Smita Ohri, MD
Smita Ohri, MD knew she wanted to practice medicine while growing up in India. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in 1987 at the Dayanand Medical College & Hospital in Punjab, India before pursuing her two specialties in family medicine and OB/GYN. She moved to the United States for her residency, fellowship, and then a second residency at the respective Detroit Medical Center, the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and Howard University Hospital.
Prior to opening her medical spa, Forever Young Complete Healthcare, Dr. Ohri spent more than a decade teaching medical students, training residents, and served as the medical director for several hospitals. It was here that her experiences truly motivated her to educate her patients on her forms of care and to determine creative, effective treatment strategies to promote health and vitality. To help her patients struggling with frustrations linked to aging and help them feeling and looking their best.
Dr. Ohri is always seeking the latest treatments and techniques for her patients to achieve whole-body wellness. To achieve this she has become an expert in wellness with hormone therapy, regenerative medicine, and anti-aging treatments and technologies.
Incorporating 650 Microsecond Technology® Into Her Medical Practice
Smita Ohri: My name is Smita Ohri, and I’m an MD. My background is in obstetrics and gynecology. I have an MD in that, and then I did an MD in family medicine from Howard University Hospital. And before I started my integrative and functional medicine practice about eight years ago, I was a faculty member, associate director of residency program for family medicine, and has taught women’s health in Northern New Jersey. So I now have been doing my integrative functional medicine and aesthetic practice for the last eight years, very happily in Central New Jersey.
Aerolase: What drove you to get into aesthetics and integrative medicine?
Smita Ohri: In traditional medicine, we have an algorithm for every disease, and there is always sickness care rather than actually looking preventive, and actually really making patients healthy so that the diseases vanish. So I went through my own hormone changes, and I was really feeling not well.
Smita Ohri: And even though I had a background in OB GYN and family medicine, I didn’t know how powerful the hormones are to maintain your brain, your skin, your energy, sleep, mood. So I chanced on the bioidentical hormones. It totally changed my life. The hospital would have nothing to do with it. So I started my own practice eight years ago. Then did my fellowship in integrative and functional medicine and anti-aging. It’s been a really, really great ride, and I really feel that it really changes people’s lives, and this was the best decision of my life.
Smita Ohri: Now as I continue doing this, I notice people feeling really well inside, but outside, because my average age of my patients is about 50, 55, and they were asking me to do… because they had a lot of confidence in me and my abilities in that way. They said, “Do you do anything else for my skin? Can you do something for how I look? I don’t like these jowls. I don’t like the quality of my skin.”
Smita Ohri: So I started with dipping my toe into aesthetics. That was about five, six years ago. But I’m very careful so I was just keeping the overhead low, and I was doing fillers and Botox and some good creams and maybe some PRP procedures.
Aerolase: Okay. I can understand people going from medicine into the integrative part. It’s about feeling better. It’s about wellness in general. And so to take that next step in terms of aesthetics, do you think that’s just a natural adjunct of moving from medicine to wellness into aesthetics?
Smita Ohri: It is. As you know, as more and more people are aware of it, they’re asking for it, and there is good money in it for us as well. And it has no downside to it. It’s nonsurgical. It just ties in very well with this kind of practice that people not only feel good inside, but they also look beautiful outside.
Aerolase: What was your journey into Aerolase? How did you get either acquainted with us or looking into laser treatments? What was your decision process or the journey to at the point where you actually bought an Aerolase laser?
Smita Ohri: I wanted something that was simple, easy to use, with minimal downtime, and this seemed to fit my bill. I looked at different lasers, and everything needed a lot of upkeep, and they had disposables, or a lot of more figuring out. So this one I found to be in many ways completely exactly what I was looking for. This was simple to use. It was portable. It didn’t have too many bells and whistles to it.
Smita Ohri: Tried it in an office before we bought it, and your team, and Krista especially, has been so kind and nice. She brought it in. I had some free sessions with my patients who saw immediate difference, and I saw how comfortable it was for me to use it, and it was a no brainer for me to get into it then. So that was the reason. I wanted something simple, painless, for all skin types, treating large conditions. And also on top of it, it was more reasonably priced than other lasers. So it just, I’m very careful about spending and keeping the overhead low. And this was perfect for me.
Aerolase: When you first brought it on, it’s always a question of like, “Well how do I integrate this into my practice? How do I launch this?” What was your office’s experience, and what do you guys do in order to attain that level of success?
Smita Ohri: Yeah, we have like a big list of about my own personal patients, 2000 patients, Constant Contact list. I sent an email out to everybody giving them specials. I do pellet therapy. Some people get facial hair for that. I told them it would be very, very reasonable so that at least they can get introduced to this, that I have this laser in my office. We also were big on Instagram, and right off the bat from day one, we were posting stories and pictures and befores and afters. Following up, and being very proactive in reaching out to the patients who showed interest.
