When most people think about medical professionals, they seldom consider the business aspect of a medical career, nor would they relate entrepreneurship with the same individuals. However, aside from providing patient-centric medical care in their particular niche of medicine, medical professionals seek to curate careers that allow them to partake in important research, remain professionally fulfilled, explore a passionate field, and provide the services they render to be most important. Like any other professional, these committed individuals seek to grow, advance in their field, and remain impassioned throughout their professional trajectory.
For Florida-based medical dermatologist Dr. Tim Ioannides, the desire to provide solely medically-driven dermatological procedures in a field dominated by cosmetically-based practices led him to open his own practice. Through this bold step, Dr. Ioannides was able to pivot his career path, dedicate his time to a niche he felt strongly about, and remain in charge of his own professional destiny. Setting an example for the next generation of unlikely young entrepreneurs within any industry, Dr. Ioannides’ story lends inspiration for young professionals on the journey to curating a meaningful career.
Find Your Passion.
In order to be able to doggedly pursue a specific career path, and envision exactly what success would look like within this chosen path, you must first find your professional passion. While many students find interests that can be parlayed into a job, this passion must transcend the mere prospect of a job. Rather, it must be a field that imparts curiosity, sparks commitment and exploration, and incites the desire to grow on a long-term basis. While in school, you can pursue education in fields of interest, exploring fields that can yield a particular vocation of choice. Throughout undergraduate and graduate studies, you can gain the practical and educational experience needed to further bolster your passion, along with a myriad of real-world experiences via internships, fellowships, and other programs. Using these programs as an insider’s look into potential careers, you can garner firsthand insight into the daily operations of various career choices.
While earning his PhD from the University of Miami School Of Medicine, Dr. Tim Ioannides explored his motivation for Medical Dermatology. Previously, the budding medical professional completed a comprehensive doctoral internship program at the University of Florida School of Medicine Health Science Center, where his innate interest in skin cancer, skin diseases, and medically based dermatology began to undoubtedly grow. Throughout this important time in his educational journey, Dr. Ioannides had many opportunities to explore multiple disciplines, to question his potential journey, and hone in on a niche that would become his professional motivation. Certain of his drive toward medical dermatology, Dr. Ioannides completed a residency program at the University of Miami School of Medicine in the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Become Certified, Licensed, And Educated.
No matter the field, subject, or industry, young professionals must commit to garnering any needed credentials that will allow them to move forward in their desired field. In many industries, lacking appropriate credentials can close proverbial doors of interest before the young professional even has an opportunity to engage in real-world work. Thus, after figuring out your professional passion, it is imperative to pursue the framework that will allow you to practice that passion on a daily basis in the future. While work experience is the greatest teacher, most industries have minimum standards in terms of education and licensure to ensure that practicing individuals can enter the field with a working base knowledge of safety protocols, practical knowledge, and preliminary understanding of the field.
After pursuing extensive education, Dr. Tim Ioannides became Board Certified in Dermatology through the American Board of Dermatology. In order to practice his craft professionally in a medical setting, and become a trusted member of the medical community, Dr. Ioannides recognized the importance of obtaining all needed certifications and licenses. Without these important professional certifications, Dr. Ioannides would not have been able to practice dermatology, and begin his professional journey.
Define Your Goals.
After gaining entry into a particular field of interest, young professionals who dedicated their education to the study of a particular field can then begin to garner real-world experience through entry-level positions. During this crucial time, you will begin to see daily operations within a particular industry, and explore your own standing in a professional field. After “making it” into a particular field, young professionals can then set out to further define their goals, pivot their trajectory to focus on a particular discipline, or engage in meaningful activities. Streamlining your own participation in a particular field, you can now consider your specific preferences, entrepreneurship desires, ethical considerations, and the ways in which you would like to formulate your career.
