Wimpole Aesthetics is a small cosmetic clinic with a loyal staff on Harley Street in London. Here's our interview with Dr. Joshua Berkowitz.
My school education was completed in Bulawayo (Rhodesia/Zimbabwe). In 1966 I started medical school obtaining a MB ChB degree from Birmingham University (UK). After several junior positions in Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Urology and General Practice I decided to specialize in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Thus, after further training in the Birmingham Teaching Hospitals, I obtained Membership of the Royal College of O & G followed later by the Fellowship in 1993. I was in private O & G practice in Johannesburg from 1982 till 1996 when I emigrated to the UK/London. During my years in private practice I was also a part time Consultant in the University Teaching Hospital in Johannesburg.
In 1997 I became the Medical Director to Ivax Pharmaceuticals. I was responsible for the Company’s medical activities in the UK, Europe and China. Ivax was sold to Teva in about 2005 and I took a redundancy package to start Wimpole Aesthetics in Wimpole Street, London W1.
Could you tell us your journey toward cosmetic medicine?
I started Wimpole Aesthetics after leaving the pharmaceutical industry in about 2005/6. I initially modelled the clinic upon a clinic I had visited in Israel several years previously. This clinic was using Botox & fillers and using IPL and Laser machines. I have always been interested in Women’s Health and Wellbeing/Functional Medicine and therefore expanded the clinic into these areas and into the treatment of several chronic diseases/conditions.
What could you divulge about your clinic?
I run the clinic together with several nurses and a non-medical assistant who is responsible for the internet sites and other aspects of management, the clinic is located in the medical district of London near Harley Street. Not a big clinic.
How are you as the Medical Director of Wimpole Aesthetics with regards to staff?
There are no stories to tell. I choose staff who are loyal and discrete and obviously capable and affable. I am also loyal to them. Bonuses are awarded when we have a good month.
What technologies are you using in your practice?
I have become disenchanted by the machinery in the aesthetics world since few instruments are able to meet the claims printed on the box. Also the machines are excessively expensive. Prices are based on perceived earning potential not on machine production and marketing costs. Furthermore, manufacturers now include a consumable to ensure that they remain a “partner”. Training is usually poor and inadequate.
I have Syneron IPL and Laser -- both very old and a very modern CO2 Deka.
I have a Vaser machine and several small machines plasma, etc.
What is your marketing strategy?
Marketing is by word of mouth by patient to potential patient referral and by internet.
We are a proper medical clinic, hence there are no incentives (buy one get another at half price type stuff) and no social media.
Any stories you would like to share? And what have you learned so far as a physician in cosmetic medicine?
No stories but I am concerned about the many doctors and their egos and many false representations of themselves (e.g.) calling themselves surgeons when they are not putting degrees on stationary they do not have and are not pushing treatments that are completely without merit; making up treatment combinations that are completely unproven; seeking publicity and making false claims about their expertise.
So what I have learned is that I respect and admire very few of my colleagues.
That there is very little evidence based med in the aesthetics field; and that morality and integrity are often absent; and that the aesthetics speciality is littered with doctors and others who are not properly trained or qualified to do the procedures they do or to manage the complications that may arise.
About Dr. Berkowitz:
Dr Josh graduated from Birmingham University Medical School in 1971. He became a Member and later a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FRCOG). For nearly twenty years, Dr Josh was a Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist in a private medical practice in South Africa. This has given him a helpful holistic perspective on women’s health and the ways that hormonal changes and child bearing can impact on a woman’s skin health, body shape and body image.
Upon his return to the UK in 1997, and following additional specialist training, he diversified into non-surgical aesthetic and anti-ageing procedures for men and women.
Committed to providing patients with safe and reliable techniques, Dr Josh ensures that Wimpole Aesthetics uses the best quality materials and products. Dr Josh is an expert in all the treatments offered at Wimpole Aesthetics and and he frequently updates his own skills with continual professional development conferences and seminars.
Dr Josh is acknowledged as a preferred trainer of cosmetic medical doctors by the manufacturers of Vaser medical laser technology. Vaser Liposelection is a gentle and non-invasive alternative to liposuction surgery. Dr Josh was one of the first cosmetic doctors in the UK to introduce Vaser Liposelection treatment to his practice.
His warmth and approachability are frequently commented upon by patients, who appreciate the unhurried and thorough consultations offered by Wimpole Aesthetics. Dr Josh is registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). He is a member of the British Medical Association, The Royal Society of Medicine and the British Association of Cosmetic Doctors.