Lifestyle

What Actually Motivates An Aesthetic Doctor? We Find Out.

Even with the ‘normalisation’ of aesthetic treatments via an increasing number of celebrities and influencers openly admitting to getting some work done, the procedures are still riddled with misconceptions.

Dr. Ivan Puah, founder and Medical Director of Amaris B. Clinic is well aware of that, but strongly believes that soon enough, Singaporeans will come to realise that at its core, it’s just a means to boost self-confidence.

And let’s admit it, don’t we all want that?

“There have been so many misconceptions, and the most pr­evalent one is that they are only done by vain AND rich ladies.”

He cites the slowly changing attitudes and increased exposure to the widespread sharing of experiences on social media.

“In the past, cosmetic enhancement is a hush-hush affair, but now, people have so much access to information and the latest trends. With more reviews and information shared, more people, and even men, are opening up to the idea of improving their looks and self-confidence via treatments.”

This is why at his clinic, procedures are not only available for ladies, but for men looking to improve their looks as well.

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As a matter of fact, for the past 2 to 3 years, he has noticed a big jump in the number of men opting for facial fillers, botox, acne treatment, liposuction, high definition body-sculpting and male breast reduction (gynecomastia surgery). He believes that the numbers will only continue to rise, as “men are less shy about such cosmetic enhancements now.”

The Origins Of Amaris B.

Amaris B. Clinic registered the clinic in 2004 and opened its doors in 2005 on a gamble.

Noticing that only a few cosmetic and aesthetic providers were present in the Singapore market, and prices for procedures were simply not affordable, Dr. Ivan Puah and his co-founder realised the great market potential and thus proceeded to pour all their savings into getting the business up and running.

Understanding that there’s also a need to stand out from its competitors, the clinic was the pioneer in Singapore and South-East Asia that offered a full range of liposuction, fat sculpting treatment and, fat grafting for breast and facial enhancement for both male and female patients.

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Amaris B. Clinic’s front counter / Image Credit: Amaris B. Clinic

“Our objective for the clinic back then was, and still is, to focus on providing high quality yet affordable fat reduction and liposuction services.”

And won that gamble Amaris B. Clinic and Dr. Ivan Puah did.

To this day, the 12 year old clinic is not only thriving, but achieving accolades both online and off.

An advocate of all things aesthetically pleasing, the clinic also moved to a 3-storey restored shophouse on the historically rich Arab Street since 2010, and has been operating there ever since.

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The lobby of the clinic / Image Credit: Amaris B. Clinic

Understanding the jitters one can get while seeking treatment and surgery, their spacious and zen-like interior design is geared towards “evoking a sense of assuring confidence”.

“Don’t Make Money Your Goal”

While embarking in a career as an aesthetic doctor has a high potential to bring in the big bucks, Dr. Ivan Puah mentions that his motivation is simply tied to the Maya Angelou quote, “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.

It is perhaps his passion for the craft and improving the lives of his patients that drives him to constantly upgrade himself. He frequently attends workshops, courses and conferences (locally and overseas). He has also received personal training from some of the top plastic surgeons in the world.

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Dr. Puah and his various certifications / Image Credit: Amaris B. Clinic

Plaques of his qualifications adorn the walls of the clinic on level two, and he humbly states that his only job is “to fulfil the hopes of patients through [his] skills, which [he finds] truly rewarding”.

Dr. Ivan Puah also takes time out of his busy schedule to contribute back to the medical community, and is currently the treasurer and part of the executive committee of Society of Aesthetic Medicine (SAM) Singapore.

He is also actively involved in seminars to educate the public on the latest aesthetic trends, and he takes it as a “chance to […] get an insight on the current needs and future wants.”

An official trainer to other local doctors for Allergan Singapore, the distributor of BOTOX®, he was also recently appointed as a faculty member of the Allergan Medical Institute.

“[I’m glad because] I am being recognised for my skills and most importantly, I also have had the opportunity to exchange pointers with peers and share some of my experiences,” shared Dr. Ivan Puah with us.

With Every Patient Comes A Story

During a consultation / Image Credit: Amaris B. Clinic
During a consultation / Image Credit: Amaris B. Clinic

Being so intimately connected with the patients they encounter and help, doctors often have a treasure throve of personal stories that they have encountered.

When asked about the most touching story of a patient he has, he cites the example of a male patient who suffered for years from a lack of self-confidence due to his overly large male breasts and constantly donned baggy clothes to hide his body.

After consultation and gynecomastia surgery, Dr. Ivan Puah fondly remembers the patient coming into the clinic on the last day of his review with a cake and a large smile plastered across his face, and thanked the team for solving his long-time problem.

His self-confidence was restored to the point that he even went on to train for a bodybuilding competition!

“His determination definitely leaves me in awe,” reminisced Dr. Ivan Puah.

Changing Misconceptions

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A treatment room at Amaris B. / Image Credit: Amaris B. Clinic

When asked about a misconception he’s like to change, he said that he is often asked if liposuction would equate to instant weight loss.

Technically, liposuction involves the removal of fat from the body, and it would be logical that it’s a quick way to lose weight, right?

Not at all, says Dr. Ivan Puah.

“In reality, liposuction is not meant for overall weight loss, and a good diet and regular exercise should be the most important ways that an individual should go about to achieve weight loss results that can be sustained.”

However, he states that liposuction is for those who want to remove stubborn fat on body parts such as the waist or abdomen.

Dr. Ivan Puah also advises that those interested in the process be more prudent when it comes to finding a good doctor because an eye for beauty and relevant experience would be needed for a successful, and also aesthetically pleasing result.

What’s Next?

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Dr. Ivan Puah revealed that he is currently talking to several prospective business partners, and through the partnerships, they plan to further expand and eventually even franchise the business.

Honestly, I entered the interview intrigued and left enlightened. Dr. Ivan Puah’s motivations are just like any doctors we visit for our ailments – they want to make us feel better.

Aesthetic treatments and cosmetic enhancement still have a rather negative reputation due to media coverage on the occasional instance of addicts who tend to go overboard with treatments, but those can only happen when the doctors are irresponsible with their patients.

With Dr. Ivan Puah’s simple mission to boost his patients’ confidence and dedication to perfecting the craft, I think it’s safe to say that his patients are in good hands.