Dr Anh Nguyen arrived in Australia in 1979 as a refugee from Vietnam. Settling in Melbourne, her parents instilled the values of hard work from an early age. Now a successful and highly regarded Plastic Surgeon, Dr Anh’s persistence and dedication paid off.
Dr Anh says, “The truth is I might have been brain-washed by my parents to enter the medical world. I toyed with the idea of doing law because I enjoy debating and politics. I even got a scholarship to study law at the ANU in Canberra, but my mother who was a lawyer in Vietnam told me not to do it and to do medicine instead.”
Dr Anh says when it came to specialising, initially she was not sure which direction to take. “I loved everything I did from orthopaedics to neurosurgery and general surgery, I enjoyed the practical and creative side. But I just fell into the plastic surgery side. I did a job at the Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and I was really inspired by the amazing work they did with the kids.” So Dr Anh completed her plastic surgery training. “It took four years to specialise, so it was more than a dozen years of study all up. It was a long road, in particular the surgical training which was tough. The hours and the study didn’t bother me but it’s a very male dominated workplace – you get lots of support from the nursing staff but it is tough for a woman. We have to work harder to prove we are good enough.”
Dr Anh says she always saw medicine as a profession rather than a passion as she was much better at Arts than Science. But this is why she likes Plastic Surgery. It allows her to be creative and make a difference in terms of confidence and self esteem which empowers people.
Dr Anh has an insight into the psychology behind plastic surgery that we love. “People think cosmetic surgery is about vanity, but people just want to feel the best that they can, and sometimes it takes something that one would think isn’t important to give someone that extra bit of self-esteem or even to be less conscious of that one particular thing. The thing that’s holding them back. Some people have areas of their body they are self conscious about, be it a mole or a scar, it can take away from the daily pleasures of life. It is a confidence thing. Giving birth changes people’s bodies, ageing changes people’s bodies – when we like what we see in the mirror or in a photograph, we are more confident and able to enjoy ourselves.”
Dr Anh is an inspiring and busy woman. She had her first child when she was 28 and in her first year of training! “Some people thought I was jeopardising my career by starting a family, but I thought surely in today’s day and age it wouldn’t make a difference? It was hard. I had to prove I was as good as anyone else, and even harder to prove I didn’t need any extra consideration. I didn’t want to be one of those women the men all whinge about because I was a mum.”
It is her drive, motivation and strive for the extraordinary that sets her apart from others. Dr Anh opened her own consultancy around three years ago but has combined it with a Medispa to provide her clients with the whole package approach. “It’s interesting, I’m known as the female plastic surgeon so people think I only have female clients, but of course I work with both men and women. I didn’t think plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery alone was enough to satisfy what people want – there’s a lot of non-surgical procedures that can help people achieve what they want, from learning how to wear makeup, to getting your eyebrows shaped and ensuring your skin looks healthy. So even though I do a lot of cosmetic surgery I also have a Medispa that offers all of the non-surgical procedures like laser therapy, skin-tightening and injectables. Having my own business has been fabulous and has really allowed me to explore creativity – building my own brand and creating my vision has been an exciting experience.”
On top of all of this – where she finds the time we don’t know! – Dr Anh has written two books, one about Mummy Makeovers and the other about Female Genital Surgery. She’s on Vogue Magazine’s expert advisory panel, as well as a clinic trainer for two injectable companies. She supports several charities, and was nominated for the 2014 Telstra Women’s Business Awards. She’s also won several other business awards including the 40 under 40 Business Awards, regularly presents on the international Cosmetic Surgery conference circuit and has featured on Nine News, Today Tonight and Sunrise. Whew!
Dr Anh is one of those women who want to help other women be the best they can be and we think she’s absolutely inspiring for women everywhere that we can have it all.
Dr Anh’s Medispa and Cosmetic Surgery consultancy covers every aspect of aesthetics. She has an amazing team behind her and they do everything from plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures to laser and light treatments, fillers, relaxants, feather touch brow tattooing and everything in between. With over 20 exquisitely furnished private treatment rooms and some of Australia’s most cutting edge treatments, Dr Anh’s clinic is an indulgent and necessary treat for any woman.
For more information on Dr Anh and her clinic click here or phone 08 9322 2659 for more information or to make an appointment.