it in the moment it doesn’t exist, it won’t last long.”

Dr. Mohan has certainly taken her own advice to become one of Texas’ most prominent plastic surgeons. However, it is surprising that her 92% of plastic surgery patients are female, while only 17.2% of her plastic surgeons are female.

Why We Need More Female (Plastic) Surgeons

2022 studies published in medical journals JAMA surgery Both male and female patients were found to do better under the care of female surgeons, with female patients experiencing a marked reduction in surgical complications, readmissions, and mortality.

Statistics did not predict Dr. Mohan’s success. Some of her classmates in her medical school dismissed her, but Dr. Michael Ciaravino saw in Mohan her unwavering dedication and her talent. It wasn’t just “girls” that Chialavino saw. He met her doctor, whose dedication to her skill and her surgical prowess was so clear, entrusted her with his entire legacy shortly before her death. Dr. Kriti Mohan’s story proves that hard working and dedicated women can overcome barriers of misogyny and prejudice.