Meet Dr. Shah, director of Beautiful Canadian Laser and Skincare Clinic in Surrey
Dr. Shah has been practicing non surgical cosmetic procedures for the skin and body since 1997. He commenced injecting Botox® and Restylane® in early 2000’s, after acquiring experience in pain medicine, involving acupuncture and Botox®. His background on injection sites, from his years in the medical acupuncture field, still guide his aesthetic filler and wrinkle treatments today.
His fascination with what lasers could do for patients began shortly before the year 2000, which is when he began his cosmetic practice in Surrey, B.C. Back then, he had just one laser in a small office. It was a burgeoning field, still in its infancy at the time. The technology we have today, and the knowledge required to operate it, is far beyond what the medical field could have imagined.
Click the headings below to read more about Dr. Shah and his work.
Creating a beauty and laser clinic ahead of its time
Later, Dr. Shah was one of the first doctors in B.C. to spearhead the acquisition of a variety of lasers, to conduct multiple types of treatments on patients. This way, he could achieve what they were truly looking for, without having to send them to multiple treatment providers, which would affect their quality of care. He has always done his treatments in a highly effective way, too, by mixing modalities (such as using multiple wavelengths to get a result, instead of one).
For example, he mastered laser tattoo removal this way, very early on in the field. His technique and method for tattoo removal is still part of a ‘secret sauce’ used at his clinic. People come to him from all over the Lower Mainland for these treatments.
These types of treatments can be hard to do – especially with new technologies on the market – since the parameters at which lasers operate can cause adverse reactions, if not set correctly, and safely. Specifics also change from patient to patient, and from condition to condition. So, it’s rare that any one combination of settings or treatment types can transfer to more than a single patient at a time.
Beautiful Canadian Laser and Skincare Clinic, led by Dr. Shah, has always operated with the philosophy that technology must be regularly updated, in order to stay ahead. His medspa was among the first in Canada to acquire the following lasers:
- truSculpt® iD
- Gemini® Laserscope
- Portrait® Plasma Skin Rejuvenation (Portrait® PSR)
- MedLite® C6 (an older, Q-switched laser tattoo removal laser)
- Fotona QX MAX (another Q-switch laser for tattoo removal)
- Fotona Erbium
…And many more.
Excelling at treatment results by applying cosmetic medicine in innovative ways
Dr. Shah’s comprehensive understanding of laser physics, and his practice with many varieties of lasers, has allowed him to go beyond the ‘cookie cutter’ approach to non-surgical cosmetic treatments, and to provide customized treatments to his patients. These days, other doctors seek his advice on how to use their lasers, especially for special and ‘hard’ treatment cases. Though, Dr. Shah will humbly admit that he himself also stands on the shoulders of doctors who trained him. Giving back to the medical community is part of the camaraderie between doctors, of course.
Dr. Shah’s ability to ‘think outside the box’ can also be attributed to his ongoing, and ever-expanding, knowledge of laser science and tools, which he has continuously kept at his disposal. He frequently travels across North America to stay up-to-date in the field, attending conferences and trainings on the latest advancements in aesthetic medicine.
Being known for his standout qualities in the industry, Dr. Shah is often seen at invite-only meetings and presentations on the subject of lasers, or other medical cosmetic procedures. For example, he was one of the first invitees to train on MD Codes™, and later, MD DYNA Codes™, with Dr. Maio and Allergan (the makers of Botox® and Juvederm®). Though, by that time, Dr. Shah had already been using many of the same methods. The MD Codes™ discipline now ‘rules’ the injectables industry, as the top way to perform safe, effective, non-surgical facelifts.
Passionate about cosmetic technology, with patient care in mind
Dr. Shah’s approach to medical aesthetic cosmetics, is to individualize treatments, to meet the patient’s core needs. In truth, if doctors don’t listen to their patients, they can rarely make them happy, or heal their true cause of suffering.
In cosmetic medicine, customers pay directly to the doctor, and not to an insurance provider. But that does not preclude them from being patients, too. So, Dr. Shah’s goal is always to strive for patient satisfaction which, undoubtedly, leads to customer satisfaction.
To that end, when it comes to clinical beauty options, Dr. Shah knows that, with his patients, it’s not always a matter of wanting to look better, ‘just because.’ The way people look can have a profound impact on their quality of life. And, that quality has a lot to do with the way they see themselves. Self-confidence can affect a person’s decisions related to opportunities, motivations, relationships and so on.
For instance, scars or tattoos can be unwelcome reminders of the past. A frowning ‘resting’ face in the mirror can be a daily mood-buster. A self-conscious, obese or hairy person may never feel comfortable going to the beach, changing in a locker room, or forming an intimate life partnership. A woman who leaks when she laughs may despise her social life.
It’s not a matter of how patients should feel about themselves; it’s a matter of how they actually feel about themselves. If technology can reliably and safely help these issues (even if not solve them completely), then why not? For Dr. Shah, cosmetic medicine is a rewarding opportunity to put his education towards serving others.
