When Paula Young, a registered nurse, was in her early 40s, she left a high-powered career in the biotechnology industry to focus on starting a family with her husband, Dr. Thomas E. Young, who operated a busy internal medicine practice.
However, the demands the insurance industry placed on the medical profession were beginning to wear on the Youngs. There was little time to spend with each patient, and the reimbursement rates made it hard to afford the staff needed to support the practice.
Paula, who had owned and operated beauty salons in the past, suggested they open a medical spa to offer cosmetic medical procedures like BOTOX©, facial rejuvenation and fat reduction.
“It was either join a large hospital and get consumed by them or start something new,” she said.
What started out with just a vial of BOTOX®,, two syringes and no patients in 2004, grew quickly. After just two years of operating both a traditional medical practice and a medical spa, the Youngs closed the internal medicine practice and to focus solely on cosmetic medicine.
Today their booming business, Young Medical Spa, has 23 employees and offices in Center Valley, Lansdale and Wilkes-Barre, and offers procedures from BOTOX®, to liposuction to bioidentical hormone therapy.
But most importantly, Paula and her husband were able to start that family. Thomas Young IV is now 13 years old and the light of his mother’s life.
As a busy mom and a respected leader in her industry, Paula Young shows no signs of slowing down yet. She has just launched a popular podcast, “It’s a Young Thing with Nurse Paula Young,” that features experts in beauty, spirituality, health and fitness.
And when there is time, she is mastering the game of golf with the help of good friends.
LVB took the time to talk to Paula about all of this and more.
The aesthetic medicine industry is exploding. Is there increased pressure for women to be attractive in order to succeed?
There is pressure for everyone to look their best today and I think what is driving that is social media. Years ago you never talked about having BOTOX®,. It’s a lot more mainstream now. People are less intimidated to have things done.
What are the most popular procedures at your offices?
Our No. 1 procedure is SmartLipo®, a fat-reduction procedure. My husband started performing SmartLipo© six months after FDA approval and is one of the top SmartLipo®, physicians on the east coast.
Second would be the BOTOX®, and cosmetic fillers, injectables. These are easy, with no down time, and instant results. Third would be laser hair removal.
Fourth would be cool sculpting, a non-invasive fat-removing procedure. People like easy and non-invasive.
Sometimes we see celebrities with the “frozen forehead” that makes the fact that they had BOTOX®, very noticeable. Are there ways to make BOTOX®, look more natural?
The frozen look is not the product’s doing, it is the injector’s doing. How an injector becomes a better injector is continued training. There is so much vasculature in the face. It is very easy to make a mistake, to cause an unwanted outcome.
What about a patient who comes in that you think wants to go too far or has had too many procedures done, do you proceed?
Absolutely not. People kind of look at our industry as a beauty salon. These are medical procedures. When you are a physician you take an oath to do no harm.
Your patient’s ultimate goal is your goal, but if they are looking to do something that you believe is not in their best interest, you have to convey that to them. We have turned patients away or told them that we were not the best practice for them.
What about people who would like to have something done but they have fears, fears of side effects or of looking like they had something done?
We want to educate them. We might give them literature to read or we might have them talk to another patient. We have patient ambassadors who share information about their experience and their results. We try to give patients as much information as possible so that they can be really comfortable before they have any procedure.
A lot of women start to worry about ageism in their career as they grow older. Do you see women coming in who want to have work done in order to stay marketable in their careers?
Sure, I see it when they want to stay marketable in the dating scene as well. With cosmetic medicine so mainstream now, there is less stigma and it is easy to have a lot of non-invasive procedures today.
We want people to start taking care of their skin now. Wear sunscreen, maybe start with BOTOX®, a little earlier before those lines from squinting in the sun get deeper.
You are going to continue to age. Our face is like a mask. We lose that underlying collagen that is holding that mask up and you have to fill it back up.
What about men? Do you have men coming in for procedures?
We have a lot of men who come here. They come for BOTOX®, (some call it “bro-tox” and fillers. Within the last five years, there have been more men than in the past. That has everything to do with social media and it being more acceptable.
Ian Poulter who is a professional golfer, is the spokesperson for CoolSculpting®,. He wears the hat and the shirt at the Masters. This is a man representing for a fat-reduction tool. Times are changing.
What about TV shows like “Keeping up with the Kardashians”? Young girls watch those and think, “I want to have my lips done like Kylie, or my butt done like Kim.” What do you think about that?
It’s a 50/50 thing with something like the Kardashians. One, it does raise awareness. For example on one episode, Kris Jenner did not like the way her earrings looked; our earlobes lose puffiness with age, so she got dermal fillers to plump them up and she was able to wear earrings again.
And we suddenly had a big increase in women coming in for that procedure.
Then you have the flip side, where they show procedures and it is done incorrectly. On one episode Kim had a Vampire Facial®,, and it was not at all done the way a Vampire Facial®, is done, and misinformation gets out there.
Have you yourself had some of the procedures done that you offer here?
Yes. We are basically guinea pigs here. Product, treatment, procedure. We will try it out on us first. We don’t do anything on a patient unless we’ve tried it out on ourselves.
What about the future of aesthetic medicine, what do you see coming down the road?
We like to watch what they are doing in other countries at trade shows because these other countries don’t have an FDA, so they are doing things much faster.
Technology is always changing. Just like your laptop or your phone is outdated every three years, so is your laser. Right now the hot thing has been radio frequency added to different devices, because you get great results and there is really no down time.
There’s always new injectables coming down the pike. It gives you more of a menu to offer your patients, because they all have different price-points.
Outside of work and parenting, what are you passionate about?
Golf. I love golf. I started golfing about four years ago. I was completely new to it and it was scary at first. Now, I’m in a women’s 9-hole league and I look forward to golfing with these women so much.
A lot of people have a preconceived notion that golf is a man’s game. What do you have to say about that?
No, we love it. I’ve got a 4 o’clock tee time with my girlfriend today. We golf nine holes. I don’t have time for 18 holes, I’m gonna save that for when I retire.
Golf for me has nothing to do with work, No one cares what anyone’s job is, we just want to play and have a great time.
I’m also very passionate about the Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey. We have club seats.
Working together with your spouse can be a challenge. How do you make time for your relationship outside of work?
We’ve been working together for 15 years; that’s a long time. We are partners. Our son is the No. 1 thing we do together. And we golf. My husband still plays soccer in a men’s league. We go to dinner with friends. We go to Musikfest.
A lot of times we get home from work and we don’t talk about work at all. We just want to be normal human beings and enjoy each other’s company.
It’s easy to forget that when your husband is your work partner, he is your husband too.
Tell us more about your podcast, “It’s a Young Thing, with Nurse Paula Young.”
It’s free. You can download it everywhere: iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, Google Play Music, Apple TV, YouTube, iHeartRadio and more…
It’s not just about what we do in this office, but other practices as well, and not just about cosmetic medicine, but mindfulness, meditation and wellness … anything that can help you be your best self.
You can look great, but still not feel good. It’s about feeling good.
With such a busy schedule, how do you balance that with being there for your son, Thomas?
I try to be done when he is home from school, so that the rest of the time is for him. He is getting older and he likes to hang out with his friends more. He wants to go golfing. Right now, while I am here talking to you, he is on the golf course with three of his friends, playing nine holes. It’s a little easier now that he is 13.
He’s becoming a man but still my little boy. I’m scared to death of when he goes to college and leaves me. I get choked up just thinking about it. I wanted to have him for so long. We did three IVF attempts and finally had him through donor eggs.
My boy is No. 1 one thing. Watching this boy grow is my everything. Come 3:30, I want to be done. That’s my time with him.