The advent of new and exciting procedures has encompassed all walks of the medical world, and it is top providers who ensure they offer these services. None is finer than the team behind Dr. Katie Clinic. It has achieved the remarkable under the leadership of lead practitioner, Katie Lau King Ting. Now that her firm has been recognised as the Most Outstanding Medical Aesthetic Clinic 2021 – Hong Kong in Acquisition International’s 2021 Global Excellence Awards, we thought it was time to take a closer look at how she has achieved such success.
The way in which we use our bodies is intrinsic to the medical approach of Katie Lau. Her entire career has revolved around not only keeping active herself, but in working out ways of keeping others on the move too. While this might seem a little counterintuitive for someone who has built their career in the aesthetics industry, her approach to this specialism embraces a holistic outlook that encompasses not only looks, but the mind and the body too.
The aim of the clinic is to improve a patient’s perceived weaknesses, often focusing on skincare treatments that finetune the appearance. This decision is key to the firm’s success, as they work on amplifying and elaborating on beauty. Under the capable leadership of Katie Lau, the firm has applied an approach which doesn’t stop at skincare, but goes deeper into how people think and why they think it.
The basic medical principle in all specialties is to do no harm, especially in the field of aesthetic medicine. Here it is vital to adjust patient expectations. They must rest assured that the team at Dr. Katie Clinic are doing only what is needed. Only after detailed assessment, will recommendations be made, and they are purely to help with specific problems. In this way, final personalized plans and goals are being set up together after open discussions and mutual agreement.
Katie’s career did not begin with the dream of becoming a medical doctor. In fact, she was Hong Kong’s Butterfly Queen, breaking records for the region as an incredible swimmer. Having trained since the age of eight, it’s no wonder that she was able to win medals at the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games. That said, her next move was something of a surprise to some, as she began to wind down her athletic career in favour of something more academic. Needless to say, the lessons she learned at this incredibly high level of sportsmanship, to be active, to face new challenges and to conquer, have been an asset during her long and successful medical career.
Campus life took the form of the University of Hong Kong School of Medicine, where Katie gained her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Medicine. With renewed commitment to the medical industry, she joined the Queen Mary Hospital as a houseman where she was able to explore her new vocation and discover the direction her passions would lead her. It’s little wonder that the path she followed was that of surgery, giving her the opportunity to work with her hands to heal patients.
For the next three years, her specialism led her to new and dizzying heights of competence, learning the valuable skills that would enable her to thrive in her new profession. Katie was able to assist in numerous surgeries of various types, including a complex liver transplant. Experiencing the full scope of what surgery had to offer enabled her to learn in real time, not only about her chosen topic, but about the specific branches of medicine she wanted to travel down next.
After three years of surgical training, Katie made the decision to move into private practice. She had completed her basic training, but had not specialised in a specific field. This meant that she would have to become a general practitioner, in either a general or aesthetics clinic. The choice was made by the same logic as her decision to go into surgery – aesthetics would enable her to be more active and on the move, and so her career path was set firm.
The world of aesthetics was one which brought about unique challenges as far as Katie was concerned, and her approach was carefully designed to take as many factors as possible into account before lifechanging decisions were made. What she discovered when entering into this important field was that many are making big decisions about how they look that are based entirely on a subjective perspective. Very quickly, Katie saw her work partly as a way of exploring the technical challenge of altering someone’s appearance to their liking, but also as a means of helping someone’s mental health. Many people go into an aesthetics clinic for unique and personal reasons and the job of Katie is not just to deliver results, but to unpick these complex factors and discover a form of the truth. People are not just the flaws they want removed, but a complicated array of different factors.
Needless to say, her work is incredibly difficult, finding innovative ways to create solutions for her clients. There is a tendency to expect aesthetic work to have a big impact on how people look, reshaping the very fabric of who a person is. Much of what Katie does is designed specifically to avoid this sort of invasive treatment. At the heart of her process is a desire to create tasteful adjustments that enhance the natural beauty that is within everyone. This applies not only to how someone looks visually, but how they feel about themselves on the inside. The way a person looks can transform how they feel, and how they feel can transform the changes they want to see. Mixing these two aspects has proven to be key to Katie’s continuing success.
Of course, the approach that Katie takes has been built up over years of practice and knowledge gathering from experts in the field. Working in a variety of different circumstances, including local companies, sizable corporations and community-based centres, she has been proud to apply aspects of all of these places to her thriving business today.
At Dr. Katie Clinic, Katie was able to boil down these hard-won experiences to a core process that allows her to thrive no matter what the circumstance. Each client is treated as an individual, taken on their own unique and bespoke journey towards happiness. The journey is guided by how a person looks, the subjective ways in which they would like to improve themselves and of course an in-depth knowledge of how to slow down the aging process considerably.
Katie is the only doctor at the Dr. Katie Clinic, with three assistant staff for both clinical and administrative work. This ensures great consistency in how things work. The assistant staff are responsible for arrangements of pre- and post-treatment work, including bookings, handling general enquiries, and routine paperwork. When it comes to recruitment of new staff, the team always try to keep our standards strict, but not limited to clinical experience. What is seen most clearly in this staff is attitude – in treating patients, carrying out daily work, and when facing new challenges. The provision of loving care to patients, a willingness to take up different duties, and eagerness to learn, are some of the characteristics which will lead to good prospects in this clinic.
The internal culture is always team building. A pleasant working and learning atmosphere is crucial in ensuring every staff enjoys work, while at the same time, make progress in their career, and as a person. Team work with minimal hierarchy puts a smile on working faces, patients in return will feel this passion, also enjoys each visit more, yielding a win-win situation, happy for all parties.