On the flip side of that notion, in cases of body dysmorphia, or other psychological struggles, Dr. Shah also believes in proceeding with great caution. Most certainly, he does not want patients thinking that beauty treatments alone can solve all their woes.
In order to encourage standards and ethics in the industry, Dr. Shah’s voice on the topic of ‘cosmetic medicine with care,’ led him to be a founding member of the BC Society of Aesthetic Physicians (BCSAP), in 2011.
A seasoned, full-fledged, licensed medical practitioner, in both Canada and the UK
Dr. Shah is a registered physician with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C., as well as the General Medical Council in the United Kingdom. He currently also practices family medicine and is a Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC, in Vancouver. He also trains other doctors on the best cosmetic laser and injection practices.
His other current, professional standings include:
- Membership with the College of Family Physicians of Canada, since 2003
- Fellow of the American Society of Lasers in Medicine and Surgery, since 2005
- Diplomate in Practical Dermatology, University of Whales, Cardiff, since 2010
- Founding member of the BC Society of Aesthetic Physicians (BCSAP), since 2011
However, his training and medical certifications began long before the above-mentioned statuses, and are, still, ever-growing (see below for more info on this).
An English doctor, finding his home in Canada, through hard work and perseverance
Dr. Shah obtained his medical degree from Manchester University in England, in 1985. After his five-year, Family Practice residency in England, he and his wife, Priti, had the novel idea to travel the world. They started by relocating to Canada in 1990 (wouldn’t you know it, they never left!).
The young, twenty-something-year-old couple landed in Port Hardy, B.C. with just two suitcases, and no friends or family nearby. Dr. Shah was to be the only Family Physician within several kilometres, for some of his patients.
They certainly got their adventure! And, oh, the stories they could tell you! Imagine a typical, made-for-TV plot of this kind: there’s a snow storm, the roads are closed, and there’s a medical emergency with just one doctor in town! It was really like that.
Dr. Shah’s courageous journey as a small-town doctor lasted from 1990 to 1995. It was during this time he also studied Medical Acupuncture at UCLA. He later moved to the Vancouver area, where he began his family practice, and worked at the Thorson Pain Clinic in North Vancouver. He continued to advance his knowledge in medicine through various other courses and qualifications, such as palliative care and pain medicine. These eventually led to cosmetic medicine (did you know the fields are related?).
The year 2000 marked the purchase of his first laser. Beautiful Canadian Laser and Skincare Clinic was open for business! It’s all history from there!
Although shy and retiring in nature, Dr. Shah is immensely proud of his family, and could talk about his three daughters all day. In his spare time, he appreciates nothing better than spending time with his family and friends, traveling and watching classic English movies and shows.
Dr. Shah’s professional training and qualifications
The list below is a sampling of Dr. Shah’s ongoing training. It is not meant to be complete or comprehensive, but illustrative of the several educational activities Dr. Shah voluntarily attends every year, to ensure the delivery of the most up-to-date, cosmetic medical advancements for his patients.
Cosmetic Medicine, 1997 – Present
Medical Practice Resume
- Registered physician (medical license) with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and the General Medical Council in the United Kingdom
- Medical Degree, M.B., Ch.B (Equivalent to MD), University of Manchester (UK), 1985
- Family Practice Residency, Whipps Cross Hospital, London (UK), 1985 – 1990
- Family Physician, Port Hardy, B.C., 1990 – 1995
- Active member, Port Hardy Hospital, B.C., 1990 – 1995
- Member at Surrey Memorial Hospital, in Surrey, B.C., 1997 – 2006
- Clinical Assistant Professor, UBC, 2000 – present
- Examiner, Medical Council of Canada, 2001 – 2009
- Participant in the Clinical Competence Program of British Columbia, 2002 – 2009
- College of Family Physicians of Canada, 2003 – present
Diplomas and certificates
- Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) diploma, 1990
- LMCC, Medical Council of Canada, 1991
- Certification of the College of Family Physicians (CCFP), 1992
- Fellow of the College of Family Physicians (FCFP), 2004
- Fellow of the American Society of Lasers in Medicine and Surgery, 2005
- Diplomate in Practical Dermatology, University of Whales, Cardiff, 2010
- Fellow of the Canadian Society of Phlebology, 2012 – 2013
Laser practice training
- Five-day recertification (with staff members) in Laser Safety (MLSO) at the Annual ASLMS meeting, April 2009
- Founding member of the BC Society of Aesthetic Physicians (BCSAP) in 2011
- Training with the Laser Institute of America
- Training for each individual laser purchased in the office
- Former member of the Canadian Association of Aesthetic Medicine
- Gentlelase hair removal training by Candela Corporation and from the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery
- Fotona Erbium laser peel training from Dr. Thomas Sult, MD, Minnesota Director of Training for Fotona lasers
- Gemini Laserscope training from the company on hair removal and skin rejuvenation, including attendance at the Women’s Hospital in Toronto for luminary for Lasercope.
