Dr Tosoni began her medical career well over twenty years ago, making her a longstanding expert in the field of Non-Surgical Medical Aesthetics. After graduating from her undergraduate degree in Psychology from McGill University and obtaining a Master’s Degree in Neuropsychology at University of Montreal, she pursued her Medical Degree at McMaster University.
She subsequently completed a Residency in Family Medicine in Ottawa and soon after succeeded in being granted a Focussed Practice in Dermatology. Dr. Tosoni was always determined to pursue a meaningful and intellectually challenging career. This did not however deter her from her equally strong personal desire to have a large family.
Despite others trying to council her otherwise, fearing that she might take on too much and risk failing at both, she simply refused to compromise in having to choose between having either one or the other and maintained her course.
Determined, focused and hardworking, she succeeded not only in excelling in her studies and subsequent career, but also managing to do this all while having her first born, a daughter, in her first year of Med School, two other daughters during her residency, and a son soon after opening her first Medical Aesthetic Spa, proving that her grit and resilience are her biggest strengths.
Upon starting her clinical practice, Dr. Tosoni rapidly developed an interest in Cosmetic Medicine. This was in early 2000. A very exciting time for Cosmetic Medicine as Botox had just been approved for cosmetic use and was just being introduced to the medical aesthetic market.
Dr. Tosoni was one of the first Canadian Physicians to be trained in both neurotoxin and dermal filler injections. She attended several national and international training early in her career as well as peer to peer training, which she considers were her best training experiences.
Some of her most memorable and influential trainings were in Houston Texas, alongside Dr. Pauline Raymond-Martimbault where she trained in sclerotherapy, in Montreal with Dr. Arthur Swift where she trained in the art of Beauty-phi-cation, with Dr. Nathan Rosen and Dr. Channy Muhn in Burlington, with Dr. Mauricio De Maio from Brazil with whom she deepened her understanding of injectables techniques, and later on with Professor Cotofana and Dr. André Braz, also from Brazil with whom she focussed on injectable anatomy.
These represent only a selected few learning experiences among dozens she continues to attend yearly, demonstrating her long dedication to continuous education in all fields related to Medical Aesthetics. Here is her success journey.
When did you decide you were going to pursue your entrepreneurial journey in medicine?
It was never something I sat down and decided upon. I did not have any training in med school or residency about running a business. This was not part of our curriculum in those days. In hindsight, I think it kind of just happened naturally. I’m very independent by nature and it made sense to me to have my own practice.I did not want to work for anyone else dictating to me how many patients I was required to see in a day or in an hour even. I wanted to be able to offer comprehensive care to my patients in a humane way.
It was also important for me to develop long term relationships with my patients and the only way to do this was to have my own practice and my own patient roster. Therefore, contrary to most of my graduating classmates who opted to work as locums,as soon as I graduated, I took over the family practice of a retiring physician.It was admittedly scary at first but I did not shy away from the added responsibility of having employees and rent under my name. And to my surprise I actually enjoyed the entrepreneurial aspect of it all, so much so that 2 years into my practice, I decided to move into a much larger space and build what would become the first Medical Aesthetic Spa in Eastern Ontario, owned and operated full time by a physician.
What brought you into the cosmetic field?
As an undergraduate and graduate student, I worked in research, and in this context performed both stereotactic brain surgeries and abdominal surgeries on laboratory rats. I have very good manual dexterity and enjoyed the challenges of such meticulous work. Although I very much enjoyed my interactions with my family medicine patients, within two years into my practice,I missed the challenges of technical skills and procedures requiring manual dexterity.
I considered going back and doing a second residency in a surgery specialty but the Ontario Government did not allow re-entry residency positions at that time.Well not unless you were willing to be relocated to a remote area of the province for a minimum of 5 years.
