Dr. Anne Chapas, M.D. is a Manhattan based dermatologist, dermatologic surgeon and the Founder and Medical Director of Union Square Laser Dermatology, a state-of-the-art center for medical and cosmetic skin treatments. She specializes in laser surgery, Mohs micrographic surgery for the treatment of skin cancer, cosmetic procedures and is internationally acclaimed for her laser and cosmetic treatments. Known for her use of combinations of injectable treatments such as Botox and Fillers, she is dedicated to delivering the most natural looking results for a look that reveals that no cosmetic work was done.
How did you get into the medical-beauty industry?
I have wanted to be a physician since second grade, and I dedicated my professional life to the study of medicine. While pursuing my M.D. I worked in a lab at Harvard Medical School studying the development of skin cancers, and I decided to pursue a career in surgical dermatology. Most skin cancers can be cured when treated early, and I liked being able to give patients good news. My laser career started when I investigated with Dr. Barbara Gilchrest, one of my professors at Boston University, how a type of light treatment known at photodynamic therapy could reduce the incidence of skin cancer in high-risk patients. We saw that these patients not only experienced fewer skin cancers but their skin started to look better too! This goal of healthier and better looking skin continues to drive my current practice as I incorporate numerous procedures to help patients be healthy and look and feel their best.
Tell us about Union Square Laser Dermatology. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for it?
When I started Union Square Laser Dermatology 3 years ago, I set to create my dream practice: a dermatologic and laser center that provides world-class care using the best technology and medical science, and offers a great patient experience in a relaxed and stylish environment. We have stayed on this track, and continue to offer cutting edge treatments once they have been proven to be safe and effective and we are actively involved in developing the next generation of cosmetic treatments.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
A big trend we notice is the increasing number of men who are seeking cosmetic treatments. We now offer multiple “lifestyle” treatments that appeal to men, such as treatment for unwanted underarm sweating or pockets of fat that resist diet and exercise. Men also appreciate that our treatments are mostly performed in the office, in a few hours or less, and with minimal social downtime. Another new trend is the popularity of combination approaches, where multiple non-invasive treatments can have results that sometimes approach what could previously only be achieved via surgery.
What procedures do you perform that keep your practice ahead of the competition?
The increasing awareness of what can be accomplished with combination treatments plays to our strength, as it requires investment in multiple devices, and a level of expertise in skin physiology and body contouring treatments that only a very small number of specialized medical practices can provide. For instance, non-invasive body contouring is big right now. As we offer numerous options for gradually sculpting the body, we can help patients achieve their goals of feeling better about their shape. It’s not unusual for a patient to be treated with 3 different devices because each one will be better suited for a specific area. Having both a comprehensive collection of devices, and the expertise to use the right device for each application sets us apart from other practices.
Healthy, natural looking skin is beautiful.
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”-Winston Churchill
“Happy patients, happy Dr. Chapas” Anne Chapas, M.D.
Proudest moments as founder of USLD?
There have been a lot of proud moments but I’m most proud when I meet a new patient that was referred by another patient. This is the ultimate compliment—to know that our patients were happy and other people think that they look great too and ask for a referral.
Most difficult moment - how did you overcome and what did you learn?
Hurricane Sandy was very difficult for all of us who live and work in downtown New York City. It made us re-evaluate our emergency procedures and showed us how dependent we all are on electronic communications. As a result, we are far more prepared to live “off the grid” and maintain patient care in the event of an emergency.
Your advice to aspiring entrepreneur?
Be an expert in your field and a little jack of all trades. You don’t have to be good at every aspect of your business but you have to be able to understand and direct all aspects. And make the care of your patients or customers is your absolute first (and second, and third) priority.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
Grom or Berthillon chocolate ice cream
What literature is on your bed stand?
Right now I am reading The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Role model - business and personal?
I tend to be inspired by women leaders such as Hillary Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg.
Most interesting headline you've read this week?
“Why Women Age Faster than Men"
What's next for USLD?
We continue to grow thanks to our outstanding physicians, who are among the best in the world. Dr. Robyn Gmyrek, the former chairperson of Cosmetic Dermatology at Columbia Univeristy, just joined Drs. Jennifer MacGregor, Jennifer Chwalek, Audrey Rosinberg and myself. It is fantastic to work with such great colleagues, and we constantly inspire each other to improve the lives of our patients.
Dr. Chapas is a frequent lecturer and has been widely published on advances in cutaneous oncology, laser surgery and cosmetic dermatology. Her current research at Union Square Laser Dermatology is one of the most comprehensive laser, skin surgery and cosmetic practices in the country, which focuses on the use of laser and light devices in the treatment of medical and cosmetic conditions.
Additionally, Dr. Chapas is certified by the American Board of Dermatology and she is a Fellow of the American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery, the American Academy of Dermatology, the American College of Mohs Surgery and the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery. She is also a Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Dr. Chapas graduated magna cum laude in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and earned an M.D. with honors from Harvard Medical School. She completed a residency in Dermatology and prestigious fellowships in Mohs surgery and in procedural, cosmetic and laser dermatology. A strong believer in evidence-based medicine, she is a regular presenter at the top research meetings in laser dermatology and has published more than 40 peer-reviewed articles and textbook chapters.