Meet the RealSelf Chief Medical Officer: Dr. Lara Devgan

Meet the RealSelf Chief Medical Officer: Dr. Lara Devgan

1024 689 Tom Seery

As I mentioned when we announced our financing round earlier this year, we are investing for the future. This means we are working to introduce RealSelf to more consumers — in doing so, we want to ensure doctor feedback is tightly integrated into our strategy, business operations, product development, and more.

To this end, we are taking an important step and bringing on the first-ever RealSelf Chief Medical Officer. Today, we have announced the appointment of Dr. Lara Devgan to this role, reporting to me. Dr. Devgan is a New York City-based board-certified plastic & reconstructive surgeon, who was trained at Johns Hopkins and Columbia and completed her fellowship at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia and Cornell. You can find her extended bio here.

Dr. Devgan will maintain her NYC practice and dedicate a portion of her time to RealSelf. This is but one step we plan to implement over the next few months to bring more doctors, and other professionals, closer to our operations to help influence the next chapter of RealSelf in this ever-evolving world of medical aesthetics.

When I decided it was time that we add a doctor to our team, my first thought was Dr. Devgan based on a highly-memorable chance meeting with her in southern California. Several years ago, I spoke at an ASPS-sponsored women plastic surgeons summit and at a break I started speaking with Dr. Devgan. I was immediately drawn to her thoughtfulness about how the Internet can eliminate the stigma associated with aesthetics and lead to better educated and informed patients. We also discovered we were closely aligned on the importance of transparency and educational resources to elevate the conversation about aesthetics, which, in turn, empowers people to make smart, confident decisions about which procedures are right for them. And not to be left out, she and her sister (a plastic surgeon in LA) explained to me the importance of thinking beyond RealSelf for patient education, which led me to beef up our social team that is responsible for the most popular and fastest-growing Instagram account in aesthetics (follow us @realself!).

To learn more about what attracted Dr. Devgan to RealSelf in her own words, you can read our recent interview with her on our consumer blog, The Treatment.

With our new partnership in place, Dr. Devgan and I share the view that aesthetics isn’t about one brand, one website, or one doctor. The power of RealSelf is the power of community to shape the way our industry operates.

Over the next few months Lara and I will explore forming a volunteer medical advisory body to bring more voices and broader perspectives to the table. In the meantime, we always welcome your feedback — it truly makes a difference. For instance, we’ll soon announce a new review solicitation tool that was designed and shaped by the continuous feedback we got from practices who beta-tested our original concept. More to come!

-Tom

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Tom Seery

Tom Seery is the founder and CEO of RealSelf, the most popular online resource that helps consumers research cosmetic treatments and find the right medical aesthetic provider. Each month RealSelf attracts 10 million unique visitors who view 50 million photos. Another 500,000 people contact doctors and clinics seeking more information or appointments. Integral to RealSelf is a model that showcases the expertise of aesthetic providers. Experts have posted two million answers to questions and routinely upload educational videos, and patient before & after photos. Prior to RealSelf, Tom was a member of the founding team at Expedia, where he conceived a $1.2b private-label travel business, launched the cruise travel line of business, and introduced search marketing long before Google was a household name. Tom sits on the board of ReSurge International, a nonprofit that builds plastic reconstructive surgical capacity in developing countries. He also regularly lectures on innovation and serves on the board of the entrepreneurship programs at the University of Washington. Tom holds an MS from Drexel University, MBA from University of Washington, and BA from Connecticut College. He resides in Seattle with his wife and two highly energetic boys. He is @seery on Twitter or @realself_tom on Instagram, should you wish to connect.

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