Dr. Katie Lau: The Woman Reconfiguring the World of Aesthetic Medicine

Dr. Katie Lau: The Woman Reconfiguring the World of Aesthetic Medicine

The world of medicine has evolved quite significantly over the by-gone decades. Aesthetics is one such sub-field within the world of medicine that has witnessed a meteoric rise to the forefront. The significance of the field is now becoming increasingly relevant as its impact on not solely the human body but also one’s psyche becomes apparent.

The psychosocial importance of this medical sub-field coupled with its rapidly growing appeal and demand among patients has been substantiated with the growth of multiple beauty and aesthetic clinics across the world. One such clinic that is crafting a world-renowned legacy is the Hong Kong-based ace forerunner to this pioneering legacy, Dr. Katie Clinic.

Dr. Katie Lau is an aesthetic doctor who leverages over 10 years of experience in the field of aesthetic medicine to treat her patients. Katie graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 2006. After her surgical training at the Queen Mary Hospital, she ventured into aesthetics from 2011 onwards. She built her skills and experience by working for several companies during these years. In 2017, Katie established Dr. Katie Clinic as her own private venture in the field of aesthetic medicine.

Since its inception in 2017, Dr. Katie Clinic has blossomed into a top choice for patients from both domestic as well as international markets. In 2019, the clinic expanded to a second unit on the same floor, building its ability to cater to a larger patient footfall as well as include more service offerings. Dr. Katie has worked methodically to build her patient pool from the ground up, she has crafted a renowned professional reputation owing to her impeccable sense of responsibility, diligence, and goodwill.

A Zeal to Face Challenges

Drawing from her impressive swimming legacy, Katie is accustomed to actively exploring new opportunities and overcoming challenges. This zeal to explore new horizons coupled with Dr. Katie’s drive to achieve new feats propelled her to bring her dream of establishing a private aesthetics clinic a reality in March 2017.

Katie also noted, “Sometimes when you are working for other organizations or hospitals, you may not always be able to pursue treatment modalities that might be in the best interest of the patients. There are quite a few restraints there.” With her clinic, she was able to overcome these restrictions. As aesthetics gains popularity in Asia, Katie hopes to contribute more towards the advancement of the field and develop her own novel treatment methods that will effectively help patients.

A Holistic Approach

For Dr. Katie, aesthetics is about treating patients holistically. It is not about combatting the issues at hand, but rather about understanding the patient as a whole and treating all aspects of the condition as well as acknowledging the psycho-social aspects of it. Katie propounds, “After understanding their concerns, you will start seeing that they have an improvement in their self-confidence. They are also more willing to be involved in their social, work, and family lives. Aesthetics helps build their confidence from inside out.”

The Influence of Sportsmanship

Katie represented Hong Kong at the Asian Games in 1994. She was a part of the Silver medal team in the 4 x 100 meters Freestyle Relay. With several other accolades in swimming, the influence of sports is quite conspicuous in Katie’s disciplined approach towards life. As an erstwhile sportsperson, Katie built up a thirst for conquering new terrains. She has learnt to appreciate the value of hard work and pain when it comes to achieving one’s goals. This determination and perseverance are canonical traits that Katie applies rigorously to her present career.

Owing to her career as a former swimmer of national acclaim as well as her surgical training background, Katie has developed a preference for a more hands-on method of operation. She is fonder of working with her hands, rather than simply sitting at the desk and writing prescriptions. When using injections, she has to ensure that the injection is inserted accurately in the correct area, otherwise, the effect will vary. Precision, vigilance, and patience are the key guiding principles for Katie when performing these delicate treatment ballets.

Capitalizing on Advantages

This decade has been seminal in changing conversations about traditional gender roles and practices. Women are becoming more and more powerful. Katie asserts, “In the space of medicine, I think, women have an edge because traditionally the patient pool has been overwhelmingly female and they usually find it more comfortable to engage with female doctors than their male counterparts. The understanding and rapport created between us girls are much more nuanced due to similar experiences and perspectives. Moreover, women are significantly language proficient and can easily ace the field of communication. Thus, I think that in the field of aesthetics, these qualities can help women embody more decisive positions.” For Katie, it is important to incorporate and capitalize on these advantages.

Achieving a Work-Life Balance

To maintain a harmonious and healthy work-life balance Katie devotes some time every day to jogging and exercise. She believes in working out before her consultation and procedure schedule for the day commences, as this routine helps her remain energized throughout the rest of the day. Katie balances out her hectic work schedule by using Sundays to connect with her family and friends.

Before the pandemic, a part of her schedule was dedicated to teaching trips to universities and centers. These trips were an essential part of the endeavor to enhance her knowledge, skills, and expertise through interactions with colleagues in the same field. “These were precious experiences that I couldn’t afford to miss”, assets Katie. Apart from using her time to sharpen her skillset, Katie likes reading books and updating herself on the latest technology trends. She believes that learning is a constant process, where one cannot afford to stop learning. Latte art is another niche area that fascinates Katie. The allure of the enchanting latte art designs mesmerizes her. Katie also hopes to open her own café in the coming years.

Motivating Impetuses

The smiles on the faces of her patients motivate Katie to keep innovating ingenious treatments options. Katie outlines this by stating, “When they tell me how happy they were to get compliments from their friends, families, and colleagues, I’m elated because this reflects that both my patients and those around them appreciate the positive changes brought about by my treatments. The fact that this change is visible to people around them and is appreciated, inspires me to outperform myself and keep learning new things so that I can innovate for them. This feeling is much more than money can buy.” Patient contentment and goodwill are translated into referrals. Most patients that visit the clinic are so satisfied with the services that they often refer their friends and families to the clinic. This referral process has allowed the clinic to build a stable and loyal patient pool.

