We had the good fortune of connecting with Gregory Lewen, MD and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gregory, Misc.
How to know whether to keep going or to give up? This question actually makes me smile. I think we have all reached a point when we might think about throwing in the towel, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic has tested entrepreneurs more than ever before. But, when you have true passion for something, there’s a light inside that gives strength, and an energizing feeling to keep pushing forward. Owning my own boutique oculofacial (eyelid & facial) plastic surgery practice devoted to patient-centered care has been my top goal and motivation. I have always imagined my career as being about people, and firmly believe that the depth and quality of relationships are what give life its true meaning. The patient experience in my practice has always been the “guiding light” for me. When I thought about the type of practice I wanted to build, I envisioned a concierge environment focused on customer service and superior quality. After finishing my fellowship training, I was more than ready to start working towards building my practice. I spent the first few years of my career with two different group practices, working for someone else. Although different in terms of structure and management, a common theme was that both practices were primarily focused on high-volume patient care in a more medical (and less aesthetic) environment. While both were not quite what I wanted for my practice, I remained positive, and focused on using these experiences as invaluable learning lessons along the way. Nowadays, I don’t have a waiting room filled with shoulder-to-shoulder patients frustrated with long wait times and uncomfortable office chairs. I’ve made my practice my own vision. For example, one of the most important things to me is to make sure that I reserve time for each patient to properly explain surgery or treatment options and to answer questions in a way that people can understand. Every day, the vision of the practice I have conceived since the beginning grows stronger. I know in my heart that I’m driven to be different. I want to embody the change that people are craving in how healthcare is delivered. When I first opened my own private practice, I remember thinking, “how hard could this really be?” Over the past eight years, I experienced many ups and downs, curveballs, detours, and feats of strength. More recently, I went through a pivotal period in which I had to make critical decisions about the future direction of my business and the personal life I wanted to build. It was a moment to take an honest look in the mirror and remember my core values. I had to reformulate my business plan, explore possibilities for expansion, reprioritize my goals, reevaluate my mission and vision statements, and open myself to new people and opportunities. I was pushed far out of my comfort zone, and this really has enabled me to grow in more ways than I could have imagined. Looking back now, I understand even more how challenging times really help to shape people, and these experiences have been so important in helping me get to where I am today. I’ve surpassed goals that previously seemed insurmountable. I’ve been able to hire multiple full-time staff and build a strong, driven team that I am proud to lead. I’ve gained support systems that I didn’t even know were available. I’ve taught seminars. I’ve even been able to mentor other colleagues looking to start their own practices. Now, more than ever, I am reflective of past times when I was unsure of exactly how my business would thrive. While there were certainly moments when I questioned what I was doing or where I was headed, I always maintained a passion and dedication to my core values. Life has setbacks, but it also has setups. Even with the recent chaos surrounding COVID-19, temporarily closing my practice doors like so many other small businesses, and having to furlough some highly valued employees, I trust that this time has been a set up for the growth that is to come. I am grateful for the people in my life and my past experiences for giving me the strength to overcome any thoughts of giving up, and instead, using it to fuel my drive to press forward on the journey of success.
What should our readers know about your business?
Our Mission: My practice provides standards of excellence in cosmetic and reconstructive eyelid & facial plastic surgery in an environment that serves to inspire your trust. Our team is proud to share our positive, empathetic, and efficient culture, along with our commitment to providing you with expertise, innovation, and superior customer service. We are dedicated to assisting you in achieving a more vibrant, youthful, and energetic look, while maintaining your natural appearance. We are here to help you look and feel your very best, supporting you in living your most fulfilling life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, for starters, I would tell him to come visit on a weekend! During the week I usually keep things very simple and stick to a tight daily schedule so I can always give my very best to my patients. I routinely wake up before 5 AM to spend time with my dog and meditate before I hit a 6 AM Barry’s bootcamp class with @trainwithgui. After work, I head home to make dinner. I love picking up fresh seafood from the Blue Runner Seafood truck. or I will grab a quick bite from one of a few places like Pubbelly Sushi, Sugarcane, or Juice & Java. On the weekends, I have more free time and I love to enjoy the amazing culture that south Florida has to offer. I still stay active on the weekends by going for a run or biking over the Venetian causeway, or swimming in the ocean and taking my pup to Haulover Beach Dog Park. Eating out at restaurants is definitely my jam, and some of my favorites include: Alter, Hiden, Kyu, Mandolin, Ono Poke Shop, Joe’s Stone Crab, El Cielo, Mignonette, and Monkitail. I love art exhibits and the special events during Art Basel in December. The Design District and Wynwood also have so many great galleries and so much to see! I also enjoy going to concerts at any of the great venues in town. Weekends are a great time to hit up farmer’s markets and two of my picks are the Yellow Green Farmer’s Market in Hollywood and Robert is Here down in Homestead. I also really enjoy going to the Miami Dolphins games on Sundays with my brother and a few close friends. We usually have our BBQ tailgate in the parking lot before the game with the rest of the fans. Go Dolphins!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
People make the difference! First and foremost, I could never have achieved all that I have without the love and support of my family, especially my parents. My mom was so involved with the initial design of my office space, even going so far as to create a space plan to scale that she used to make edits in real time throughout the initial build out. She also flew into town and cooked incessantly for a full week so that she could personally cater my office grand opening event with over 150 guests! My father has been a constant source of financial and operational advice over the years. His sound guidance and support have been critical in developing the practice I envisioned. I would never be able to provide the service and care to my patients that I value so highly without the support of my staff. From the people who stood by me at the beginning while I wrote my first business plan and opened my office, to the ones who stand by me now in implementing protocols to safely re-open my office in a world recently affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, I owe so much of my success to my staff. I would never be able to deliver the quality of care my patients deserve without the people who work beside me and are dedicated to assisting my patients every day. Perhaps most importantly, I am grateful for my patients who put their trust in me to help them through their problems and change their lives for the better. I consider it a great honor and privilege to do the work I do, and I have great respect for the trust that my patients place in me.