Post-matriculation, Dr. Ioannides began his career at an established dermatological practice. Certain of his unwavering commitment to dermatology, he was pleased to enter the field, and to gain extensive insight related to daily operations of a thriving practice, patient interaction, and other “on the job” skills. However, he also began to recognize his growing passion for medically-based dermatology, rather than cosmetically-driven procedures. Simultaneously, he also recognized that a large portion of dermatology practices focused on cosmetic treatments, as they were a profitable source of income for the practices. Driven by the desire to partake in innovative skin cancer research, provide skin cancer treatment options to patients, and to care for skin conditions, Dr. Ioannides knew that he would have to make significant changes in order to be able to dedicate his professional life to the niche areas of dermatology that impassioned him.
Make Niche Dreams A Reality.
For professionals who have amassed pertinent experience within a particular industry, and have streamlined their professional goals, embarking on the paths to reach those goals will undoubtedly become a priority. After identifying a set route, plan of action, and desired outcome, professionals can then follow the steps needed to curate a meaningful career. Sometimes, this can be as simple as gaining entry into a coveted position or firm, or it can be as complicated as setting out to independently open a desired business. In order to successfully turn niche dreams into a reality, you may have to think outside of the proverbial box, take chances, and follow your respective professional bliss.
For Dr. Ioannides, the manifestation of his niche dream came in the form of entrepreneurship. Essentially, if the specific focus on medical dermatology was not widely available within existing practices, he would have to create his own! Motivated by the prospect of devoting his time to caring for medically-based dermatological issues, skin cancer, and skin disorders, Dr. Ioannides set forth to launch Treasure Coast Dermatology in Florida, with the goal of specializing in only medical dermatology. While he did provide some cosmetic procedures in the beginning to gain a positive cash flow for his fledgling business, Dr. Ioannides swiftly pivoted to a medically-based model quickly, and never looked back. Combining his innate interest and passion for medical dermatology, along with practical knowledge relating to patient care, daily operations, and staffing, Dr. Ioannides created the exact place where he previously dreamt of working.
As a result of his passion toward the niche industry, hard work, and commitment to raising awareness of the importance of skin care and safety, Treasure Coast Dermatology began to swiftly grow. To best serve the growing needs of increasing numbers of clients, Dr. Ioannides expanded the practice to include six standalone locations, serving Saint Lucie, Martin, and Indian River counties. Through a commitment to a patient-first experience, proactive patient education, and ongoing research within the field of medical dermatology, Dr. Ioannides’ business saw continued growth since inception. While he certainly wouldn’t call himself a career entrepreneur per se, his expanding practice is an example of a successful business venture, created out of a passion for medical dermatology.
Seek Specialization, Continue To Grow.
Even after curating the most desirable and fulfilling career, well-seasoned professionals should further seek specializations, foster ongoing mastery of field-specific innovations, and continue to grow. This continuation of specialization will not only render professionals as in-demand leaders within their respective fields, but will provide ongoing personal motivation. From conducting groundbreaking research, to focusing on burgeoning treatment options, even the most experienced professionals can remain focused on self-betterment through participation in innovative endeavors. In order to maximize your professional growth on a long-term timeline, consider specialization within evolving and changing technologies, new and rising procedures, or other innovations that propel your field forward.
With the prevalence of skin cancer throughout the country continuously vast and unwavering, Dr. Ioannides committed to lending his expertise throughout various groundbreaking research studies, including a prolific study for a potential skin cancer vaccine. Not only did this participation assist in the study, it allowed Dr. Ioannides to partake in an industry-evolving study that could potentially eradicate skin cancer in the future. A proud moment for Dr. Ioannides, his participation in such pivotal studies leveraged his continued commitment to the field of medical dermatology.
In addition, Dr. Ioannides became certified to perform the highly specialized Mohs Micrographic Surgery, a revolutionary new treatment for skin cancer. Unlike previously widely utilized skin cancer surgeries, Mohs surgery allowed medical professionals to remove the cancer itself, along with surrounding “roots” that could initiate the eventual return of skin cancer. This concise surgery also allowed medical professionals the opportunity to examine all cells under the microscope post-removal, which was not previously available, providing more comprehensive care than ever before. Recognizing the importance of this specialized procedure on the outcomes of skin cancer for his patients, Dr. Ioannides received specialized training to become certified to perform Mohs Surgery, and became a member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and the American Society for Mohs Surgery.