An Interview With Dr. Bank
Did you always want to be a doctor?
Yes. I come from a medical family. Both of my parents are doctors who loved their work and brought that sense of fulfillment home. I wasn't pushed to go into medicine, just inspired. My father was involved in research, and that motivated me to become involved in clinical trials early in my career.
What drew you to dermatology?
During my 3rd-year rotations at Columbia Medical, I was exposed to, and fell in love with, dermatology. This specialty offers a lot of variety, so it's always interesting to me. I have the opportunity to perform both medical treatments and cosmetic procedures. I see patients of all ages, both male and female. My daily work ranges from "fun stuff" such as facial rejuvenation with injectables, to treating skin cancer and other skin conditions. I also enjoy being able to directly see the areas I am treating and the results of my work.
How did The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery come about?
The Center started off as a medical and cosmetic dermatology practice. It has always had a familiar family feel to it. Many members of our team have been here for years and years. Our patients appreciate having staff members they know greet them by name, whether over the phone or in the office. As patients began requesting services that weren't offered here, we had to refer them out; however, they were comfortable with us and didn't want to go anywhere else. That's what motivated me to expand the practice into what it is today.
What sets The Center apart?
We take pride in being a "1-stop shop," so patients don't have to be referred out. Whether patients come in for a cosmetic treatment, skin condition, or plastic surgery, they have a single chart. Our team of exceptional practitioners includes board-certified dermatologists, a board-certified plastic surgeon, an aesthetician, laser technicians, and a skin cancer specialist. Because of our extensive involvement in FDA trials, we also have a full-time clinical coordinator on staff.
The way our team works together ensures high-quality patient care. Although I specialize in dermatology, I understand what's possible with cosmetic surgery. Our plastic surgeon, Dr. Nolan, understands cosmetic dermatology and its limitations. As practitioners, we work together to do what's best for each patient. For example, Dr. Nolan and I might sit down with a patient together to review procedure options and the benefits of each, so that we can provide unique treatment recommendations. It's very collaborative and supportive.
You're a published author. What made you decide to write the book Beautiful Skin: Every Woman's Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age?
The book was published in April 2000. At the time, there was a lot of misinformation out there that I wanted to clear up, even among highly educated, sophisticated patients. My goal was to separate fact from fiction and create a resource for basic information about the skin and its health. While products, treatments, and medical technology have evolved considerably, the skin itself hasn't changed. The book contains a lot of information that remains valuable. Today, I am frequently featured in the media, both local and national, which allows me to continue educating the public by sharing my expertise and experience.
Every Woman’s Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age
Injectable treatments such as BOTOX are offered by many types of providers. What are the advantages of choosing you?
People need to understand that even though these treatments are not surgery, they are medical procedures; therefore, patients still need to choose who they go to carefully. I recommend looking for a provider with experience and knowledge about the treatment, rather than a good deal.
I approach injectable treatments both as science and art. I understand the skin and how the various products work individually and together. I also understand the scientific and aesthetic principles of beauty, aging, and facial proportions. My patients see all this in their beautiful, natural-looking results. When performing injectable treatments, I make sure to choose:
- The right product
- In the right amount
- Placed in the right location
If the wrong product is used, there's no hope of achieving the desired improvements. If the wrong amount of the right product is used — too much or too little — you'll get an unnatural or distorted look (think duck lips), or you won't see any improvement at all. If the right amount of the right product is placed in the wrong location, again, results are likely to look unnatural or not as intended.
How do you enjoy spending your time outside of work?
I've been an avid power-boater for many years. Some of my fondest memories are of spending time with my sons, who are now in their 20s, taking family boat trips to nearby destinations like Block Island, Nantucket, and Montauk. We still enjoy boating together.
I'm also a huge music lover — from classical to popular music such as James Taylor, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, and Jackson Browne.