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Image / Agenda / Business

My Career: Aesthetic doctor Clodagh O’Shea


By Clodagh O'Shea
06th Apr 2023
My Career: Aesthetic doctor Clodagh O’Shea

Dr Clodagh O’Shea is an aesthetic medical specialist at the Beacon Face and Dermatology. A firm believer in the “less is more” mentality, here she shares more about her career to date, her successes and how she has built up such a stellar reputation, with some of the best credentials in the country.

Did you always want to be an aesthetic doctor?
Yes! While studying medicine at University, I knew I wanted to specialise in cosmetic medicine. However, I never dreamt I would be able to practice in this field of medicine full-time and be as busy as I am!

In college, I studied… medicine at the University College of Cork for five years. Currently, I am doing a part-time Master’s degree in anti-ageing and aesthetic medicine at the University of Manchester also.

My most formative work experience was… perhaps being chosen as the first Republic of Ireland trainer for the company Teoxane. Teoxane is one of the biggest and most reputable dermal filler companies in the world and being chosen as their first regional expert trainer in Ireland was a huge honour and opened so many doors for me.

The most invaluable thing I learned early on in my career was… to say no! Working in aesthetics means you must learn to say no to people when they ask for certain treatments. If I believe a cosmetic procedure will do someone more harm than good, I just have to say no. My patients always thank me for it in the end and know I always have their best interests at heart.

A common misconception about what I do is… that it’s all about botox! I am such a believer in taking a 360-degree approach to skin health and ageing. There is so much more to looking well than just botox!

My main responsibility in work is… to ensure my patients receive the absolute highest standard of care at all times.

Do you have a career mentor or someone you look up to/seek advice from?
Absolutely. Mr Kambiz Golchin, a facial plastic surgeon and my colleague, has been my biggest mentor since I started in medical aesthetics. He has taught me so much and continues to support me in my career.

The biggest risk I have taken in my career so far is… deciding to focus on aesthetics full-time. I received a place on the GP scheme the same month I was offered a job at Beacon Face & Dermatology. Some of my friends thought I was crazy, but I took the risk and decided to focus completely on aesthetics. I haven’t looked back since!

I wake at… 7am most mornings, 6:30am if I am travelling for work.

The first thing I do every morning is… go and greet my dog in the sitting room. He gives the best cuddles when he is still sleepy, and it gets my day off to the best start. It’s good for the soul.

My morning routine is… to wake up at approximately 7am, sometimes a gym class or dog walk, shower, and skincare routine (cleanse, vitamin C and SPF, every single morning) and I never leave the house without having a big breakfast!
I can’t go to work without breakfast.

I travel to work by… car. I spend a very large portion of my life driving so I would be absolutely lost without my car! I’ve been driving since I was 16 and could never imagine not having access to my car.

On an average workday, I… arrive at the clinic at 8:30 am, review my diary for the day ahead and prepare my clinic room for my list of procedures. If lucky, I may get a lunch break at 1pm and usually finish work by 6 or 7pm.

I start my working day at… 8:30am. I might be on the road as early as 6:30am if I am travelling a little further though.
The first thing I do at work is review my appointments for the day ahead. I usually have a quick glance at my emails also and get back to anything urgent.

I usually spend the first portion of the day… seeing my patients. If there are any big procedures, I try to complete these at the start of my day.

I break for lunch at… 1pm (if I’m lucky) and usually have a quick lunch. I’ll grab a salad, or soup and sandwich combo usually. I’m a “snacker” though so will always have popcorn or nuts to nibble on between patients.

The most useful business tool I use every day is… Google Calendar! I have everything colour coded and use it every single day. Between working across our three clinics in Cork, Kerry and Dublin, doing a Master’s degree and working as a trainer for Teoxane, I would be absolutely lost without it. I also have my “old school” written diary where I write my daily to-do list and short-term goals.

I save time by… being as organised as possible. Between work and my studies, I have a lot to balance so I try to organise my upcoming week on a Sunday evening. I make a list of the most important tasks and try to complete those at the start of the week. This always motivates me to stay productive and if the end of the week doesn’t go as planned, at least I have the most important tasks completed.

I rarely get through my working day without… an oat milk flat white!

The best part of my day is… seeing patients return with a new lease of life after their procedures. I adore seeing patients full of enthusiasm and eager to continue their skin health journey.

The most challenging part of my day is… balancing everything. I am so passionate about maintaining a good work/life balance but some days, I do feel out of balance. It can be tough to keep energy levels up all the time.

I know it’s been a good day if… everything runs on time, patients are leaving the clinic happier than they came in and I get home in time to spend some quality time with my husband and dog.

I usually end my work day at… between 6-7pm, unless I must give an online webinar or finish some assignments for my master’s.

I switch off from work by… going for a beach walk with my dog. I’m so lucky to live really close to three beautiful beaches – being by the water is my happy place! I also love to cook. I went to Ballymaloe cookery school last summer for 5 weeks and it was one of my favourite life experiences yet.

Before I go to bed, I’ll… read. I recently bought a new Kindle and I’ve really developed a love for reading. I’ll always choose a fiction book to read just before bed, a little escapism after a busy day. Of course, it goes without saying, I’ll also complete my nighttime skincare routine. This may involve applying ingredients such as retinol or glycolic acid to my skin.

I often prepare for tomorrow by… writing out a to-do list. I like to embrace the concept of “eat that frog”, which basically means completing your hardest task of the day first thing in the morning. I found this practice to be a game-changer in terms of productivity.

After a long work week, I destress by… getting outside. I live in Co. Kerry and I absolutely love where I live. I adore sea swimming and I’m addicted to the positive effect it has on my mental health, there’s no better feeling. I love how many portable saunas have been set up around my local beaches too, so a sea swim followed by a sauna session is my ultimate de-stressor!

The accomplishment I’m most proud of is… the reputation I have built for myself. I have the most wonderful relationship with both my patients and my work colleagues and I feel over the past few years, I have built up a reputation as a trustworthy and reliable doctor, which means the world to me.

If you want to get into my line of work, my advice is to… educate yourself as much as possible. Unfortunately, cosmetic medicine is a poorly regulated area and therefore, to stand out and build up a good reputation, you need to put your education and training above all else.

I’ve just finished working on… a written assignment on the topic of revision facelift for my master’s. At the moment I’m working on the expansion of our Munster clinics. I’ve never been so excited for the future!