Dr. Sheila Nazarian is an Emmy Nominated, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with a private practice in Beverly Hills. She has a Masters in Medical Management degree from the Marshall School of Business at USC. She also serves as Assistant Professor in Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of Southern California. She is the founder of Nazarian Plastic Surgery, Spa26, The Skin Spot e-commerce site, and the Nazarian Institute where she brings thought leaders to teach business owners in the luxury space to Think BIG – Branding, Innovation, Growth. Dr. Nazarian is the star of the Emmy Nominated Netflix Original Series, Skin Decision: Before and After. She is married to a neurosurgeon, Dr. Fardad Mobin, has three children. She also enjoys being an influencer in the digital space: @drsheilanazarian, @themodelsurgeon, @spa26.official, @theskinspotbeverlyhills, @thinkbig on Instagram and Nazarian Plastic Surgery on Facebook/YouTube.
1. Your journey is truly inspiring, from being an Emmy-nominated Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to an Assistant Professor at USC. How do you balance your clinical practice, teaching, and entrepreneurial ventures effectively?
Balance is always a challenge and I think what has worked for me is hiring the right staff who I can reliably delegate to. My personal assistant at home helps with small personal and professional tasks and also picking up the kids from school. My COO helps execute overarching goals for the practice and my businesses. I do most of my teaching on social media, through podcasts, webinars and conferences. Since I am in charge of my own scheduling, these are things that I just have to block off time for. It is true that there aren’t enough hours in the day but we all just do our best.
2. With a background in both medical and business fields, how do you integrate your expertise in medical management with your passion for plastic surgery to create a unique patient experience?
I learned in business school that nothing has to be invented. It has all been done before… just in a different industry. I starting the Nazarian Institute and ThinkBIG! online to bring experts from other disciplines to talk about their learnings so that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel in the healthcare beauty space.
3. Your role extends beyond your private practice, as you’re also the founder of Spa26, The Skin Spot e-commerce site, and the Nazarian Institute. Could you share your vision behind each of these ventures and how they contribute to the luxury space?
Spa26 is my medical spa which we hope to expand into multiple locations. We have over 30 devices and access to all injectables which we use to rejuvenate as stand alone treatments or maintain and enhance the results of surgery. The Skin Spot is our curated, medical-grade ecommerce site so that everyone can benefit from our experience in the best of the best in beauty and wellness. The Nazarian Institute is my non-profit where we teach surgical, business, and branding skills to healthcare providers.
4. Being a thought leader, you’re known for advocating “Think BIG” – Branding, Innovation, Growth. How do you apply these principles to both your medical practice and your business ventures?
It is not enough to be an excellent surgeon anymore. If no one knows about you, you aren’t helping anyone. Branding is essential to every business, and healthcare is not an exception. Innovation is at the heart of plastic surgery. There are new techniques and devices all of the time. It is key to our industry to innovate and to stay on top of innovations, not just in the treatment forum, but also in the online forum. For example, right now, I am working with AI to see how it can improve the patient experience. Growth is so important personally. If you are not growing in the way you think and experience things, you will not grow professionally. For example, so many physicians suffer from imposter syndrome. Or they won’t post educational content because their hair wasn’t perfect, or they said umm. We have to grow personally and not stand in our own success.
5. Your presence extends to the digital realm as well, with significant influence on various Instagram accounts and other platforms. How do you use social media to educate, engage, and inspire your audience about plastic surgery and wellness?
I am so grateful that people want to listen to what I have to say. Most of the time, I am not in agreement with everyone else and I am not afraid to share my thoughts on beauty, religion, or politics. I always say that my family didn’t escape Iran for me to be quiet.
6. As the star of the Emmy-nominated Netflix Original Series, “Skin Decision: Before and After,” you bring plastic surgery transformations to a wider audience. How has this platform changed the way people perceive aesthetic procedures?
I think the show gave a lot of people permission to get aesthetic procedures. My colleagues would tell me that their patients would come in and talk about how the show gave them the confidence to make that appointment.
7. One of your accomplishments includes developing an organic line of skincare products for pregnant and lactating women. How did your own experiences as a mother influence the creation of these products?
When I was in business school, this was my project. Since then, I have moved on to more active ingredients with NazarianSkin as I learned about what products would give the best results.
8. With your expertise in plastic surgery and your diverse background, how do you see the field evolving, particularly in terms of embracing inclusivity and catering to a wider range of patients?
I think darker skin types have been neglected for a long time. As a person of color, I know dark skin because I treat myself to all of this stuff and have been for 15 years. I also created NazarianSkin with darker skin tones in mind. In the future, I do see darker skin types being included in studies more. It is a hugely untapped market and the need is there.
9. Your dedication to mentorship and volunteer work is commendable. How do you balance these commitments with your busy practice, and what motivates you to continue investing in education and guidance for others?
I just look at my three children and I want to leave an accepting world behind for them. I do a lot of work to fight antisemitism and that started when I saw the statistic that over 50% of Jewish students on college campuses actively hide their Jewish identity. My eldest is only a couple years away from college now and I started my activism in a big way a few years ago. I want her to go to college and find spaces to share her thoughts without fear and to learn from others as well.
10. You’re married to a neurosurgeon and have three children, yet manage to maintain a remarkable professional trajectory. How do you navigate the demands of both your personal and professional life?
Family is the most important and always comes first. I pull back from work when needed to make sure my family is doing well. I think working is amazing and I am so grateful to have such an amazing career. But I want to make sure women reading this know that the whole boss babe image is a lie. Motherhood and having a supportive husband are more fulfilling than anything else. Don’t give that up for a job that doesn’t hug you when you get home. And what good is building an empire if you have no one to give it to when you go?
11. Your Instagram handle “The Model Surgeon” suggests a unique blend of aesthetics and surgical skill. How do you see the intersection between aesthetics and medicine evolving in the coming years?
We are already seeing a blend with the semiglutide trend. Putting patients on weight loss medications has been a great help to get patients ready physically for aesthetic treatments. For example, someone wanting a lot of liposuction may only need a little bit after weight loss. But as we age, insulin resistance makes it a lot harder to lose weight. Medications like ozempic and mounjaro have helped a lot of my patients.
12. Your work involves empowering individuals through aesthetic enhancement. How do you address the balance between personal empowerment and promoting a healthy body image in the age of social media?
Most of my patients are already empowered. They just need help with a little something that diet and exercise haven’t been able to resolve. What you put out on social media is what you attract. I put out empowerment so I attract empowered patients.
13. What would you say to our readers, who would like to see you as a model?
Being a role model means maintaining integrity, strong core values, and staying true to yourself. We can all be role models.