fbpx

Dr. Sheila Nazarian On Success, Parenting and Grit

When Dr. Sheila Nazarian was 7 years old, she left Iran and didn’t speak a word of English. Today, she is one of the few physicians in the United States  who has emerged as a leading medical authority and personality.

Nazarian, a board-certified plastic surgeon, has earned her stripes not just for her work, but among the Jewish community for her devotion to family—her husband and three children,for her outspoken confidence and for her ability to serve as a role model to younger women who are reaching for more as the glass ceiling is shattered.

With more than 208,000 followers on Instagram and a strong business acumen, Nazarian launched The Skin Spot, a curated collection of medical-grade skincare, and founded The Nazarian Institute, a conference that helps luxury brands think BIG (Branding, Innovation and Growth). This year, the Nazarian Institute’s keynote speaker is Bethenny Frankel.

Patients from all over the world fly in to see Nazarian in her Beverly Hills office, which consists of an all-female staff, and is located among 30 other plastic surgeons who work in the same building. To rise above so much competition in such a short amount of time requires tenacity, skill and persistence—or what Nazarian refers to as “building her Shabbat dinner.”

“You don’t invite people over for Shabbat when you haven’t learned how to cook and your kids’ LEGOs are all over the floor,” Nazarian says. “So first you have to build your home and then you can go advertise and invite people over.” And that’s exactly what she did. Upon graduating, Nazarian treated her friends and family for the first two months until she ran out of clients, after which she devoted a year to building her practice and her media presence.

“Of course, you have to do good work, you have to take good care of people, have good bedside manner, good reviews, but that’s not enough,” says the physician, who is also known for giving back to the community.

In a sermon not too long ago, Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple told his congregation about a free joint treatment he received from Nazarian and her husband—a neurosurgeon—when he fell and hit his head at a wedding he was officiating.  Wolpe was also the rabbi who married the two physicians years ago.

Prior to meeting her husband, Nazarian said she encountered many men who seemed intimidated by her title. “I was dating a lawyer and he said ‘I don’t want our wedding invitations to say Mr. And Dr.’ so I went home and cried to my dad and I was like ‘no one’s going to marry me.’ But in the end, the right man wants a strong woman,” she says.

Being a woman in the field of medicine also has its own challenges, and to those who are looking to follow in her footsteps she says, “you have to be able to stand up and say ‘I’m good at this,’ and I feel like a lot of women have a really tough time with that.”

“I think when men accomplish something, they’re like ‘look at what I did, I’m amazing, I’m incredible.’ Whereas women are discouraged from expressing this sentiment, especially [in some] communities.”

And while she has worked hard to earn her credentials, there is the tacit pressure of being Persian that requires a woman to uphold a majority of the family responsibility, no matter how stressful work gets. Nazarian says that while she does receive grocery shopping help from a personal assistant, she makes sure to drop her own kids off at their Jewish day school every morning. Because of this, she starts her surgeries at 9 a.m., where most surgeons start at 7 a.m.

She reads to her children often, and recommends the book “Grit” by Angela Duckworth to parents who are looking to emphasize the value of hard work to their kids. This quality—grit—is what Nazarian says separated her from many of  her peers.

“I feel like I peaked at the SATs. And then as you go up in training everybody’s smart and they’re smarter than you or they’re more hardworking than you and you thought you were the most hardworking person ever in your high school class and in college you’re not. But I had the most grit,” she says.

“I was first in the hospital and the last to leave. That’s why that book really resonated with me, so I kept reading it aloud to my kids and then also I try to tell them about our background and how we came here with nothing and how we have to work hard no matter what circumstances life presents us with.”

For more information visit her website.

Did you enjoy this article?

You'll love our roundtable.

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 1880 Century Park East, Los Angeles, CA, 90067, https://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

Culture

Latest Articles
Latest

Help for Hurricane Ian Survivors Comes From Israel

A delegation from the United Hatzalah organization will provide first psychological aid to those coping with the harrowing aftermath of the devastating hurricane

Competing Narratives of Jewish History and the Holocaust: Reflections on My Recent Journey to Poland

The relationship between Poles and Jews is complex and often contentious, historically when Poland was the home to the largest Jewish community in the...

Meet the Former Class President Who Keeps Aiming Higher

When I first learned that Judith Manouchehri (née Kermani) is running for a seat on the Board of Governors of the Beverly Hills Unified...

Berkeley Law Dean, Profs Express Support for Jewish Students

Several members of the Berkeley School of Law faculty, including Dean Erwin Cherminsky, have signed a statement expressing support for Jewish students after several...

Is the Tide at Berkeley Beginning to Turn?

At long last, under pressure, Berkeley Law’s Dean is pledging to enforce Berkeley’s anti-discrimination rules against any of these nine organizations that act upon their new bylaw provisions. He must be held to it.

Hollywood

Podcasts

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

x
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap