Rebranding in 2022, Doctor AM Clinics continues MediSkin Clinic’s legacy of pioneering the future of aesthetic medicine in Malta, with CEO Dr Anna Maria Fenech Magrin at the helm. She channels her public health experience and passion for maintaining the highest standards in aesthetic medicine into the company’s new, purpose-build, state-of-the-art medical facility, while developing her groundbreaking aesthetic and regenerative medicine training academy.

Dr Anna Maria Fenech Magrin’s characteristic blend of science and art shifted her career path from public health towards the world of aesthetic medicine. “After I qualified as a foundation doctor, a training post in public health medicine became available,” she recalls.

“Following a four-year postgraduate programme, I received a specialist training certification in public health medicine – and, in fact, I am still on the National Specialists Register.” Anna Maria’s work in public health would see her drafting the first national sexual health policy, as well as participating in international meetings on epidemiology and other public health issues.

Yet, although she enjoyed working in public health, Anna Maria missed treating patients. “Apart from missing direct patient contact, I’ve always had an artistic side that I longed to tap into. Then, around 17 years ago, a new branch of medicine, known as aesthetic medicine, emerged. It instantly captivated me, and I began training at leading cosmetic clinics and participating in workshops locally and abroad, all while continuing my work in public health.”

When she moved on to more advanced aesthetic procedures, such as botulinum toxin and dermal filler injections, her dedication to patient safety and wellbeing, rooted in her public health background, remained unwavering. She enrolled in the School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London for its first postgraduate programme in aesthetic medicine, earning a Master’s degree with distinction.

“With the continuous support of my family, I decided to resign from the National Health Service to work independently. It was a big step and the first of three landmarks in my career. Another was when I was offered a senior academic position in aesthetic medicine at Queen Mary University of London,” Anna Maria elaborates, adding that she has since served as the Deputy Course Lead for the university’s Master of Science in Aesthetic Medicine programme for 12 years. “And finally, we recently opened a medical facility, which was a huge investment in both premises and equipment.”

Indeed, this landmark moment is just the latest in Anna Maria’s story – and, by extension, that of Doctor AM Clinics. “When I first started working independently in 2012, I opened a small clinic. Back then, local practitioners were mostly self-taught, so my vision for the clinic was to take aesthetic medicine to a level that had never been seen in Malta before. I became affiliated with foreign universities that sought to recruit academics who would raise standards. I offered my services in keeping with these standards and, in time, brought to Malta reputable visiting professors to accredit my services,” she shares.

It has been over a decade since then, and the company has expanded its service offering and employed more staff and healthcare professionals to its team, while investing in cutting-edge equipment. MediSkin Clinic, as the company was then known, quickly became a reference point for other clinics in Malta. In 2022, such was the expansion and esteemed reputation of MediSkin Clinic that it was rebranded to Doctor AM Clinics in preparation for its next step: the opening of a new purpose-built facility.

“Having established MediSkin Clinic in 2011 from humble beginnings, we have paved the way in aesthetic medicine – and continue to do so. We felt it was time for some big changes,” says Anna Maria. “One of our key milestones was the transformation of a small clinic into a state-of-the-art medical centre, accompanied by our investment in acquiring first-of-its-kind equipment in Malta. We are also the only clinic on the island built to include top sanitation facilities as recommended by international standards, such as an engineer-designed air filtration system that cleans the air with bacterial and viral filters in all treatment rooms every six minutes. We strive for excellence in everything we do, so we’ve created a clinic that offers patients the most effective, evidence-based treatments, as well as maximum comfort and peace of mind.”

Keeping the patient as the business’ focus reflects Anna Maria’s own work ethos. “I give my patients or clients their faces back. By that, I mean I help my clients remain as natural-looking as possible rather than change them into someone else. I get to know my clients well and remain truthful to them, to help them feel better about themselves,” she explains. “Likewise, I believe in investing in innovative equipment and technology, and instilling a culture of charitable work without fanfare, which maintains the recipient’s dignity.”

As CEO and Director, Anna Maria extends these values to her team. “I encourage positivity and productivity among my staff, ensuring they are up to date with all the necessary education and training, credentials and experience,” she adds. “I’m an introvert by nature. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a loud presence to impress or be a better leader. I believe being introverted makes me a good listener and able to pay attention to more details than an extrovert might, which helps me reach insightful conclusions. With empathy, I gain a deeper understanding of both my team and patients – which is especially vital when working in aesthetic medicine.”

Anna Maria’s philosophy is the cornerstone of Doctor AM Clinics as she leads the company through its continued evolution. In 2023, Anna Maria worked on a new business plan to incorporate the type of equipment and services she wanted to offer while investing in technology, launching the new clinic and growing the team. Nevertheless, 2023 also brought challenges, chief among them being a change in VAT regulations concerning healthcare services. “The new law, which came into effect in September 2023, obliges us to charge VAT on aesthetic medical services,” she explains. “As a founding member of the Aesthetic Physician Association of Malta (APAM), I attended many meetings on this subject, particularly about how to accommodate such a sudden price overhaul in the industry.”

While 2023 marked a successful year for the Maltese aesthetic medicine market, Anna Maria shares her concerns about the local surge in unqualified practitioners. “We are seeing an increase in ‘cowboys’ who try their luck without having the right qualifications or licence to operate,” she explains. “Although there are EU regulations for aesthetic medicine, there is little local enforcement. We must ensure that these shady practices are dealt with promptly and appropriately before the local industry loses its hard-won reputation and clients’ trust.”

As a key player in Malta’s aesthetic medicine landscape, Doctor AM Clinics will continue to advocate for the highest standards in the industry throughout 2024 and beyond. “We hope to use the new clinic to bring to fruition the Mediterranean Academy of Aesthetic and Regenerative Medicine over the coming year, which I had established just before the pandemic and subsequently had to delay. As always, our motivation is to provide the most innovative services for our clients, while ensuring that our brand keeps instilling trust and peace of mind in aesthetic medicine services in Malta and across the Mediterranean region,” concludes the CEO.

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