Smita Ohri: So that was a huge thing for me. When the patients are sitting across me now that I have a laser that I’m confident about, I’m offering it more to my regular patients. So all that stuff has… And I wasn’t expecting that people like to do laser so much, they take me up immediately on whatever I have to offer them. So this all has really worked out well for us.
Aerolase: And how quickly did you see that increase in revenue and that increase in productivity with the laser?
Smita Ohri: Well, the first month, I don’t know if I’m supposed to say numbers, but the first month itself I made 40, $45,000, the first month. And so I was able to pay off the laser in like three months, which was mind blowing for me. I was like, “Okay, I thought maybe I’ll do couple of lasers a week, and then it’ll go to four lasers.” And no, it went off like fire. It just took off.
Aerolase: So one of the treatment offerings that I heard you were doing is hair removal.
Smita Ohri: Um-hmm (affirmative).
Aerolase: So that’s a very commoditized procedure. And so how do you feel like you’re staying either up to date, or you’re attracting patients when I can go on Groupon or I can go to a Ideal Image and get a relatively low price for a procedure.
Smita Ohri: Yeah. That’s a good question. Groupon has been wonderful for me actually because people have such bad experiences when they go through Groupon. And a lot of the patients who are coming to me actually have been on Groupon with multiple treatments, with very painful episodes. They have actually not even gone through the whole packages, and they’re actually already educated about the whole process. So when they come to me, it’s wonderful. And the first treatment you do with Aerolase, and they can’t believe it’s painless. I’ve had people start crying because they see that it’s painless, and they saw that the hair actually is completely gone after the first treatment.
Smita Ohri: So this has been a great differentiating, and I don’t even like drop my price or anything like that. I keep my price at what it is, and people are willing to pay for quality. So that has not been a problem at all. And treating all skin types is huge as well. A lot of the darker skin types are not treated with the right lasers. They get burned. They get painful. So those are the things that are really worked well for my practice.
Aerolase: And so you almost use it as something to bring patients in and then upsell them, or do a lot of your patients come in looking for other services, and there just happens to be that you do hair removal?
Smita Ohri: Yes. Both of the things are true. Well once they have good experience with the hair loss, and they find it was painless, and they had good results, then we are able to talk to them about other things that the laser does. And if they have any concerns with pigmentation or anything else, they usually sign up for it very quickly once they’ve been through the first phase.
Aerolase: And so one of the other things I wanted to ask you was with the bioidentical hormones, so that’s obviously one of the major things in your practice. We talked a little about obviously the sequential steps of getting out of medicine into bioidentical hormones, into lasers. For those that are now offering the hormone services. How important is a service offering like laser?
Smita Ohri: I think it’s really, really important because hormones are very good for maintaining collagen and elastin and keeping the tissues upright. However, the surface of the skin, and the acne, and all that stuff that comes with it was not something that I was able to treat well. It’s amazing how the skins are glowing now with the laser, and the right skincare regime. I see that the patients have actually… If the skin’s color is good, there is clarity, there is good texture, it makes you look 15 years younger. So this is very, very important actually. If I had known that this is going to be so successful, I probably would have gone for it first, and then done the fillers.
Aerolase: And I think that’s something very common. You might not have realized that once when first started getting out of the actual traditional medicine and going into the aesthetics and the wellness that you’re doing right now. But I think the common thread that when we talk to a lot of physicians that have gotten out of either managed care and into aesthetics is that well they’re still practicing medicine. They’re still making people better. They’re still treating these disease states just in a different manner, and in a way that they actually want to. And there’s obviously more of a human and emotional factor that goes into it. And it seems like you’re very clued into that.
Smita Ohri: Yes. And it’s actually more fulfilling. I think I get more out of this process than even my patients do because I just feel so wonderful and happy being able to do what I trained for. Rather than just being robotic and running from one room to the other really not connecting with anybody, not even myself before. So this is the way I hope medicine progresses to keeping people more healthy and beautiful and energized rather than just waiting for them to break down, and then start treating them with all the medications that the pharmaceutical companies want us to want us to push.
Aerolase: How many months in are you now with owning a laser?
Smita Ohri: I think it’s like three and a half months or so.
Aerolase: From that point until now is there anything that you’d like describe to either other physicians that were in your same shoes up until now? Either just points, experiences, or things that kind of stick out that you’d like to relay to others?
Smita Ohri: Yes. So I would just say this is the best decision of my life in as far as aesthetics is concerned. You don’t have to think about it, just jump in and get this one. You’ll never regret it. And the whole process is seamless, and the treatments are easy, good results, good money. And to the point that within four months, the three physicians, we are fighting for time in the laser room, which says a lot about this laser. So I would say that this is a good one to make your patients glow, and also take care of their various other problems. So yes, that would be my advice to the people who starting out with lasers because I think I waited a little bit too long.