When considering the work that is performed at Dr. Katie Clinic, it’s essential to remember that a broad range of people walk through its doors, and each have their own histories to tell. When she first started practising in this field, most were female. Along the last years of solo practice, currently around 20–30% of patients are male, with ages that range from as young as 5 through to 70 years old. For younger children, parents are much concerned about facial moles, and scars caused by accidental falls, or other mishaps. They are worried that these can impose negative impacts on their children’s future life. Society, including the elderly, are now more aware of health issues and more willing to take action to ensure healing is completed to the highest standard.
For some, the ideal of aesthetic surgery is one which revolves primarily around vanity. The creation of a face and body that is as close as possible to some ideal of humanity. Often, however, those who come to Katie have smaller complaints which date back years. One of the cases that she remembers most clearly is of a shy young man who had a scar since childhood. He was unaware of the potential solutions on offer, with a therapy technique being what was eventually recommended. This non-invasive and unintrusive approach was key to him recovering some sense of confidence, which he would be able to take into the world around him.
The caring solution that was devised inspired the young man to bring in his mother who had a chronic scar that originated from a sunken nasal ridge. This so-called weakness was something that could be fixed on the spot. By providing practical solutions to problems that others perceive in a way that embraces them in their wholeness as opposed to perfecting them from a certain point of view, Dr. Katie Clinic has built a truly astonishing reputation for itself.
This approach is only possible thanks to the care which Katie applies to every case. She doesn’t offer standardized plans that revolve around the latest and most popular techniques, instead offering a solution that is ideal for the patient. To ensure rapid progress, she meets patients in person right at the first session. This establishes a concrete doctor-patient relationship, encourages patient compliance throughout treatment execution, and above all, impresses their inner self to spread these good words. Those who come to Dr. Katie Clinic know that they will receive work that supports every aspect of their body in its entirety.
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected every industry, but for the active sportswoman that Katie is, it was an opportunity for her and her business to thrive in an impossible climate. In fact, the work that she does has only been strengthened by the changing way in which people have worked over the last year. With people working from home and unable to travel, they have had more time to turn up to her clinic and more opportunities to take advantage of downtime appointments.
The lack of work-related constraints, as many people need time to recover after an operation and for example cannot wear makeup. Working from home means that this recovery time is less difficult to come by and as such, appointments for potential work can be done with ease. In fact, the pandemic has had a negligible impact on the way in which the company has operated, with the region as a whole suffering less than many other parts of the world. Those who might have travelled are now spending more time wondering how to improve their skin and their bodies as a whole.
This subtle shift in priority has been pushed by the pandemic in an interesting way, with many seeing anew the value in ensuring that their bodies are able to operate at peak performance. Naturally, skin plays an enormous role in this because it is the body’s second biggest organ. Maintaining it to the highest standards is invaluable and often requires a therapeutic approach which the team at Dr. Katie Clinic specialise in.
There is a great challenge for the industry at large, and it comes in the form of the reputation of aesthetic medicine in Hong Kong. A series of unfortunate negligent incidents over the past results in a very negative image of the industry. Patients are understandably extremely cautious about potential complications and side effects, not helped by the fact that skin issues are mostly non-acute, seldom a medical emergency, and therefore easy to postpone. The approach of Katie and her team, pushing an approach which celebrates the close relationship that people should have with their bodies, has been key to this.
A clear sign of success is being invited to share your experiences and that is precisely what Katie has been lucky enough to do. Her success in the aesthetic sector, brought about by her holistic approach to the industry, has seen her reaching out into the Asia-Pacific regions, speaking proudly about her work at seminars and conferences alike. Needless to say, the limitations on travel in 2020 saw her speaking engagements curtailed a little, but as online conferences began, she was proud to speak at Korea Derma 2020 in Mid-December.
Here, she talked about skin saving pearls for common dermatological conditions hidden underneath our masks. Katie is glad to be able to grab every chance to contribute to her profession and uphold academic standards on top of her daily clinical routines, given that real life events were nearly impossible recently since the COVID-19 outbreak. In the coming years, she would like to write a book that combines all of her knowledge and experience into a package that can be seen by all. The value of a tome that would be able to pass on the beauty of aesthetics is clear, and would be incredibly useful to the next generation, and beyond.
While the work that Katie does at Dr. Katie Clinic is vital to her success, it’s in her outside engagements that she has been able to work in new and exciting sectors. One of these embraces the potential of the non-clinical aspects of her work. Currently, Katie has taken up a position teaching new aesthetics specialists in how to thrive in the workplace. She is training five pharmaceutical companies in machines and injectables at the moment, drawing on her long and varied years of experience to ensure that the decisions these businesses make are for the benefit of their customers.
It’s clear that Dr. Katie Clinic is a certified success, and an enormous amount of that is down to Katie’s tireless work on behalf of her patients. While the world has been turned upside down over the last year, she has been able to focus on the needs of the here and now, pushing her firm to new and uncharted heights. By keeping up this incredible reputation, she has been able to achieve the remarkable.
Once a sportsman, always a sportsman, it’s a desire to be active, to face new challenges and to conquer that has brought Katie such success. This sportsmanship I acquired since at a young age molded me into a tough person, ready to face any challenges and difficulties anytime. In sports, the rate of failure is frequently higher than success. The courage and determination to stand up again after bad collapses is the key to work the path of success.
Katie’s path into the medical industry was not strictly speaking the most traditional, but it has brought with it a unique perspective that has benefited hundreds of clients. We celebrate that success as she accepts the award for Most Outstanding Medical Aesthetic Clinic 2021 – Hong Kong, and look forward to what innovations she brings to the market next.
For further information, please contact Katie Lau King Ting or email [email protected]