The doctors at Clinic 42 are like a jazz trio playing to their individual strengths to create a united practice that always puts their patients front and centre.
Clinic 42 looks for all the world like the sort of house in fairytales—all charming lead-light windows and pretty roses out front; not a place of business. Yet, that’s precisely what it is: a slick, highly functioning Epsom cosmetic medicine clinic, run by three supremely talented doctors.
Doctors Joanna Romanowska, Lynn Theron and Ellen Selkon are most excited, not by their spreadsheets, but the business they’ve created over the course of 20 years. It is a place their patients feel safe and choose to keep coming back to while referring friends and family.
It was always about the patient, not about the transaction. I don’t know how many times I’ve sent a patient home saying, ‘No, you don’t need such-and-such a treatment’. It’s always been about making the patient look good, not our bottom line,” says Joanna.
It was Joanna’s idea to start a clinic before the term cosmetic medicine was even coined because she couldn’t find anyone doing it to the technical and ethical standard she felt was required.
The former GP, who practised in Mangere, knew Lynn from their native South Africa. As young women they even flatted together in Auckland when they first moved here which “boded well for having a business together”.
When Joanna trained as a doctor, her expectation was that she’d be working with her hands, but that wasn’t the case with her GP work. She found cosmetic medicine a wonderful outlet for her creativity.
For Lynn, the artistry of cosmetic medicine also appealed. “The last thing I think about before I go to sleep at night is somebody’s face and what I can do.” It balances her work two days in the emergency department of Auckland Hospital. “ED keeps me real. It reminds me of the vulnerability of self,” she explains.
Eight years ago, fellow ex-pat South African doctor, Ellen Selkon, became interested in cosmetic medicine and joined as an equal partner.
From the beginning, rather than operating as individual practitioners under one roof, they paid themselves a salary so there was no competition for patients.
All bring different skills. Ellen is acknowledged as the financial and business whizz. She built a large GP practice in west Auckland with her husband and, although they sold it last year, still works there two days a week, with two days devoted to Clinic 42. “I’ve always wanted to be a doctor but my second choice would be an accountant. I look at figures and they tell me a story.”
Joanna is recognised as the pioneer, the doctor who, once she’s confident about the safety of a procedure, is the early adopter. The one who enthusiastically embraced PRP treatments, thread lifts and the more effective use of cannulas to inject filler, rather than needles.
Lynn is the gregarious creative one whose influence can be seen everywhere from the images on the website, to the logo, to the art on the walls and the marketing collateral.
Together, says Joanna, they are more than the sum of their individual parts: “We are the power of three.” They’ve built a clinic that is successful, yes, but they’re most excited by the commitment to having longer appointment times than many other clinics, so patients never feel rushed, or that they’re being upsold.
Success to them is a clinic in which the practitioners are all highly skilled medically trained professionals, that was founded on ethics, and cost-effective cosmetic medicine that delivers natural-looking results. In other words, “You won’t leave looking weird”, says Joanna.