Dr. Cynthia Stolovitz did not have a conventional medical journey. She started off in Architecture, and switched into medicine a year into her career. A medical doctor with over thirty years in the industry, she decided to create a clinic that would treat patients with a comprehensive approach. So came the creation of Clinique Antiaging in the heart of Montreal’s downtown core on rue Stanley. A beautiful 2500 square foot space which resembles an art gallery blended with modern medicine. Twenty five foot ceilings, concrete floors, and art which adorns every corner. A women’s sanctuary that blends medicine with cosmetics, promotes self-care and is at the forefront of the latest laser technologies. The holistic approach for Clinique Antiaging allows women to feel beautiful at any age, proving that true beauty lies within. Here is her success journey.
Tell us about Clinique Antiaging and how it came to life.
When I graduated in the 80’s, there were very few female physicians. I developed a female-based practice because women wanted female doctors and by default, I became an expert in female health. My whole interest in female health developed because my patients asked me to help solve their problems. Over the years, it became a continuation with the work I do at the hospital. Traditional (hospital) medicine is very interesting to me. It keeps me stimulated and grounded and it’s really essential when you’re sick. When you’re well, you want to maintain that wellness, that’s what Clinique Antiaging comes in. I’m drawn to the aesthetic side because I’m artistic by nature. I also have a degree in medical illustration.
How did you blend your love for art with modern medicine?
I’m doing that now by essentially designing faces and I love working with my hands. I’m also really comfortable thinking in 3D. At the hospital, you can’t be an artist, it’s a very scientific-oriented space. When I graduated medicine, I was one of very few women and artistically inclined so it was a challenge being so different. I started my training in surgery, where again, I was the only woman. I find that being a woman, now, after twenty-five years of practice, is finally benefitting me.
Today, I’m very happy doing what I’m doing. Having gone through the feminine steps of puberty, motherhood and menopause myself, I bring my personal experience and understanding as well as my experience treating women for so many years. Understanding and being a woman today is a blessing. If you asked me twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have said the same thing.
What keeps you motivated to chase new goals?
I’m a go-getter. I had to prove myself constantly. It was tough being the only woman in my department for years. It was tough starting my own business and trying to balance it with the hospital work and my family. I think that made me quite resilient.
Tell us about the vision of Clinique Antiaging?
The clinic is a marriage of medicine and cosmetics. We’re not a typical cosmetics clinic. We do the cosmetics and the lasers for dermatology and also for gynecology. We treat patients for hormonal problems as well. We treat women in pre-menopause and menopause. We take care of the whole person. It’s mostly a holistic approach. We treat the physical and physiological appearance of aging as long as genetically possible.
Tell us about your different medical approaches, having experience in both hospital medicine as well as cosmetic medicine?
Because I’m a family doctor and a primary care physician, I see things more globally. As a family doctor, I’ve been following my patients longitudinally for years. My approach isn’t that I only see you once, it’s that I’ll see you again to follow up on you and your medical issues such as blood pressure, cholesterol, mammogram results etc. I use the same approach with cosmetic procedures. I don’t treat patients differently in my medical practice or my cosmetic practice, it’s all about building relationships. When you see people for thirty years, it’s like family.
When did you adapt this vision and turn it into your reality?
I’ve been working for over thirty years. By year twenty I decided that I wanted to do something different. I was working in the emergency room with two little figure skater children. I knew that I wasn’t going to retire into emergency medicine. I was trying to figure out what the next phase of my career would be, while keeping the medicine and satisfying my artistic side. It was such an easy transition as soon as I picked up the syringe, I knew it was meant for me.
What does success look like to you?
I think that the biggest compliment to a doctor is to be a doctor’s doctor. If a doctor comes to you for treatment and advice, you have achieved success. When industry leaders come to you to teach other doctors because they respect you, then you know that you have succeeded. That’s the ultimate compliment for a doctor.
What are some hobbies that you have that keep you grounded after tough days of work?
For me, it’s painting. It puts me in a different mood. I love concentrating on the details. I love to paint. I don’t need to create a career out of it. Just to paint for fun is a great stress release for me because I don’t need to make a living out of it. I have been painting since the age of three. I went to art school and I have a degree in medical illustration. Some people have a musical ear, that’s kind of the same thing with me and art.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t work for money. Be the best at what you do and work for results. You want to make the patient happy and give them what they need. That’s when the money comes. Don’t stop learning either you should keep on learning, growing and creating. One day when I retire, I’m going to paint. I still paint weekly with my daughters. I have a daughter in Israel and one in London and we all paint together on zoom. I didn’t paint for twenty-five years after I graduated from medicine. I just got back to it recently. For me, it’s my natural element and I love it.
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