- Medlite C6 Hoya Conbio training from Dr. Bruce Saal (dermatologist) in San Jose, CA, luminary for Hoya conbio
- Courses for the Coherent AMT master class on lasers, May 2004, Toronto
- Courses with Syneron on three occasions
- Meetings and courses with the American College of Phlebology
- American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery, 5 day meeting on all aspects of laser medicine, Boston, April 2006
- South Beach Symposium attendance, February 2005 (keeping up with latest technologies)
- University of Toronto Dermatology laser update day, September 2005
- Training from Syneron Corporation on the use of Aurora SRDR (since sold the machine)
- Training and certificate from Dr. Stephen Mulholland in FOTOFACIAL RF procedure
- Training and conference at the Annual Controversies in Lasers meeting, August 2007, New York & August 2008, Whistler. This is the premier meeting by any standard in the world for medical laser use.
- Sarasota Trainers Meeting for all Cynosure lasers, January 2008
- Safety training and use of machines training from the Cynosure Corporation, Candela Corporation, Reliant Technologies and the Lasering Corporation
- Meeting on laser use by Cynosure Corporation, Vancouver, B.C., December 2008
- Allergan advisory board invitation, 2021
- Trained Physicians in Portland, Oregon for Cynosure, July, 2008, and in Victoria, BC, September, 2008
- Presented a talk on the safety of laser use to the BC Career Colleges Forum, November, 2008, as preliminary planning courses for safety for non-physician laser use that is increasingly common in B.C.
- Presented paper on cellulite reduction, using radio frequency, at the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery, April, 2006
Meet Dr. Yasmin Garcia – a cosmetic injector at our beauty and skin care clinic
Dr. Garcia is a family medicine practitioner, specializing in women’s health as a family obstetrician. Alongside her family practice, she teaches clinical skills to students at the University of British Columbia (UBC). In her varied medical career, she has also worked in addiction medicine. The field lent itself to pain management, where injectable skills are key.
Combining her love of medicine with a desire to help people feel confident
Dr. Garcia’s passion for science began as a young woman in the Philippines. Medicine was a natural choice, since her distaste of math meant that engineering and accounting were off the table!
In 2004, she moved to Canada (just one year after graduating from medical school). She had children, but never let that stop her from pursuing her career. She kept at it, and eventually got her full medical license in 2013.
Having gone through motherhood herself, Dr. Garcia is all too familiar with the processes the female body goes through in life. The journey of pregnancy and raising children is wonderful. But, it’s also draining. Feeling ‘blah’ and looking tired can take a toll on a person’s self-confidence, no doubt.
As she would say, she “commiserates” with her patients! So, she loves helping them get back to their ‘best selves’ by using aesthetic medicine. It amazes her that these days, women can noticeably improve their appearance, without having to go under the knife.
When coming on as a family physician at our Surrey medical clinic next door (Amari Medical Practice), Dr. Garcia was quickly introduced to cosmetic injections, thanks to Dr. Shah. It was the perfect fit: she already had a strong background using needles to manage pain.
And, like we now know, she is completely empathetic to peoples’ desires to look good!
In her personal life, Dr. Garcia is not only a mom of human teenagers, but a budding plant parent (pun intended)! She also collects shoes and loves cats. Now that her career as a soccer mom is over, she hopes that one day, she’ll own a corgi (yes, like the Queen!).
Dr. Garcia’s professional training and qualifications
Dr. Garcia’s well-rounded curriculum vitae includes:
- Medical Doctorate degree from the University of the East, Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, Philippines, 2003.
- Clinical research assistant in osteoporosis and diabetes, Prohealth Clinical Research, Vancouver, B.C., 2007 – 2009.
- Family practice residency through the International Medical Graduate (IMG) Program at St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, B.C., 2011.
- Membership at the College of Family Physicians of Canada and Doctors of British Columbia, 2011 – present.
- Practitioner in acute medical inpatient care, low risk obstetrics and surgical assists, Kootenay Lake Hospital, Nelson B.C., 2011 – 2013.
- Practitioner in full service family medicine and addiction medicine in methadone maintenance with suboxone, Community First Medical Clinic, Nelson, B.C., 2011 – 2013.
- Practitioner in opiate replacement therapy and addiction medicine, Kootenay Boundary Opiate Replacement Therapy Clinic, Castlegar, B.C., 2012 – 2013.
- Privileges at Terra Maternity Group, B.C. Women’s Hospital, 2013 – present.
- Walk-in family physician, Kerrisdale Care Station Medical Clinic and South Vancouver Medical Clinic, Vancouver, B.C., 2013 – 2019.
- Full service family physician, Oakridge Medical Clinic , Vancouver B.C., 2013 – present.
- Full service family physician, Amari Medical Clinic, Surrey B.C., 2019 – present.