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Feeling good from the inside out

Dr. Sharry Gill splits her time between women’s health and aesthetics
Dr. Sharry Gill

If there’s one thing Dr. Sharry Gill loves about her work, it’s developing relationships with her patients. Sharry is a family practitioner in Surrey, specializing in women’s health. But she’s also immersed in the aesthetic side of medicine, assisting patients with wrinkle care, skin tightening, acne, body contouring and cellulite control.

A walking advertisement for her aesthetic work, Sharry is a 40-year-old mother who could easily pass for 25. With glowing skin, flowing black hair and a gorgeous complexion, her appearance speaks volumes for the aesthetic work she loves.

Sharry grew up in Medicine Hat, Alberta, and studied for her undergraduate degree at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Four years of medical school followed at the University of Antigua, including 18 months in the Caribbean, an intense period that was also full of fun.

“Being at school in the Caribbean was amazing,” she recalled. “Any spare time we had, we spent at the beach.”

After that came rotations in Miami, Chicago, New York and Michigan. With rotations done, Sharry completed a residency in family medicine at the University of Calgary before moving to BC, where she worked between her thriving family practice in Surrey and a walk-in clinic in Yaletown.

“These days I split my time between practicing women’s health, including prenatal and postpartum care and contraceptive care, and what I call the ‘lumps and bumps clinic,’ which involves removing suspicious lumps and skin lesions for medical or cosmetic purposes,” she said.

When she witnessed the demand for medical aesthetics, Sharry began doing Botox and fillers and working with various aesthetic devices. Today she offers Potenza, a radio frequency microneedling device that helps smooth texture and acne scars and tighten wrinkled or loose skin. She also uses Tempsure, a device for face and body tightening, lifting, body contouring and cellulite. And she offers Vitalia for women’s wellness to help with urinary incontinence and postpartum changes.

“It uses radio frequency to help replenish and tighten internal and external tissues, improving changes that many women experience after having children and after going through menopause. It also improves the cosmetic appearance of intimate areas,” she said.

Sharry said she is still focused on her family practice and will continue to practice primary care. But she also wants to continue to fulfill her passion for procedures and aesthetics.

“Some of the results you get with these devices and services are instantaneous, and it’s great to be able to provide patients with instant gratification,” she said.

“For some patients, for example those with acne scars, you can notice a significant difference after just one treatment. It truly affects their self-confidence.”

Although she loves being a family doctor and appreciates the relationships she has with her patients, it can be challenging at times.

“As the ‘gatekeepers of medicine,’ family doctors see a lot,” she said. “I’ve had to be the first physician to tell patients and family members about their new diagnosis of cancer, deal with acute, severe mental-health crises, such as suicidal patients and psychosis, various significant traumas to patients, and quarterbacking the care of extremely complex medical patients in the heart of the rapidly growing and under-resourced city of Surrey.

She added, “By doing both family practice and aesthetic services, I’m able to balance my job and avoid getting overwhelmed.”

Sharry’s goal in her aesthetic treatments is to achieve natural-looking results.

“I want my patients to look like themselves, just rejuvenated,” she explained. “I want my patients to feel good from the inside out.”

One of her favourite treatments, which she has tried herself, is the “fusion facial” by Potenza. This allows deeper penetration of topical agents such as fillers, neuromodulators and hyaluronic acids to plump up the skin, delivering a healthy, natural glow, she added.

As a new mother, Sharry said, her efficiency has increased tenfold as she’s learned to do more in less time.

“Nowadays there’s no opportunity to waste time because every minute is so precious,” she reflected. “Most of my free time is spent with my family.”

Despite her busy schedule, Sharry has big plans for the future. One of those is to start a support group for women suffering from depression, postpartum depression and anxiety.

“Where I work, we have a large South Asian population, and mental health is one of the most frequent concerns I see on a day-to-day basis,” she said.

In this community in particular, there remains a significant stigma associated with depression and anxiety, and it’s something with which Sharry has had first-hand experience.

“I experienced physical and emotional postpartum hardships myself, and as a result I’m more equipped to empathize with my female patients, and I’m passionate about helping them,” she said. “Women need to know it’s okay to feel the way they do and that they’re not alone…I feel like I know how to help them, whether it’s just listening and providing resources or medical interventions, or whether it’s taking away a few wrinkles to give them a quick confidence boost that brightens their day.”

She added: “Beauty truly comes from the inside out, and when you feel good inside, you inevitably feel better about yourself physically.”

Dr. Sharry Gill. Lia Crowe