Name: Dr Sam Robson
Company: Temple Medical
Location: Aberdeen, UK
Not many businesses can say that they help to improve people’s lives on a daily basis, but for
Dr Sam Robson and her team at her award-winning private medical clinic, this is a regular occurrence.
As a fully qualified GP, Dr Sam was often meeting patients with low morale and self-esteem issues, with most blaming their bad skin, wrinkles and weight as the main problems. Dr Sam noticed that these common issues were having significant negative effects on the way people felt about themselves and she wanted to change that.
To pursue her interest in aesthetics, Dr Sam became a member of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine, and completed comprehensive research and specialist training to advance her knowledge and skills. In 2011, Dr Sam left the security and comfort of employment as a GP with the NHS, which was a major risk for her personally, but she knew something had to be done to address these growing global problems.
She established her first company, Temple Aesthetics, with an initial focus on skin and aspects of ageing. However, a couple of years later, Dr Sam decided to change the focus of the business to follow a health-based holistic approach, and Temple Medical was born, with a vision to offer patients life-changing treatments, using safe and up-to-date technology.
The risk has paid off, and today Temple Medical is exceeding Dr Sam’s expectations and is at the forefront of the private medical aesthetics and weight loss management industry in Scotland, offering several research-driven and innovative treatments, some of which are exclusive to Temple Medical and Scotland. The clinic has also been recognised both nationally and internationally with several industry awards, including Best Small Clinic 2012 at the Aesthetic Awards, and Highly Commended for best customer service at the MyFaceMyBody® Awards in London – a major achievement for Dr Sam and her team. Dr Sam said: “Throughout my career as a GP, I witnessed an increasing number of patients suffering from problematic skin, premature ageing and obesity, but whilst they were recognised as issues, they were not being treated as a priority so I decided a different approach was required. To make a meaningful impact on these conditions I carried out a lot of research and held numerous discussions with key international practitioners and quickly my passion became my business.”
As single parent raising two teenage boys, Dr Sam had to juggle her role, whilst also learning and overcoming the challenges of setting up and running a business. Initially, this was out of her comfort zone, specifically understanding new business processes such as, managing people, financial planning and also raising funds to ensure the business would remain viable was difficult, especially as Dr Sam had used personal finances to get the business started.
However, her interest for this type of medical practice remained, and today Dr Sam is still continuing to advance her knowledge with further training and engagement with new technologies, and regularly attends conferences to learn about pioneering new treatments. This has led to introductions with key people within the medical aesthetics industry internationally and locally at strategic business support level, who have help to get the company to where it is today.
Dr Sam said: “In the early days, being a working mum and launching a new business was very difficult and I faced quite a few challenges in my first venture, but this experience taught me a great deal and allowed me to identify exactly what I wanted Temple Medical to achieve. I focused on being different, with innovative treatments, not just aesthetic ones, with professionalism and high standards at the core of the business. It is all about teamwork at Temple Medical and we are quickly creating a strong unit that is fully supportive of my aspirations and objectives for the business. This has allowed the business to expand, whilst still delivering its key aim to ultimately satisfy customers and improve their well-being.” As Temple Medical evolved, Dr Sam and her team diversified to focus on another health issue that was impacting people’s self confidence worldwide – obesity. The clinic secured an exclusive territory licence agreement to deliver the effective medically supervised weight-loss programme and body contouring programme, Alizonne Therapy®, which has a 60-80% long term success rate, compared to around 16-20% success rates of most other diet based solutions. The clinic is now recognised as being the leading Alizonne® clinic in Scotland, with more than 50 patients per week seeing life changing and, importantly, long-term results.
“Alizonne® Therapy is one the of the clinic’s most popular treatments, with its proven track record and typical results in weight loss of around one stone per month. However, unlike most other treatments, Alizonne® uniquely helps to re-shape and contour the patients body. This targets the fat deposits and improves the firmness and tightness of skin, which for most people is an important factor. Temple Medical has also developed the corporate side of Alizonne®, specifically launching ‘Alizonne Offshore®’, in a bid to tackle increasing levels of obesity in the oil and gas industry workforce – a major issue to be resolved to comply with new regulations on helicopter travel safety. We adapted the programme to suit the lifestyles of offshore workers and are already seeing remarkable results, with the current record loss of 40 pounds in 36 days.”
Currently, Temple Medical is experiencing significant growth and has recently expanded into open a new large, prestigious and state-of-the-art clinic in Aberdeen city centre. The stunning new clinic is four times the size of its previous premises, which is helping the business to meet the increasing demand for its services and its increasing patient numbers. The clinic now has nine treatment, consulting and imaging rooms, which cater for a variety of treatments to tackle various skin conditions including, acne, acne scarring, lines and wrinkles, rosacea, stretch marks, sun damage, obesity and moles and tags. The new premises also has a large training academy, which offers training opportunities for both visiting specialists, as well as the opportunity to host client evenings to showcase new treatments. Dr Sam said: “If someone told me that I would be in a four-storey clinic at this point in my business, I wouldn’t have believed them. However, the fact that we are now running out of space in the new premises already, tells me I was right in setting up the business in the first place. At the heart of Temple Medical is customer service and by listening and responding to customer feedback, we have been able to identify treatments that customers actually want and need to make a difference to their life.” Temple Medical is unique in its service provision being Doctor led with fully qualified team of professionals, including two doctors, two nurses, a nutritionist, six therapists, a clinic manager and team of admin staff. It is Dr Sam’s role to lead, manage and encourage the team, for the greater good of the business and its patients.
“Being a business woman can be stressful but through the tough times I have shown resolve, skill and determination as I want to make a difference to people’s well being. I now have solid team around me, with nearly half of my employees previously patients after catching the ‘temple medical bug’. I pride myself on being different, and ahead of the game, so I continually seek innovative treatments that can improve patient’s self-esteem and confidence, whether its by losing weight, reducing and slowing effects of ageing or improving problem skin.”