Dr. Lanna Cheuck, an Ivy-League Trained, Board Certified Urologic Surgeon turned entrepreneur has made a significant impact in the field of aesthetic medicine.
Today, she is the proud owner of LC Medical, a medical spa in Manhattan, and also leads FACE Med-Spa Training, where she shares her expertise with fellow medical professionals.
She has been featured in esteemed publications like Forbes and has been recognized as a Key Opinion Leader in the industry. Nevertheless, she remains grounded and motivated by the positive transformations she brings to her patients and the opportunity to guide others on their own professional journeys.
Beyond her entrepreneurial endeavors, Dr. Cheuck continues to excel as a Board Certified Urologic surgeon, practicing at Jacobi Hospital. She is a respected educator, sharing her knowledge on topics such as penile rehabilitation and making significant contributions to the ISSM.
In an interview with Asian Hustle Network, Dr. Lanna Cheuck shares her remarkable journey and insights into the world of aesthetic medicine. Join us as we delve into her experiences, challenges, and triumphs, discovering how she defied conventions and built a thriving career that empowers both herself and others.
HUMBLE BEGINNINGS OF DR. LANNA CHEUCK
I was born in Chinatown in the Smith Housing Projects and was later moved out to live with my grandparents on Long Island in the middle of second grade as the crime was increasing in our building and my parents had been mugged and beaten up multiple times.
My parents immigrated from China during the Cultural Revolution. They built a raft to escape to Macau, then paid to be smuggled through a vegetation boat before coming to Hong Kong. I grew up very poor and was one of five Asians living in a predominantly white neighborhood on Long Island.
For as long as I remember I wanted to become a Urologic Surgeon, but I didn’t realize the sacrifices I would make to get there. While it is a male-dominated field, I remember at the time I was one of 8% of women in urology.
I had my first child born prematurely with special needs and blindness and took off six months to be with her in the ICU. It was at this time that I realized if I wanted to provide for my family, especially my daughter who will be dependent on me and my husband for a very long time, then I would need to find a new trajectory to help me become more financially independent.
DR. LANNA CHEUCK’S RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF INEQUALITY AS A UROLOGIC SURGEON
I asked the administrator at the hospital for a salary increase and he told me that I needed to prove why I needed to make more. So, I went and got a different job offer to become a program director of a New York City Academic Institution as their residency director with a 40% pay increase.
When I presented my job offer to the hospital administrator, he took one look and told me that I should leave and he could not match my salary. It was also at this time that my male counterparts were making six figures more than me while I was working with the toughest patients and doing the toughest work.
CHALLENGES AND OBSTACLES SHE OVERCAME
My father started as a busboy in a restaurant, then became a taxi cab driver, worked at a sweatshop, and then got into the spa business. He opened up a Spa called Eden Day Spa on Broadway. He asked me to help and that’s when I figured I can help my family business and go into aesthetics as a physician.
My biggest obstacle was being under the radar and so I couldn’t really grow. I asked the hospital administrator at the hospital for permission to pursue my second job and he gave me permission.
I was working full-time as a urologic surgeon doing the most difficult surgeries and on nights and weekends, I was taking care of my child and working at my father’s spa trying to grow the aesthetics part of the business.
I remember waiting for one patient to come at 9:00 pm because that was the only time I had available. I was missing my newborn and questioning whether this was worth it. In the beginning, it was very tough to garner any patients, I usually had one patient a week and most of the time they were a no-show. I would wait for hours and drive an hour from Harlem in hopes of seeing even one patient. The obstacles were juggling time, family, wondering if I was making the right decision, and whether or not it was worth being away from my child who was also breastfeeding.
DR. LANNA CHEUCK EMPOWERING THE AESTHETIC MEDICINE COMMUNITY
I realized that if nobody put me on their platform then I would make my own, therefore, I opened my own aesthetic training business.
When I was first starting, I took two training courses and realized that these courses do not prepare you for the field of aesthetic medicine neither clinically nor from a business standpoint.
As a surgeon, I’ve always been the type to see one; do one; teach one, and that’s exactly what I did. I started an online community for physicians to pivot into aesthetic medicine because one of the things we were never taught in school was business. Since then, I’ve trained hundreds–if not thousands–of physicians and nurses. Some other huge and field-relevant accomplishments include being featured in Forbes and named a Key Opinion Leader for InMode and Galderma as well as a GAIN Trainer.
HER ADVICE TO ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS
Network with as many people as you know, be a connector.
Help other people and let everyone else know what you need, if you don’t ask you’ll never know how they could’ve helped you. Additionally, since I’m a visionary, I realized that I need processes and systems in place and strong integrators who help me to fulfill my visions.
This means hiring people who have strengths in other areas that I would consider my weaknesses thus allowing me to build a team that is good at operations.
We were never taught business in medical school which means everything from there on out is learning, absorbing, networking, connecting, and making opportunities out of meeting new people and helping others.
MOST REWARDING ASPECT OF HER CAREER TRANSITION
The most rewarding aspects of my career transition include feeling more valued by my work, patients, and staff and being compensated for something I’m good at, my techniques, and making people feel more confident.
I’m lucky to have patients from all walks of life; from the nurse’s aide who puts away money under her mattress to see me, to the successful CEOs, celebrities, models, actors, dancers, teachers, healthcare professionals, etc. What keeps me pushing forward is that I’m able to help other people pivot and transition.
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