Concept Medical - Sam
Tell us a little about yourself?
Where do I start! I grew up in Oakville, Ontario and came to Ottawa for university. After 4 years here, I did a Masters degree in Kingston, follow by medical school at the University of Toronto, and then residency in family medicine at the University of Ottawa. Since 12 years of post-secondary education wasn’t quite enough schooling, I did a family medicine fellowship in dermatology following my residency training. I am currently one of a handful of Family Physicians with a GP Focused Practice Designation in Dermatology, which is awarded by the Ontario Medical Association and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. My practice at Concept Medical is primarily non-surgical medical aesthetics although I do see patients with medical skin concerns such as skin cancer. I live in Wellington West with my amazing wife Hana and our 2-year-old daughter, Ava. I have been at Concept Medical for about 5 years now, and officially took over as the owner and Medical Director in November 2016. Owning and operating a small business on top of being a full- time physician certainly does have its challenges, however, it is truly a joy going into the clinic every day!
When and how did Concept Medical begin?
Concept Medical actually began as the Carling Laser Clinic at a different location in the 1990s with a different owner. Carling Laser Clinic was one of the first clinics in Ottawa to offer laser hair removal and Botox, well over a decade ago. With advances in medical aesthetics, the clinic grew and relocated to our current location at Holland Cross (Holland and Scott) about 7 years ago. At this time, the clinic was rebranded to better represent the new location as well as the broader range of medical and cosmetic procedures we offer. We currently have 3 physicians on staff as well as 5 employees and offer a full range of both medical and cosmetic skin treatments.
What makes Concept Medical different than other cosmetic medical clinics?
First and foremost we pride ourselves in being a medical aesthetic and skin clinic, rather than a medi-spa. All of our treatments are medically supervised and evidence-based. The first patient visit, whether for laser hair removal or Botox begins with a detail physician consultation. The consultation takes about 30-40 minutes and is dedicated time with one of our qualified physicians. We believe this is a crucial step to providing amazing results, safely. We are also one of a handful of clinics where injectable cosmetic products such as Botox and Juvederm are performed only by our qualified physicians. They are never delegated to a nurse or non-physicians staff member. We provide close follow-up, and ensure patients are happy with their results. Finally, we ensure that each patient has a great experience – it’s our mission! From the moment a patient calls in, to the moment they leave, we want them to feel comfortable, at ease, and have great time, every time. I tell my staff it’s like going for an amazing meal, at the best restaurant in town. You can have a fantastic dinner, however, if the server is rude, you had to wait for your table, and the room was too cold, you likely wouldn’t return, no matter how great your steak was!
There are so many cosmetic procedures out there these days can you explain CoolSculpting and why you use it?
Great question! CoolSculpting is currently the world’s most popular non-surgical, fat reducing technology. To date, there have been over 6,000,000 treatments worldwide! Unlikely surgical options, CoolSculpting is a simple, non-invasive treatment that can eliminate up to 25% of the fat in a specific area, with essentially no downtime. In Ottawa, CoolSculpting has been a great option for patients who have specific problem areas, but do not want the downtime or invasiveness of surgical treatments such as liposuction.
You practice “safety and comfort above all else” is that something that is unique to how you work with clients?
Absolutely! It comes back to our mission to provide a ‘great patient experience.’ We want patient to be comfortable and at ease when they visit Concept Medical. It’s never a rushed visit. Each of our consultations are at least 30 minutes. When it comes to injectables like Botox, we always allot much more time than the actual treatment takes, and always book a 2-week follow-up after to ensure patients love their results. The safety aspect is also critical! Medical aesthetic treatments are not medically essential, and like all procedures there is some risk involved. However, we minimize these risks with the up-to-date, best practices. We regularly will not offer treatments if we do not think they are as safe as possible or not in the best interest of for a patient. This is where the detailed consultation and medical history comes into play!
What is your favourite place to grab a coffee when you get a few minutes?
I’ve been really excited that Morning Owl Parkdale has just moved in around the corner! We also have an amazing automatic espresso machine in the clinic, which I tend to frequent probably way to often. My go-to is a double-long espresso with a dash of cream (just in case anyone wants to drop one off).
When you aren’t helping patients and running a business what do you do for fun?
Since having our daughter just over 2 years ago, my perspective on ‘fun’ has really changed. Most of my off-work time is primarily spent with her! I cannot justify playing 6 hours of golf on a Sunday these days as she grows up so fast in front of my eyes. I also enjoy being active and love going for nice long runs along the canal. My wife and I are big foodies – does going for dinner count as a hobby? There are so many great spots in Ottawa now. If we are not out on the town we are usually entertaining at our house. We love having big groups of friends over on the weekend.
Lasers are used in so many industries for various purposes, what are the benefits when they are used in medicine?
Even within medicine there are countless laser applications. Everything from eye surgery, to neurosurgery, to making your skin look and feel great! When it comes to your skin, lasers are used to help improve skin tone and skin texture, as well as remove certain skin spots as well as remove hair. At Concept Medical we have 5 different light and laser-based technologies, each with a very specific application. One of our favourites if Broadband Light, which is a medical-grade IPL. IPL is a great option to help smooth out skin tone, reducing small veins and redness, and improving brown spots, such as sun and age spots.
How often do you have to upgrade the technology at your clinic?
We are constantly updating our systems and acquiring new equipment. We also ensure that our lasers and technology is running at full efficacy with monthly maintenance and calibration. We also have full services on our machines yearly to ensure they are working at full capacity.
What is your favourite neighbourhood in Ottawa?
I have to stick with our home turf. I love Wellington West. Not only is Concept Medical in the area, but so is our home. It’s a pretty lively, yet low-key part of town with a ton of great restaurants, coffee shops, parks, and a real sense of community. I love being able to just walk out our front door and be steps away to almost anything.
How does Concept Medical play a part in the Ottawa community?
We love supporting community charities and helping to build capacity within our neighbourhood. Most recently we were one of the presenting sponsors at Between the Lights, a new fundraising event for the CHEO Foundation. Last year we also had our own charity-networking event at Concept Medical in support of the Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation as well as supported the Do The Ride fundraiser in support of the Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre.
Have there been any businesses that you have partnered with or have contributed to the success of Concept Medical?
Absolutely! We love partnering with local businesses. A rising tide raises all ships! We have had some amazing collaborations with Supply and Demand. Recently they catered our social medial influencers night with live oyster shucking, and we also attended for one of their amazing pasta cooking classes! Thanks to Jenny and Steve Wall. We also love attending the Guild Events, which is an awesome place to meet like-minded business owners. And we just partnered with Ottawa Neighbours ;)