We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Tarina Desai and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Tarina, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk can be scary sometimes but necessary. Without it, you don’t know which opportunities can bring you happiness or closer to your goals. I have taken quite a few risks in my life- all of them for happiness and some unknowingly brought me closer to my goals. One of the most important risks I took was when I decided to go to medical school. I had never actually thought about studying medicine but there was an opportunity for me to go abroad and study in Europe for two years of medical school and then complete my final two years in New York City. It’s funny because I originally wanted to become a dentist and had no desire for medicine- I had not even taken the medical school entrance exam! But I also always wanted to study abroad in Europe. So I took a chance and applied and got accepted. I packed up my stuff and moved to Europe for medical school within less than a month! My love for medicine grew exponentially since then and I am so happy that I took that risk. However, the biggest risk I have ever taken is to start my own business- straight from scratch, in a field of medicine that I did not do my residency in. I could have easily continued working as a hospitalist and earning much more money than I do currently but it wouldn’t bring me the most joy. I took the risk for both my happiness and my goals. I have poured everything into this business and have been working hard to make it successful. In the end if it doesn’t work out, I can always look back and say at least I tried! And that’s the way it is with all risks. You won’t know what you can achieve unless you take a risk and if you are unsuccessful, you can still say you tried. Regardless, you will always end up learning something- whether it’s about yourself or the opportunity.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a board certified physician and this accomplishment is hands down what I am the most proud of. Medical school and residency are not easy and if anyone tells you it’s easy, then they probably didn’t go through it! After residency, I practiced as a hospitalist for a few years and then took some time off to study aesthetic medicine. I spent two years studying aesthetics, flying all over the US taking course after course until I was comfortable starting my own practice. But just as medicine is constantly evolving and there is never an end to learning, I continue to spend time and money on aesthetic education, traveling throughout the country and the world. I would say what sets me apart from others in the medical spa industry is that I own, operate, and perform the majority of the treatments at the clinic. Most medical spas in the country are not owned by or even have a physician performing the treatments; a lot of them don’t even have the physician on site! I think this is a great tragedy because ultimately this is medicine we are practicing and our patients pay high prices for these procedures. We owe it to them to have the most qualified professionals performing the treatments. Another aspect that I believe sets me apart is that I am fully invested in aesthetics and am there full time, right from the beginning. This is mostly due to my passion and desire for aesthetics and skincare. Since I was very young (pre-teen), I took great care of my skin and spent an incredible amount of time researching skincare products- it drew me in. I even remember when I first got my very own multi-step skincare regimen from Mary Kay when I was in 7th grade. I was thrilled! Naturally, skincare and aesthetics were a passion, or side hobby of mine, as I grew up. When I realized I could combine my passion and profession into one, it was a no brainer- I was very excited to open up my own aesthetics clinic!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
If my best friend were visiting Houston for a week, first off I would make sure she is coming in early Spring or late Fall so the weather is actually nice here! Since I have kids and a lot of family here, I would make sure she is able to spend a good amount of time with all of them. We would go for walks around the neighborhood with the kids, go to the park, children’s museum, and indoor play gyms. I would of course take her to visit my clinic and maybe do a treatment on her if she wants! Then go to some of our favorite places in the Heights for lunch- like local foods, Postino, Calle Onze, or Dish Society. We like to go to happy hour (if we are able to with the kids) in the Heights as well such as Heights Bier Garten, 8th row flint, or Wicklow Heights. For dinner, we would try and stay home- order in or cook mostly because it gets too late for the kids to be out. We generally try to cook healthy so at home it would be salads, Asian stir fry with cauliflower rice, or soups or even some Indian food our parents have made and dropped off for us! Assuming we have someone to watch the kids, some of our favorite places to eat out are Uchi, El Tiempo, or Aling’s in Sugarland. Besides dining out, we would spend the rest of the time socializing. Since I grew up in Houston, I have a lot of really close friends here. We would visit with them, organize get togethers with them at their home or a venue. Much of our time would be spent this way. My best friend and I love to watch movies as well and I love going to the iPic theater so I am sure we would go there to watch a movie one evening. Other than that, we just love spending time with each other and catching up- we always have a lot to talk about, so we would be at home doing just that!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband, Viresh, has been so supportive since the beginning. He was the one who encouraged me to start my own medical aesthetics clinic and helped take care of our son while I was up late working on the business.
Artavi Med Spa