Already having a family of four kids and a husband with a stable position in Ottawa by then, that was just not an option for me. I therefore decided to introduce sclerotherapy into my practice as a first step in the right direction.I went to Houston, Texas and trained with Dr. Pauline Raymond-Martimbault who was probably one of the most well known physicians to offer these services and training at the time. She also happen to be Canadian and from Montreal, same as me, so it was nice to learn with her. This was back in 2000.
Once I started offering sclerotherapy, everything snowballed from there. My practice was identified as a cosmetic practice and pharmaceutical and laser companies started knocking on my doors to introduce me to the latest technologies and products at the time.
Like I said earlier, this was in 2000, and there were just a handful of us, all physicians, offering these services in Ottawa at the time. I soon introduced chemical peels, Cosmeceuticals, microdermabrasion, IPL, Fraxel and of course Botox and Dermal Fillers to my list of services.
By 2002, I needed to move my clinic to a bigger space to accommodate increasingly more services. This was the first of the 4 Medical Aesthetic Clinics I would end up building in the span of twenty four years and what would also become the beginning of the most fulfilling and exciting medical career I ever thought possible.
What have been the biggest challenges for you as a woman in medicine?
As a woman in medicine, I have encountered several challenges throughout my career. One of them is the need to balance both my professional and personal life. Being a mother of four children, with two grandchildren and another on the way, I understand the unique responsibilities that come with being a woman. Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding are experiences that only women go through, and they require time and attention. Juggling the demands of a medical career while being present for my family has been a constant challenge. I’ve had to find ways to manage my time effectively and prioritize both aspects of my life.
Another challenge I’ve faced is the need to develop a business mindset. In the early days of my career, I didn’t have formal training in running a business. I had to learn and adapt on my own. This required me to develop skills in areas such as financial management, marketing, and strategic planning. It was a learning process, but I embraced the entrepreneurial aspect of my practice and found joy in building my own business.
In the field of aesthetics, where I specialize, being a woman has its advantages. I believe that as women, we have a unique understanding of our clients’ needs and concerns. While more men are seeking aesthetic services, the majority of our clientele are still women. This allows me to connect with my clients on a deeper level, as I can empathize with their experiences and insecurities related to aging or body image. It’s an advantage that I believe women bring to the field.
Overall, the challenges I’ve faced as a woman in medicine have shaped me into a resilient and determined professional. I am proud to have overcome these obstacles and have found fulfillment in both my personal and professional life.
What are your non-negotiables for a brighter life?
For me, spending quality time with my family is non-negotiable. Every Sunday, we gather together, and it’s a tradition we cherish. My children and grandchildren join us, and we spend the entire day enjoying each other’s company. We have a close-knit bond, and these moments of togetherness are invaluable to me.
Additionally, my husband is my partner in life, and I prioritize nurturing our relationship.
Taking time for my physical and mental health is another non-negotiable. I recognize the importance of self-care, and exercise plays a significant role in my well-being. I run 2-3 times a week, kayak in the summer, I enjoy hiking, and even with a busy schedule, I dedicate my Saturday and Sunday mornings to strength and cardio training in our home gym. Being active and exercising gives me the energy and clarity I need to lead the busy life I have both at home and at work.
With Dermapure, I now have the flexibility to travel more. Traveling has always been a passion of mine, but in the past, it was challenging to take extended trips due to my responsibilities. Now, I can enjoy the luxury of taking two-week vacations, which allows me to explore new destinations and immerse myself in different cultures. We already have three trips planned, and I look forward to creating more unforgettable memories with my loved ones.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
I’m thrilled to be part of an exciting initiative with Allergan. As one of the ten lead trainers in Canada, I will be involved in the launch of a new skin treatment, set to debut in September. This injectable service represents the latest advancements in the field of aesthetics, and I am honored to contribute to its introduction and help shape its success. It’s an opportunity for continuous learning and growth in my career, and I’m eager to share my expertise with fellow professionals.
Dr. Caroline Tosoni is the Physician Partner and Medical Director of Dermapure Ottawa, located at 22 York Street, Ottawa, ON.
For educational posts and videos, follow her on her IG @tosonimd
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