As an aspiring medical student, the name ‘Harley Street’ is well known to me- home to many private specialists in medicine and surgery, so imagine my excitement when I was offered an opportunity to attend a panel talk held in this very street!
Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend a Black Skin Directory event hosted by Keziah Connections. Black Skin Directory is a new organisation whose aim is providing a catalogue of aesthetic clinics that are approved and trusted for use by black/ ethnic skinned people. I found this initiative intriguing as the inspiration of this organisation stems from the fact that many ethnic people, and initially including myself, feel such clinics don’t have treatments that would be safe and effective on their skin. Spending this evening with Dija Ayodele and the evening’s specialist aestheticians, Dr Rikin Parekh, Dr Barbara Kubicka and Dr Bhavjit Kaur taught me so much about the treatments, such as clinical peels, these clinics offer. I was intrigued to know the dangers in such peels, laid in the preparation of the skin before the peel, rather than the peel itself. As a young lady with dark skin, I was interested to hear what these specialists had to share about the use of aesthetic treatments on darker skin.
Hearing the evening’s doctors discuss the various ways of protecting the skin, not just from the clinical treatments, but in everyday life made me discover more about my skin. The passion with which the doctors spoke about things such as the importance of sun-screen was inspiring to me, and also showed me a new perspective to medicine as a career. I briefly spoke to Dr Kubick who chose to specialise in aesthetic medicine as she described herself as artistic and this area of medicine allowed her to express this side of herself. It highlighted to me that medicine wasn’t restricted to life as only a medical doctor in a general hospital. Another thing that struck me about the night’s panellists was that they illustrated a different perspective of life in medicine. It really revealing to me another side of life as a doctor, beyond the long hours and tiring workloads, – all of them looked stunning! This illustrated to me that there would still be time for myself, despite all the warnings I had heard about being worked to the bone which is definitely a bit of a relief for me to see.
Overall, this evening was very enjoyable for me, not just as a woman of dark skin, but also as an aspiring medical student. It is the small things in life that contribute to our perspective on the bigger picture, and seeing these three doctors that night really brought home that I could be a successful doctor with spare time over time. Whilst the initial role of a junior doctor may be stressful, perseverance is key in being able to reach your goal, which is something these 3 doctors showed me as they are now very successful in their fields.