Dr Karen Soh is doctor, philanthropist, businesswoman and a mother of 4 children. With so many responsibilities and a schedule more packed than a peak hour MRT train, you would appreciate that one would look more worn and tired than Gollum!
Instead, Dr. Karen Soh, business owner and Medical Director of Privé Clinic, greeted me with a warm welcome and enamor during our interview that I felt extremely apologetic for taking so much of her already little free time. She was forthright and accommodating throughout the interview and shared her insights into her career, business and most importantly, family.
Dr. Soh graduated from Raffles Girls’ School and won the coveted Raffles Top Scholar Award. Since young, she already had a penchant to practice medicine. When asked if she was afraid of the gory of dissecting animals and humans for medical purposes, she smiled and said affirmatively, “No”.
Dr. Soh was trained in anaesthesia and intensive care for 5 years before she decided to become an aesthetic doctor. The 5 years of training in anaesthesia and intensive care taught Dr. Soh to be a quick and intuitive thinker which assisted her in diagnosing and treating her patients with accurate clinical judgement. With Singapore’s current exemplary and first-rate lifestyle, Dr. Soh is quick to add that aesthetic medicine helps men and women look better and her patients always feel more confident after treatment.
Prior to opening her own practice, Dr. Soh spent a year in Philadelphia, USA, where she developed a keen interest in anti-aging medicine. She also received her Board Certificate from The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Dr. Soh set up her first clinic at Raffles Place and shifted to a bigger outfit at Palais Renaissance. I asked her if her clientele base has changed since the move and she responded that with the new clinic, the demographics of the clientele base have expanded to teenagers and ladies in their 90s!
Dr. Soh feels that the winning strategy for any business, including hers, is about fair pricing pitched to the market value. As her treatments and packages are affordable and managed by a very skilled doctor, her business saw an increase in clientele and amassed a huge following who became her loyal group of clients. This was also, no doubt, attributable to the quality of the treatment that the clinic brings to their clients.
According to Dr. Soh, beauty is a composite of inner beauty, physical beauty and volumization. It also depends on the culture of the patient. For example, Caucasians will prefer a strong jawline whilst Asians hope to have an almond-shaped face.
Besides running her successful clinic, Dr. Soh is also a mother of 4 children. She got married at 29 years old and got pregnant during her honeymoon. Dr. Soh confessed that both she and her husband did not enjoy much of their “couple time” which many newlyweds did during the first few years of marriage. Dr. Soh conceded that she was unprepared for her first pregnancy and childbirth and had to juggle with motherhood shortly after her marriage. Then again, how does one get prepared for parenthood?
Despite all the challenges that were posed and set forth to Dr. Soh, she took everything in her stride. Her children are now aged 13, 10, 9 and 18 months and she adores them. She revealed that she has a team of competent staff who helps to relieve her workload. Since the business has stabilized, Dr. Soh manages to spend more quality time with her family. Family time can be as simple as watching a movie together, going on vacation during the school holidays, and lazing around with the children. Dr. Soh and her husband ensure that they are able to bond with their children.
Dr. Soh advocates independence for her children, and they will need to learn how to care for themselves and each other when Dad and Mom are not at home. She tries to be an involved parent and supervises closely. At the same time, she always encourages them and motivates them to improve and do better in their studies. Dr. Soh feels blessed that she has good, intelligent, open-minded and smart kids.
Apart from her already busy schedule, Dr. Soh finds time to participate in meaningful events, including volunteering at nursing homes. As the newly elected President of The Association for Women Doctors (AWDS), she wants to push the recruitment drive to get more women doctors to join their Association. She partakes in the review of the membership privileges and arranges networking events with other women associations.
A smart and beautiful aesthetic doctor with an eye for precision, a mother of four and a fearless businesswoman, Dr. Soh definitely fits our criteria of an Extraordinary Woman.