BRIEF HISTORY, BACKGROUND, UNDERTAKINGS, AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
I completed medical school and residency at the University of Toronto in 2007. Shortly after, I joined Summerville Family Health Team (FHT), where I’ve been working as a family physician for the last 13 years. I work in a collaborative team with dieticians, social workers, nurse practitioners and pharmacists. I currently have hired a locum MD to support my family practice so I can dedicate more time to my true passion, Aesthetic Medicine.
I also hold the title of adjunct lecturer at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine. I teach medical students and residents regularly at my clinic. Furthermore, I have hospital privileges at Trillium Health Partners. My credentials also include being certified with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). I”m also an active member of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and
The Ontario Medical Association (OMA).
Health care is a strong passion of mine, and I’m blessed to work as a Medical Consultant for Optimal Retirement Services, where I currently have one home under my care. The home is managed by a Nurse Practitioner and I visit once a month, for half a day, to see more complex patients.
Like many South Asians, my parents left their homeland of Gujarat and moved to Canada so that they could give a better life for their children. This meant taking on labor intensive jobs that were far below their education level.
Shortly after their move to Toronto, my father was relocated to Sudbury, Ontario. Very soon after this, he was diagnosed with kidney failure. Two failed transplants later, he would be on dialysis for the rest of his life.
THE START OF MY MEDICAL JOURNEY
I first was introduced to medicine by watching my dad dialyze at home; I remember being fascinated by the procedure and was so keen to learn about how this incredible machine took over the role of the kidneys to clean the blood. My dad would also let me take his blood pressure several times a day and together we would adjust his medications based on the readings.
THE BIRTH OF PARI AESTHETICS:
I’ve always had a keen interest in all things aesthetic and fashion. My parents saw this spark in me and as a youth which resulted in commercial auditions, modelling lessons, beauty pageants, fashion shows and more. Although it wasn’t always accepted for an Indian girl to partake in such events, my parents held their heads high and cheered me on every step of the way.
Eventually, I was able to merge my passion for aesthetics with my training in medicine through the art of Aesthetic Medicine. I love the appreciation for detail this field requires and enjoy collaborating with my clients to achieve their aesthetic goals. Since then, my aesthetics career has grown at an incredible pace – I started injecting at random salons hoping for clients to show up to start my own full-service medical spa within a couple of years!
Pari Aesthetics is located in the same medical professional building as my family practice, across from Sherway Gardens Mall. We offer the full range of medical aesthetics, including but not limited to injectables, PRP (hair restoration and vampire facial), body sculpting, laser hair removal, vaginal rejuvenation, radiofrequency skin resurfacing and chemical peels.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF HEADED?
I am looking forward to expanding my practice while starting an injectables training academy for individuals looking for advanced training in this field. It’s truly exciting since I am already getting requests for private training sessions through social media. Since I already teach medical students, this seems like a logical and natural next step for me. I guess you can say it’s fitting!
But why stop there? As someone who has always enjoyed the limelight, I also see myself in the media in the near future. I look to expand my horizons as much as possible.
WHAT DO YOU DO ON YOUR SPARE TIME? HOW DO YOU BALANCE IT WITH YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE?
I love in-line skating, biking and spending time with my family. My two children are my world and I love taking them to the lakefront. I also love power yoga a few times a week for my mental and physical well being.
Since I’ve started my spa, I have really come to appreciate the importance of quality time. It’s not possible to help others if I don’t look after myself first. If I am well rested, balanced and happy in my personal life, I will be more productive and function my best in my professional life.
A lot of people get caught up in the rat race and lose sight of what’s really important in life. I’ve come to value time for myself and with my family as necessary as, if not more so, than my time at work. I will often block myself off from my professional life for restorative time for myself, dinner with my husband or play time with the kids. The reward from this reprioritization has been priceless! I believe this balance has allowed me to achieve far more success than I could.
I want to cherish every spare moment I can with my children as they’re young. They’re growing up so fast!
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT SOME OBSTACLES YOU FACED IN YOUR LIFE? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
For as long as I can remember, fitting in was difficult for me.
Growing up in Sudbury, my brother and I was one of the only minorities in our school. My parents had modest jobs and we couldn’t afford things that the other kids did such as pizza lunches, new clothes, professional hair cuts, etc.
I didn’t understand or appreciate my difference at the time and even resented my culture and skin colour at a young age. I broke out of my shell and entered the world of fashion and modelling. There were many grumblings in our small South Asian community and raised eye-brows. After all, this is not what a future doctor and a good Indian girl did in her spare time.
Despite the criticism, with my parents’ support, I charged on. Although I loved the small gigs, again I couldn’t help but feel left out in this pre-Kardashian industry where everyone else was tall blonde and skinny and I was clearly not any of those things. Also, most girls in the industry were not academically inclined, they found it odd that I wanted to pursue medicine and would often ask “ well why are you here?”.
