Dr Anna Maria Fenech Magrin, Medical Director at DoctorAM Clinics, has been practicing aesthetic medicine for the past 18 years, initially operating a small clinic before setting her sights on a purpose-built medical facility that would be a first for the island.

“Having graduated from medicine back in 2002, I always wanted to raise the standards of safety and quality of aesthetic treatments,” she confides, revealing that at the time, aesthetic medicine was still in its infancy.

“In fact, there was barely any academic structure for a doctor to specialise in providing aesthetic medicine services in a scientific manner. I wanted to do something to make a difference in how this branch of medicine was being practiced,” she continues, which led her to embark on a mission to find reputable universities that were giving more importance to this emerging branch.

In the meantime, Dr Fenech Magrin joined a post-graduate training programme in Public Health Medicine. A few weeks after graduating with her Masters, she learned that the first Masters programme in Aesthetic Medicine was being launched by Queen Mary University of London. “I was living in Scotland at the time, and it was convenient to enrol right away, even though I felt like I needed a rest from back-to-back studying,” she smiles, but admits, “this was where my heart belonged, so I plunged ahead with no regret.”

As a result, her thesis focusing on the management of scars using the least invasive techniques was considered of the highest calibre, and she was awarded a Masters of Science with Distinction. In fact, Dr Fenech Magrin was soon offered a teaching post on the same Masters course, and two years later, in recognition of her significant contribution to the development of the programme, she was appointed Deputy Course Lead besides being promoted to Senior Clinical Lecturer. “More than just the academic achievement, this gave me a huge opportunity to network with like-minded physicians who were also keen to raise the standards in aesthetic medicine,” she attests.

Upon her return to Malta, Dr Fenech Magrin wasted no time in setting up her own practice, initially from a small clinic which met the basic standards for aesthetic practice. Within a few years, she felt that the practice merited larger, more aesthetically pleasing premises, and embarked on a new project to deliver a state-of-the-art clinic that would meet her vision for the future.

“I carried out a lot of research, and used my contacts around the world to further formulate the direction I wanted to give this new clinic,” she explains, listing a set of priorites which guided the project. First off, the clinic had to not only meet the local standards for a medical clinic, but exceed them. “We adopted ISO guidelines with more rigorous requirements, granting the building a 2A classification with the official designation of a medical facility (rather than just a clinic),” she continues, adding that aesthetic standards were also a consideration, so that the finished look of the facility would not be a highly clinical one, but rather one that creates a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere.

“Each treatment area has its own theme which relates to the functionality of the room,” she notes, whilst utilising the latest technology available for aesthetic practice. Apart from this, the clinic is also completely accessible. “We went into the detail of planning a seamless street level entrance, installed a spacious lift and also paid attention to the reception desk level, apart from having complete accessibility in all restroom facilities,” Dr Fenech Magrin maintains, all measures aimed at those needing to use mobility equipment.

Meanwhile, the clinic’s ventilation system was designed by an engineering firm specialising in clinical standards. Explaining the reasoning behind this, the Medical Director affirms, “the air in each of the rooms can be exchanged up to eight times every hour, rendering the highest level of sanitisation and enabling even more sophisiticated procedures to be done safely, mitigating risk of infection.” All surfaces including paint, seating and furniture are also fully wipeable and resistant to standard disinfection agents.

Going into further detail, she notes that the overall internal environment of the clinic maximises the use of natural daylight, includes areas with living plants and was designed to minimise the waste of energy. “There are also recreational areas with landscaping in order to look after the mental health of both the patients and employees working at the clinic,” she continues, adding that it is also completely smoking-free and that all safety standards (fire, security, electrical installations) are adhered to and certified on a regular basis.

From planning to completion, the project took over four years to come together. Having moved to the new premises in April 2023, Dr Fenech Magrin describes the finished product as nothing short of exceptional.

“Our patients are appreciating all the attention we put into the details,” she maintains, noting that this conveys a strong sense of reliability and trust, which is something the team at DoctorAM Clinics has worked hard for over the years. “For us, the greatest satisfaction is that clients come out of our clinic with a big smile on their face. Moreover, almost all new clients over the past nine months have been recommended by other satisfied clients, and that, for us, means that our reputation as local leaders in aesthetic medicine is growing even further.”

“Being the Medical Director at DoctorAM Clinics, one of my priorities is to ensure the highest standards in all treatments carried out within our spaces, from the smallest procedures to the more complex, life-changing ones because I understand that we can give a massive added value to our clients. My team understands that oftentimes, patients do not just come for the medical treatment itself but for the experience – for the ritual of being treated with distinction – and we know that we get this right when they send their friends and loved ones after sharing it with them,” she affirms.

The Medical Director goes on to highlight several cutting-edge procedures being done exclusively at the clinic. “As part of the move, coupled with a rebrand (previously Mediskin Clinic), we felt that we needed to consolidate our range of services further,” she explains, so that, apart from continuing to offer injectable treatments, clients now have access to a complete package – the most experienced physician injectors on the island, the best and most up-to-date brands and a calming yet safe clinical environment. “We also reinforced our laser hair removal treatment with the newest Candela Gentle Max Pro Plus and introduced high-level visible vein removal treatments,” she adds.

Apart from this, DoctorAM Clinics has also introduced three high-end pieces of equipment which enable the team to offer a full range of non-invasive aesthetic treatments. These are EndoliftX®, a sought after skin tightening and body contouring treatment; the Candela® PicoWay™ device, which sets the gold standard in the removal of pigmentation, age spots, acne or surgical scars, unwanted freckles and tattoos; and the authentic HydraFacial™, which is a complete treatment of its own offering high-level skincare.

“We give very high priority to the authenticity of the equipment and the products that we use,” says Dr Fenech Magrin, lamenting that unfortunately, several competing establishments are not genuine in what they provide.

“Our patients are educated on what to look for to confirm authenticity and safety, and while making use of reputable brands should not be the only reassurance, it is a very good place to start. Anyone getting a treatment should be asking questions about who the provider is, proof of training and qualifications, what equipment is being used and what exactly is being injected,” she continues, affirming that one thing she feels strongly about is the use of counterfeit or copycat injectables or devices, especially those using a similar name to the original.

“A lot of harm can be done using these counterfeits,” she warns, highlighting the recent surge in the cost of cryogen – a gas which is applied to the skin during some laser treatments – by way of example. “Some outlets have resorted to replacing cryogen with a cheaper gas that is not licensed to be used on humans. This is a very dangerous practice and in fact, in the US, constitutes a 500,000USD fine and five-year imprisonment.”

This is why the team at DoctorAM Clinics educates patients on why only original cryogen  is used, and why this might make the cost of treatment higher. “We never compromise on safety and always suggest that anybody receiving treatment ask specific questions guided by the information above. This holds true particularly in those instances where treatments are offered at a fraction of the price,” she states.

Looking ahead at her plans for the clinic in 2024, the Medical Director notes that after the landmark year that was 2023, the coming months will bear some further interesting developments – but for now, these will be kept under wraps.

As a teaser, she reveals, “we can tell you that we will be further consolidating our international exposure and have some very interesting news to reveal. DoctorAM’s clients are often intrigued by my ventures abroad (such as speaking at conferences and teaching on courses) so I know that many will be pleased with what we will be proposing. Stay tuned for the details!”

Featured Image:

Photos by Bernard Polidano


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