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!).
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!