Securing a Niche in the Competitive market

Marketing restrictions are one of the many hurdles Katie has to face when trying to raise awareness about the clinic. She propounds, “In Hong Kong, we are regulated under the Hong Kong Medical Council, so for clinics like myself, we operate under our own names, and we cannot do any marketing activities like the other larger conglomerates or clinics. For other listed companies, magazine advertisements are possible, but for proprietary clinics, this is prohibited.”

However, owing to the value and quality of treatments performed at the clinic, the patient pool has continued to grow as a result of referrals. Moreover, the value of this process lies in its longevity in terms of crafting long-lasting and durable patient bonds. Katie proposes, “The friends or family members of patients can see tangible results and thus, trust me even before they come to meet me”.

Crafting Relationships with Patients

Dr. Katie Clinic has established a diverse and expansive patient pool. With patients seeking her expert care and treatments from all over the world, Dr. Katie has successfully crafted a strong bond with her patients. Katie considers interactions with her patients as a learning opportunity. “It’s like a mutual learning experience,” she proposes. Patients generally come in with very specific and detail-oriented approaches since information is readily available on the internet. The happiness and contentment of the patients are more valuable to Dr. Katie than any nominal or monetary evaluation.

Katie’s easy-going nature makes it easy to build a lasting rapport with patients. “Oftentimes patients become friends. During the treatments, we chat casually about their lives and everything else. This is why I really enjoy what I do, I get to practice my dream job while simultaneously build friendships,” mentions Katie.

Ideating Novel Treatments

In medicine, there are often standard protocols when treating certain things, but sometimes a palpable need for improvement is noted. For instance, for treating acne scars, traditionally lasers would be used, requiring quite a few sessions. However, patients do not usually have the luxury of prolonged downtime, Dr. Katie developed a treatment protocol that would reduce the downtime significantly. Recounting this she assets, “My surgical training came in handy in this regard. I was able to reduce downtime by using hyaluronic acid injections for acne scars.”

Words of Wisdom

Katie advises aspiring women to remain true to the principles of hard work, faith, dedication, and open-mindedness. “Stick with your faith and principles. There may be many temptations along the way as well as many hurdles you will have to cross, but the secret is to keep learning from your mistakes and keep faith in yourself,” proposes Katie. According to Katie, failure is a part of every endeavor one undertakes, but hesitation that deters one from trying is the real failure.

Conquering Challenges

Katie faced quite a few hurdles when she decided to lay the foundations of the clinic. Recounting these challenges she propounded, “When I worked in public hospitals or under companies, my main concerns were my daily operations, but when I started my clinic, I had to deal with a variety of administrative work as a sole proprietor, which I didn’t have an experience in. I had to assemble a team of my own, as well as think about the safest products and services to offer my clients.” As an administrator, she also had to sharpen her conflict resolution skills to be able to manage and harmonize the team along with shouldering the task of building up her patient poll from the ground-up.

A Collaborative Leader

Dr. Katie’s management style reflects her philosophy of valuing the seminal principle of mutual respect. She strives to ensure that the collaborative character of the venture is maintained. This collaborative drive helps ideate some ingenious insights that are then incorporated into the clinic’s services. Katie asserts, “I am not a good manager, but I try to work with my team as a close friend, to make them feel comfortable. I feel this is very important as well, that my team feels comfortable and happy working together in a very friendly environment and atmosphere.

about the importance of her team Katie added, “Sometimes, I might not be able to see things like my team members do. Their interactions with patients help yield nuanced insights which may be extremely seminal if the patients happen to be withholding certain aspects of their conditions from me. They have a better view of everything. If I miss out on some area, they help fill in the gaps, providing me with a 360-degree panoptical view of each situation.”

The Pandemic Effect

Dr. Katie Clinic remained open and operational during last year of the pandemic. The well-avowed word of mouth and patient referral system allowed for the venture to remain strongly grounded even during these tough times. However, the social distancing norms had to be implemented when confirming patient bookings. Dr. Katie states, “I had to space out my patients because of the pandemic restrictions.”

Even though teleconsultations are becoming common today, Dr. Katie emphasizes that telecommunication for her specialty is rather an improbable route of consultation. She asserts that it is absolutely essential for her to get the right diagnosis for a patient before she can effectively proceed to design their treatment options. This can only be made possible with an in-person consultation session with Dr. Katie that allows her to see the individual’s areas of concern first-hand and provide an accurate diagnosis.

Future Calling

Katie hopes to continue with her work and pursuit in this industry, and hopefully build up her top team in town and internationally as well. With improvements in the pandemic conditions, she hopes to get back to doing more workshops and training sessions both locally and overseas. She further added, “I am also hoping to be able to document my experiences through certain media channels. I have also thought about starting a mini-school to dispense knowledge about the field and also incorporate my own experiences and patient stories.” Expansion opportunities also await Katie. With patient requests for clinics all over the world, branching out may soon be a reality.

Company name: Dr. Katie Clinic

Key person: Dr. Katie Lau, Founder & Owner, Dr. Katie Clinic


1. When the change is visible to people around my patients and is appreciated by them, I am inspired to outperform myself and keep learning new things so that I can continue to innovate for them. This feeling is much more valuable than any monetary compensation

– Dr. Katie Lau

2. I believe that in order to achieve the best for my patients I have to work from my heart

– Dr. Katie Lau

3. The joy I get from training, starting my own clinic, and helping my patients, is the most valuable takeaway for me

– Dr. Katie Lau
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