Mother, Plastic Surgeon, Entrepreneur: Is There Anything Dr. Lara Devgan Can’t-Do?

Mother, Plastic Surgeon, Entrepreneur:

Is There Anything Dr. Lara Devgan Can’t-Do?

Having a successful career and a happy home life can prove to be a difficult goal for a lot of working mothers to achieve, but Yale-educated and Columbia-trained plastic surgeon Dr. Lara Devgan proves that through determination, hard work, and a lot of organization, working moms too can really have the best of both worlds. But it wasn’t always an easy road for this award-winning surgeon, as becoming a successful female surgeon in a male-dominated field (statistics say 90 percent of board-certified plastic surgeons are men) definitely came with its fair share of roadblocks and challenges.

“I think that anytime a woman is entering a field that is dominated by men, there is set up for needing to work twice as hard and be twice as good in order to be taken seriously,” says Devgan. “And so, in a way, this teaches you good work ethic and the drive to succeed.”

Through her own motivation and personal work ethic, Dr. Devgan definitely achieved her goal in becoming a successful surgeon, as she currently has been ranked the “#1 female cosmetic surgeon” in New York by RateMDs, and has been featured as a “Super Doctors Rising Star” plastic surgeon in The New York Times Magazine. She also is an attending plastic surgeon at Lenox Hill Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, and Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Infirmary, where she teaches plastic surgery residents and fellows.

But in addition to her very successful (and not to mention very busy) career, Devgan also says her family is one of her biggest achievements in life, as she is currently a mother of five (with another baby on the way) living in the Upper East Side with her husband. However, she admits that balancing her time at home with her busy workload can be quite challenging at times. But, through planning and a lot of organization, she does her best to make sure she spends time on both her professional and home lives.

"Devgan has also tapped into her entrepreneurial side and has launched a new skincare line called Dr. Devgan Scientific Beauty, which has been sold at pop-up shops at Bergdorf Goodman and Blushington."

“In terms of balancing, I have a really supportive husband and we have a lot of help, but I also know my limits,” she says. “For example, I am not someone who you are going to find cooking and cleaning around the house. And while there is a little part of me that likes the idea of baking cookies at home, to me, I feel that is just not something I am able to do at this time. However, I do think that my kids get something out of seeing me as someone who works hard and cares about other things outside of our living room.”

"In addition to her very successful (and not to mention very busy) career, Devgan also says her family is one of her biggest achievements in life, as she is currently a mother of five."

Although work and family play a big part of Devgan’s life, she also finds to time to indulge in her passion for beauty with a podcast called Beauty Bosses, which features industry leaders in fashion, wellness, art, and media. The podcast (which she finds time to record on Tuesday afternoons) is currently number five on the iTunes global top charts for beauty and fashion, and has featured guests such as interior designers, artists, writers, and actresses.

And of course, as beauty is her business, Devgan has also tapped into her entrepreneurial side and has launched a new skincare line called Dr. Devgan Scientific Beauty, which has been sold at pop-up shops at Bergdorf Goodman and Blushington. The new line, which she formulated (and tested on) herself, uses active ingredients that have been clinically validated in large-scale randomized control studies. Products inside the line include a lip plumpers, lash serums, and creams, which have already received a lot of buzz in the press and has proven to be quite popular among celebrity clientele. Devgan only hopes the line grows even more in the coming year, especially since she says each product in the line has demonstrated scientific efficacy.

But with so many successes already under her belt, it may seem impossible to become a multitasking triple-threat like Dr. Devgan. However, she says the best advice she can give working mothers is to not be afraid to get support (no woman, man, or family is an island!) whenever possible, and always appreciate the little things, even on those mundane or super challenging days. Most importantly, she stresses the importance of working mothers not beating themselves up about any limitations they may have in their lives, especially since most working parents won’t always be apart of every single special moment of their child’s life.

“Don’t beat yourself up over the guilt of not being there for every little moment because your kids are getting something out of witnessing you having work ethic and being passionate and working towards a goal,” she says.

And professionally, she advises that while there is always room for extremely talented people, there are certainly always going to be hurdles to overcome along the way. She should know, as she was an English major and exhibited artist before even going to medical school. However, she says, good things always take time, and while people may say you can’t have it all, you really can, but maybe not altogether at once.

“One piece of advice I got when I was younger was that you can have it all, but not necessarily at the same time,” she says. “There will be different times in your life when you’ll focus on one thing more than another thing and that’s OK. It’s important to remember that it’s a long game, not necessarily a short one.”

The Quick Ten 

 1. What app do you use the most?

Gmail and Instagram

2. Briefly describe your morning routine:

My kids get up early, so our whole house is up by 5:30 a.m. on most days. My husband and I play with the kids, read to them, reply to emails, and drink coffee and tea. I multitask a lot in the mornings, so I listen to podcasts while I’m in the shower, and I’ve streamlined my skincare and beauty routine by using the most effective medical grade products (from my line Dr. Devgan Scientific Beauty).

3. Name a business mogul you admire:

There are so many! Basically, everyone I’ve had on my podcast, Beauty Bosses, is an entrepreneur I admire. I love people who create successful businesses with ethical practices who provide social good— that is the magic slice of the Venn diagram for me.

4. What product do you wish you had invented?

The iPhone. What an elegant, amazing way to connect people and enrich their lives.

5. What is your spirit animal?

A cat— smart, strong, determined, and unphased by setbacks.

6. What is your life motto? 

Happiness is wanting what you have.

7. Name your favorite workday snack?

Earl Grey tea and mints 

8. Every business/entrepreneur (you pick one, then fill in the blank) must be ___ to be successful:

Every entrepreneur must be willing to be the hardest working person in the room to be successful.

9. What’s the most inspiring place you’ve traveled to?

The Seychelles for my honeymoon. Gorgeous natural beauty, serenity, and clarity.

10. Desert Island. Three things, go:  

Platinum SPF 45 Daily Tinted BB Cream, a wide-brimmed hat, and large sunglasses. You meant for vacation right? If you’re saying I’m stranded, I’d take an evacuation helicopter with pilot, a cell phone, and my Spotify or music playlist.

Courtney Leiva

Courtney Leiva is a lifestyle and beauty writer who has contributed to Refinery29, Women's Health, NewBeauty, Byrdie and Self.com. When she's not writing, she's usually found experimenting with new gluten-free recipes that pop in her head. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @misscourtneysays!

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