Meet Dr. Monica K. Li, Dermatologist

At Project Skin MD, we’re one big happy family, and we’re thrilled to announce that Dr. Monica K. Li, a double board-certified dermatologist in both Canada and the US, will be joining the PS family of physicians.

With special interests in ethnic skin, clinical epidemiology and medical education, as well as specialized training and a fellowship in Cosmetic Dermatology, we’re so excited to welcome her to the teams at both Project Skin MD in Vancouver, and SkinCeuticals by Project Skin in Richmond.

Dr. Li was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions about the field of dermatology, her passion for her patients, and even the Vancouver food scene!

Q: What inspired you to become a dermatologist?

I have always wanted to be a dermatologist because of the immense impact I can have on a person’s life by improving their skin, which directly reflects upon their appearance, general health, self-image and indirectly changes his or her life in countless ways because of these elements. Better still, I can see the tremendous impact that skin care has on people. The skin is the body’s largest organ after all, and one of the most important!

Q: What led you to the team at Project Skin MD?

Project Skin MD is a premier centre in cosmetic dermatology and laser medicine with a highly reputable team. The centre also has state-of-the-art facilities and technologies, which will allow me to use my advanced training to its highest potential to better serve my patients.

Q: What services will you be providing at Project Skin MD and SkinCeuticals by Project Skin?

I will be providing comprehensive, minimally to non-invasive procedures in aesthetic medicine to patients of all skin types. I am excited to be able to offer my expertise in dermatologic injectables such as Botox and fillers, as well as the full spectrum of the latest laser treatments. Working as a team, I hold myself to the highest standards to meet the dermatology and cosmetic dermatology needs of my patients.

Q: What does a consultation with you look like?

Art and science is at the core of cosmetic dermatology. A consultation would involve defining what a patient would like to improve along with an analysis to identify what can be done to achieve harmonious balance and restore natural beauty. At the end of the visit, the goal is to provide my professional perspectives but options so that patients can feel most comfortable with their treatment plan.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Definitely developing a personal connection with my patients while being able to enhance the lives of people from all walks of life and see the results first-hand. My patients show me the direct effect I have on their lives and I feel so privileged to be part of that. That I can truly help my patients, as a physician first and a dermatologist second with interventions large or small, is rewarding beyond imagination.

Q: You also have specialized training and a fellowship in Cosmetic Dermatology. What led you to pursue this field of dermatology?

The sheer diversity of interventions to address cosmetic dermatology needs of patients and the evolving technologies that require a critical mind to achieve results are what drew me. I can help all patients: from those with disfiguring scars, to undue aging, to those who desire to enhance their appearance for a variety of reasons, whether it be social, career or otherwise. My five-year specialist training and double-board certification in dermatology allows me to comprehensively understand the medical aspects of the skin, and my further subspecialist training in cosmetic and laser dermatology provided me the expertise and skill set to offer the latest technologies to my patients.

Q: You have worked with a number of internationally renowned experts in cosmetic dermatology and laser medicine. How has training with these specialists impacted your own practice?

I feel very grateful to have worked with and trained under world leaders in cosmetic dermatology and laser medicine. I have had the privilege of learning from their decades of experience and insights toward major advances in the field. They were outstanding role models not only in their work and contributions, but also in fostering ongoing advancement of our field to benefit new generations to come. I hope to one day be able to train others as many mentors have done for me.

Q: What are some of the biggest misconceptions about dermatology?

I see two major misconceptions. The first is that dermatology is only about the skin. It is really not just skin deep. It is true that the skin is the focus of our field, but dermatology requires extensive knowledge of general medicine and surgical principles as well, given that the vast majority of medical conditions can have related skin issues. Secondly, cosmetic dermatology, or aesthetic medicine, is often misconstrued as ‘making people beautiful’ when really that is not its purpose; the main purpose is to enhance people’s lives by enabling them to overcome the challenges posed by their skin condition.

Q: Tell us more about yourself! What is a go-to weekend in Vancouver like for you?

Vancouver is such an amazing city. On a nice day, nothing beats a day at the beach or hitting the trails. On rainy days (which we have lots of!) then I like swimming laps at the pool and spending time with family and friends. A little shopping always helps too! I love ending the day with a nice meal and a cocktail. The food scene in Vancouver is world-class.

Q: We know you’re a foodie. What’s your favourite local restaurant?

There are so many excellent choices that it is really difficult to pick. But I would have to say Chambar. It is a Vancouver institution, and the moules frites are worth going to the gym a second time! And for a more affordable but just as delicious experience, Yolks Restaurant and Commissary. Can’t beat the eggs benny!

Q: What is your #1 piece of skincare advice?

Sunscreen use. It is truly an ounce of prevention but goes so far for long-term skin protection. This includes reducing the risk of skin cancer development and all the negative skin effects of sun damage.

Q: What does your skincare routine look like?

My skincare routine has evolved with me through different periods in time. Currently, after cleansing and toning I’m loving SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 for nighttime. In the morning, I use SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic and of course, my sunscreen! I love SkinCeuticals Physical UV Defense SPF 50.

Lucky for you, beginning August 10th, Dr. Li will be offering the following services:

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