Beyond skin deep (Herword.com)

(This article was published in Herword.com last April 20, 2011)

Aivee Aguilar-Teo, medical doctor, dermatologist, fashionista

At first glance, stylish and svelte Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo seems more like a fashionista than a doctor. Although she holds a medical degree and a license in dermatology, she is not the typical M.D., as she never wears that long white coat that doctors normally don on. Instead, she wears a chic outfit, a pair of high heels, and complements her look with classy accessories. Her casual and charming demeanor, as well as her innovative skin services, attracts A-list clients to her main clinic at The Fort. This in-demand dermatologist shuttles back and forth her clinics in Manila and Singapore almost every week, but still manages to balance her time between her work and her family.

Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo comes from a prominent political clan and yet she stepped into the medical field instead of the political arena. Her father was the one who encouraged her to take up medicine, and she eventually learned to enjoy it as well. At the start, she thought of specializing in internal medicine and hoped to become an endocrinologist someday, but her plans changed when she did a rotation in dermatology during her fourth year in medical school and she discovered that that particular field appealed to her. It also helped that there were a lot of advances in dermatology during that time, which generated a lot of interest in aesthetic and cosmetic dermatology. “Dermatology is very interesting because it’s an evolving field,” says Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo. “It fits my lifestyle and it’s a very creative field. It’s like you’re an artist.” She mentions the concept of facial contouring as she clarifies that metaphor.

A doctor, a wife, and a mother

Her enthusiasm is contagious as she talks about dermatology with such fervor. She shares, “This specialty fits my personality more. I feel like it’s me.” Aside from her love for it, she is also very passionate about her family. According to the doctor, “My life revolves around my work and my family.”

She is usually in Manila during weekdays to attend to her job as a full-time dermatologist, while she flies to Singapore almost every weekend to spend time with her family.

Her husband, Z Teo, is a cosmetic surgeon who is based in Singapore, which explains the frequent trips to the Lion City. They have a three-year-old son who enjoys exploring Singapore, too. During weekends, they devote time to do some family bonding. Watching movies and going to the zoo are just a couple of activities they are fond of doing.

Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo also has a clinic in Singapore, where she sees her clients during Saturdays. Despite her hectic schedule, she still manages to squeeze in a date night with her husband after clinic hours. Somehow, she is able to maintain a steady lifestyle between the two Asian cities. The doctor believes that, “Being successful is not just being successful in one particular field. To be successful, you have to have a balance in everything.” Her secret: compartmentalize. She says, “Weekdays are for my work, but weekends are for my family.”

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