The cosmetic medical industry in Australia has grown into a multi-million dollar industry over the last few years. More and more people turn to professionals in the business for a multitude of reasons though picking the best among the numerous available clinics is quite hard for the average consumer. However, one thing that every potential client and patient should look out for when researching such clinics is the experience of the staff and the quality of care that they provide. Thankfully for those who reside in the Geelong area, the Geelong Cosmetic & Laser Medical Centre more than fits the above criteria.
Originally established as the Geelong Leg Vein Centre in 1991 by Dr. Garth Dicker, the clinic has since grown into a multi-discipline treatment center for a variety of medical and cosmetic procedures. Dr. Dicker was one of the first doctors in Australia to work on lasers in 1996 and he started incorporating more cosmetic options in his clinic by the mid-2000s. Though Dr. Dicker has since retired into his other practice, the clinic is headed by the very capable Dr. Barbra Ward. Dr. Ward has worked as a general practitioner in Geelong since 2006, starting work at the Geelong Cosmetic & Laser Medical Centre in 2011, growing a loyal patient base since. Aside from her, the clinic is staffed by a expert team including a vascular surgeon, cosmetic nurse, two dermal clinicians and a laser therapist, who deliver excellent care to each patient that walks through the practice’s doors.
Doctors who care about their patients
In contrast to many other locations which offer cosmetic treatments, the Geelong clinic is a doctor-run facility where every member of the staff has undergone extensive training. Their evidence-based approach is second to none as the clinic’s philosophy is that every treatment should be safe and rewarding for the patients. Towards that end, the staff follow strict guidelines relating to patient care, informed consent, confidentiality, safety in equipment use and protocols.
Confidentiality and providing a discrete and comfortable service from the first contact through to ongoing client care is important at Geelong Cosmetic and Laser Medical Centre. It is a moderately sized facility, possessing a distinctively discreet and private nature. Unlike other cosmetic clinics whose huge facilities might seem intimidating to some patients, the Geelong Cosmetic & Laser Medical Centre is indeed quite inviting. And because it is operated by doctors and staff whose professional values include strict confidentiality, patients can rest assured knowing that each and every discussion that they have inside the clinic is strictly confidential and that their trust will never be broken.
“What mainly sets us apart from other clinics is the fact that we are a doctor-led clinic. There are always doctors overseeing the treatments. We are a moderately-sized clinic which is discreet, friendly and approachable. We continue to specialise in treating surface spider leg veins and deeper varicose veins with plenty of experience in these types of procedures dating back to Geelong Leg Vein Centre’s opening in 1991”, explains Dr. Barbra.
As one might expect, this approach has also proven to be very beneficial for the clinic as well. A lot of their patients have been coming back to them for years which says a lot about the trust that they have placed in the GeelongCosmetic and Laser Medical Centre. Furthermore, word of mouth is one of the centre’s most powerful marketing tools. In fact, it is a point of pride to them that patients recommend them to family and friends as it shows that they believe in the clinic’s work and quality of care. Regular communication with the local GPs ensures that patients who are in need of the clinic’s services will be directed to find what they are looking for.
Evidence-based treatments towards a patient-first approach
A very important factor that has contributed to the clinic’s success is that the doctors do not jump on the latest trends and treatments just because they are popular. Though they are always up-to-date with the latest procedures, they always carefully consider the results and evaluate whether or not they provide the best options for their patients. As doctors, it is vital for them to be informed so that others can be educated as well, but compromising the safety of their patients is something that they will never do.
“We know that it’s important to keep up-to-date with the latest medical advancements but also, as doctors, we can consider what studies have been done into safety. We are not going to jump into providing the latest treatment until we are sure that it works well, that it’s safe, and that it works specifically for the issue that we are treating. New laser technologies, cosmetic injectibles and leg vein treatment modalities continue to be developed. We critically appraise new therapies and rely on evidence based research to determine what is safe as well as effective”, says Dr. Barbra Ward.
Of course, that certainly doesn’t mean that they do not acknowledge the value and improvements of technology over the years. Lasers, for instance, have been improved dramatically. Their capabilities have advanced, their ability to deliver comfortable treatments has improved, and their range of uses has increased considerably. Another point of difference with similar laser centers is that the Geelong Cosmetic and Laser Medical Centre employs a variety of lasers directed at specific procedures instead of trying to use a single machine for a range of applications.
A friendly but professional atmosphere with great expertise
The patient-centered approach of the clinic is evident across the board. Though the staff is expertly trained with many years of experience under their belt, they do not rest on their laurels and instead continue to improve so that they can deliver better care to their patients. Continued medical and clinical education is a cornerstone of the clinic, with all staff encouraged and supported to attend conferences and courses regularly. The clinic’s atmosphere is friendly and the doctors and clinicians are always happy to communicate with each other, especially in order to discuss opinions and share their expertise. Having other medical staff to talk with also provides everyone with an additional incentive to engage in their work.
“Clients come in and have an initial consultation either with me or one of our clinicians. The reasons vary, they might just have come in for a free consultation to see what’s available. We individually consult with the patient, listen to their issues and then after assessment explain what can be done about their condition or concern from there. Every patient is an individual and as such has individual problems”, Dr. Barbra Ward explains about the consultation process.
Heading towards the future, Dr. Barbra Ward maintains that she wants the clinic to continue the great work that they have accomplished so far without compromising anything. Their expertise in specific areas such as the treatment of leg vein issues is unrivaled, after all. After a considerable numbers of years providing excellent care to their patients, the clinic is more than well-equipped to handle whatever the future might hold.
AT A GLANCE
WHO: Geelong Cosmetic & Laser Medical Centre
WHAT: Doctor-run clinic offering medical and cosmetic treatments, specializing in non-surgical cosmetic procedures, skin checks and leg vein treatment.
WHERE: 110 McKillop Street, Geelong VIC 3220