By Amy Verner
In her tony Toronto clinic, dermatologist Lisa Kellett makes women glow. But her notion of beauty extends way beyond skin care. It’s about balancing career and charity work with a rich family life. Here’s how she pulls it off.
Here’s a woman who takes multi-tasking to new levels: Dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett works full-time at her own state-of-the-art clinic, tends to an active home life raising four kids under the age of nine and juggles daytime TV appearances with a slate of invitations to appear on the lecture circuit. She sees a range of patients at DLK on Avenue, her cosmetic and laser surgery practice in midtown Toronto, from actresses who’ve flown in from Los Angeles for a speedy Botox injection, to young victims of violence who’ve come to heal their physical scars; Kellett treats these children for free under her DLK Compassion for Kids Program. Here, the good doctor tells us how she saves time, spends time and makes time for Life – as in the breakfast cereal.
HOW I FOUND MY CALLING
I was originally in internal medicine and a resident at an ICU in London, Ont. (I did my undergrad at the University of Western Ontario and then medical school in Toronto.) There was a patient who was very sick and had a rash. And no one knew what it was. The specialist stood at the end of the bed and said, “It’s miliaria crystallina [a rash caused by clogged sweat glands] and it will be gone tomorrow. Don’t worry about it.” And I thought, that’s what I want to do. I want to be the best at one thing.
EVENTUALLY I BUILT MY OWN MEDICAL CLINIC
In it, we have a nursery, and the boardroom doubles as a kids’ room, too. There’s a big TV screen so that patients’ children can come in and watch DVDs. When patients call and say they are nursing, we tell them to bring the baby. There are a bunch of rooms where they can nurse, and then they pop in with me for a 20-minute treatment. I’ve also created my own line of skincare products called Kellett Skincare.
I DO MY HOMEWORK
One of my mentors is Isadore Sharp, the founder, chairman and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. I think he has contributed so much to the notion of good customer service. One time, I went to the Four Seasons down the street and I just sat there for a couple of hours and took notes. I noticed that employees always asked, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” Just because we are operating a medical centre, it doesn’t mean that the service aspect is any different.
I MAKE REGULAR TV APPEARANCES
About twice a month, I’m on the Gill Deacon Show, Canada AM and City Line, to name a few. The tapings are typically just one take, so I can leave the office at 11, arrive for makeup, shoot, and return by noon. I think the producers of these shows like me because I offer a female perspective. Plus, I’m honest.
MY MORNING ROUTINE
If I wake up at 7:45, I can be out the door at 8:15. I’ll have a quick bowl of life cereal and then it takes me just eight minutes to get ready after I’ve showered.
In my house, we have a whiteboard for the children that shows what they are doing (typically dance, gymnastics, skating and hockey), who’s going to which party and when. I also keep everyone’s schedule on my BlackBerry. If I’m standing in line at the grocery store, I’ll use it. I really don’t have dead time.
HOW I SAVE TIME
I order groceries online once a week, so I basically avoid food shopping. Sometimes, if we run out of vegetables, I’ll get something from my local store, but none of us are very fussy.
MEALTIME IS FAMILY TIME
When we sit down to dinner, everyone will have to say the best thing about their day. It used to drive my husband crazy-he would roll his eyes- but not too long ago, I caught him asking, “So guys, what was the best thing about your day?” If you can get them talking when they’re young, by the time they’re teenagers, the channels are open.
HOW I STAY HEALTHY
I take a multivitamin every day. And I laugh a lot, which I really think has an impact on the immune system. I go for a half-hour power walk with our dog Casey, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, every night. I’ll go to the gym if I find time. But I really have four personal trainers and they come in all different sizes. Running after kids is how I always get back into shape. Plus, we make activities a part of our lifestyle, so we’ll take everyone skating or we’ll play road hockey.
I TAKE MY BABIES WITH ME EVERYWHERE
I remember I was at a fundraiser for Princess Margaret Hospital and (former Toronto Mayor) Mel Lastman was sitting across from me. There was a big flower arrangement on the table, and I had my baby one me, nursing. We were there two hours and I got up to leave and he looked up at me and exclaimed, “There’s a baby here!” It’s a mindset, and I think if more people breastfed in public, it will be more accepted.
My husband and I find ways to spend time together. If he’s running out to home depot, I’ll go with him. I had a meeting on a recent weekend in South Beach, Florida, and we brought the baby. He learned about Botox. It’s a big priority, because if your marriage isn’t strong, then everything else fails.
THERE’S ALWAYS ROOM FOR POTTY HUMOUR
We were interviewing an accountant once, and for some reason, we had to see him at our home. There we were seated at the kitchen table, and all of a sudden, we heard the washroom door open and my daughter poked her head out and said, “Can somebody come and wipe my bum?” For me, that epitomizes everything.