Entering The University of Toronto School of Medicine brought so much happiness and a sense of accomplishment for me. The hard work paid off, yet, once again my bubbly personality and vibrant style was met with skepticism. Many of my peers judged me for not being serious because I didn’t fit the typical med-school persona.
I was finally able to express my true self and allow all the different facets of what makes me uniquely come to light through Aesthetic medicine. Here I was able to apply the science of medicine and combine it with the art of beauty to produce remarkable results. More and more, I learned to trust myself, that it was okay to be different.
WHO ARE YOUR HEROES? WHY?
My father is undoubtedly my biggest hero. Below is an excerpt from his eulogy that I gave in 2010.
My father was a strong and courageous man. He was diagnosed with kidney failure at the age of 30 before I was even born. After having 2 unsuccessful kidney transplants, his life was about to drastically change forever. He would need dialysis treatment s 3x/wk 5hr per treatment for the rest of his life. He would need to check his blood pressure several times a day and start multiple medications to control it. He would need regular doctor’s appointments and blood tests. He would have to significantly restrict his diet, no longer being able to eat many of the foods he once enjoyed. He was told that his condition would slowly deteriorate over time, that he would experience new and worsening of chronic kidney failure until eventually, he would succumb to the disease or a complication of it. He was told that the average person lived about 10yrs once after starting dialysis treatment.
Most receiving such news would be paralyzed with hopelessness and despair, but not my father. Instead, he chooses to take charge of his healthcare, educating himself in all the particulars of kidney disease. He immediately implemented all the lifestyle changes that were outlined to him.
For the next 30 years, my father would continue to astonish everyone he met. To his many doctors, he was the ideal patient with his vast knowledge of his medical condition and compliance with his treatment regime. He never failed to charm the nurses who had the pleasure of caring for him with his quick wit and irresistible smile. To his friends, he was a living example of uncompromising willpower and insurmountable valour.
Not only did he never give up, but he handled the many obstacles placed in front of him with grace, dignity and resilience that no one had seen before. He laughed his way through all of life’s hurdles and took everyone along for the ride.
My father worked full time as a manager of a major drug distribution company for 17 years, living a productive and relatively normal life.
Once we moved to Toronto, my father finally went on disability. He then made his life’s mission to fully support my brother and me throughout all of our endeavours.
We lived a privileged life because of him. He took away many of our responsibilities so that our primary concern would be our studies. In university, during exam time, I would wake up early to study sometimes at 4 am — as soon as my dad heard me get up, he would immediately get up himself and make me chai, saying he couldn’t sleep and was about to get up anyway. He would fill up my gas tank before I left for school so that I wouldn’t have to get out in the cold to do it myself. Knowing his presence would be a great source of moral support, he insisted on accompanying me to all of my medical school interviews, whether they were in Toronto, Hamilton or Ottawa.
Although he couldn’t come with us, he sent us on trips all around the world. Whatever our hearts desired he would get for us. For my brother and me, the word “no” did not exist in his vocabulary.
He never once let us feel that he was sick and that we were limited in any way.
He taught my brother and me to aim high, to be the best, that we were capable of great things and that nothing was outside of our reach.
WHAT ARE YOUR ULTIMATE GOALS?
I would like to be in more of a managerial role in the next decade and have a staff to be more agile in my practices and future training academy.
I look forward to travelling the world with my husband when the kids are grown up and settled in their adult life.
Ultimately, like most entrepreneurs, I want to leave a legacy for my children and for them to one day take over Pari Aesthetics.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A LEADER?
Leaders are those that think out of the box, be innovative, not be afraid to take a risk and to charge even when they are told they cannot or will fail.
A leader has to be comfortable being uncomfortable and be her own biggest cheerleader. She has to be determined and hardworking and focused and driven.
Since starting my business I have come to rely on my “ gut instinct” — more often than not it is right.
A leader also has to have the soft skills to work with a variety of people and elicit the best from them to work towards the mutual goal. Instead of reacting with anger or frustration with an unhappy client/patient, I’ve learned to put myself in their shoes; more often than not their behaviour is due to their own personal experiences or inherent to their personality and is not meant to be directed at me find out how you can make your client feel heard and secure that you are going to help them to the best of your ability — a little kindness is often all it takes to change the interaction
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU PROVIDE SOMEBODY WHO WANTS TO FOLLOW THE SAME PATH AS YOU?
A lot of what’s above! Furthermore:
- Find a mentor.
- Practice as much as possible, even if it’s at a loss; I used to inject free of charge when I first started to develop my skill.
- Learn from your mistakes so you don’t make them again.
- Be ready to invest your time — you get out of it what you put in.
- Network with others in the field — a lot of doctors tend to associate with other doctors but I’ve learned the most from the nurses in my life — remember, think out of the box, do what makes sense for you, not what others do!
THREE TRUTHS AND A LIE. GO!!
- I was Miss Teen Sudbury.
- My first job was at a plus-size lingerie retail store.
- Aside from being a doctor, I also wanted to be a cashier as a kid.
- I had a minor role in a Bollywood film.