Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, Cosmetic Dermatologist, Chief Medical Officer and Founder of the PFRANKMD Brand, is a well-known facial and body sculpting guru with particular expertise in minimally-invasive fat removal, the use of various injectables, lasers, and other high-performance devices for cosmetic rejuvenation. He has offices in New York City, the Hamptons, and Miami. Dr. Frank received his medical degree from New York Medical College. He was trained in Internal Medicine at New York’s Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and completed his Dermatology residency at NYU Langone Medical Center before going into private practice in 2000. Dr. Frank recently caught up with Beauty News about his bout with COVID-19 a couple of months ago and about how he and his team are Navigating the New Normal with regard to sanitation standards, managing business remotely and maintaining patient-doctor interactions in the age of masks and personal protective equipment.
Dr. Frank Being Diagnosed and Living Through COVID-19
“I had just turned 50, was in the best shape of my life, had no health issues, and was psychologically overconfident enough to think I didn’t fit the coronavirus profile. On that Thursday, March 19, after I finished with patients, I drove to Long Island with the feeling that my life and priorities were about to take a drastic turn. I was feeling extreme fatigue and disorientation, so I immediately put myself in isolation in our guestroom. The next morning, I woke up with 103.5 fever and began the frightening journey that challenged my body and mind in a way I’ve never experienced. Racked with fever and aches, I took solace in the fact that I had no breathing issues. It was on day seven that all of a sudden, a cough emerged—a heaviness in my chest fell upon me and I began to have breathing issues. At this point, there were no stories of relatively young, healthy people getting COVID-19, and no point of reference for me. The general consensus was that only the elderly or those with predetermined health issues were getting very sick. Fortunately, my condition improved day by day, slowly and incrementally. This disease is not a flu and it’s not a normal virus—it is unique in its ability to debilitate healthy people, as well as the more medically susceptible. It is unpredictable. Recovery is slow and challenging and must be active. Walking a flight of stairs is like running a marathon. Coronavirus likes lethargy. Our brain expects recovery to be fast, but sadly, it writes checks that our body can’t quickly cash. Since the blessing of health came back into my life and I have tested negative for the virus, it is my priority to share my story, help where I can, minimize pain and suffering and most importantly, inspire people to take this seriously by staying at home.
Dr. Frank on Working Remote and the Future of PFRANKMD
Once PFRANKMD reopens, anyone entering the PFRANKMD office will be required to wear a mask, along with several other new safety protocols. Since PFRANKMD is staffed with trained medical professionals such as nurses, physician assistants and MDs, they will continue the same sterile precautions of wearing masks, gowns, visors and other PPE as necessary to ensure safety for staff and patients.
Most doctor’s offices are pretty good with basic sterilization and cleansing protocols. I do think that the doctor’s office in general will feel a little safer than restaurants or other things. Most of my clinical staff have worked in hospitals before. In the office, we’ll implement social distancing and when direct patient visits exist, we’ll use masks, clothing shields and visors and I’ll be wearing protective clothing. I don’t perform all that many open procedures; Co2 resurfacing and liposuction are the two most invasive things I do. On my end, it will be pretty easy to get my staff up to speed on that extra level of precaution.
So much of what I try to do is a therapy of sorts. You have your hands on them and they are looking at you for feedback and there’s an intimacy involved. But now we won’t be able to see your mouth, which will be covered with a mask, decreasing that level of intimacy. I think that will be an adjustment for everyone. Just the psychology of not being able to see someone’s full face will affect them for a while. Eyes are the most important thing. It’s time now to show extra precaution, and rethink doing Botox parties in your house in the Hamptons. The good news about cosmetic dermatology is over the last of 10 to 25 years it’s become more acceptable. There’s a comfort level that likens it to going to a hair salon. Everyone has to now take extra precautions because of COVID and we have to take things more seriously.
Regarding working remotely, managers have worked closely with me and my Director of Operations to ensure that patients are assisted with questions, emails and calls are returned. Consistent communication has always been important in our organization and this period of unrest has been no different. My managers have been busy assisting patients with prescriptions, follow up care, and general questions. We have been available to our patients throughout the time period which was our priority. We continue as always to provide social media content and regular newsletters to our subscribers and patients.
The most important aspect of any business is to stay on the cutting edge and continue to think quickly and with ingenuity. With over 20 years of experience, we are prepared for the navigation and creation of the new normal with creativity and passion for what we do. My goal continues to be to provide the quality of care and service that our patients know is at the heart of PFRANKMD.