Dr Nandipha Magudumana is the founder of Optimum Medical Aesthetic Solutions, a surgery that provides affordable cosmetic surgery treatments, and is an advocate for women’s safety and medical careers.
The past year has been completely new territory for medical practitioners, but those in the medical aesthetics field can say that about their everyday work life, in helping others look and feel better about themselves. Dr Nandipha Magudumana is the founder of Optimum Medical Aesthetics Solutions, a surgery that provides affordable cosmetic surgery treatments that opened in 2017 in Sandton. She received a number of accolades and recognition for this, including a spot on 2018’s Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans list. Magudumana holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) in Biomedical Sciences and a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB), both from Wits.
Optimum was initially a venture to raise money to further her studies, and ended up opening opportunities for other black women in the medical services space. Attracting hundreds of clients from all over Africa, the practice has evolved. “We’ve seen more women of colour enter the field, which is wonderful, as we’d like more physicians to be aware of this growing field,” says Magudumana. “Also, there’s an undeniable shift in the industry, as millennials are changing the face of aesthetic medicine. In the world of Instagram, filters, selfies and Zoom, there’s a hyper-awareness around appearances. They’re probably the generation that has spent the most time looking at themselves in history.”
Optimum has now also branched out into pharmaceuticals, in addition to dermatology and plastic surgery, providing a vital service for many. “Choosing a career where you can inspire confidence and happiness in others was what attracted me to this field,” she said in 2018. “Medical aesthetics is a field for people who are truly passionate about what they do, because you help people look and feel good about themselves.”
Her efforts don’t end there, though — another cause close to her heart is the fight against gender-based violence. “In partnership with other women, we formed a platform called Conversations with Women, which brings women together to discuss issues they are facing in the country,” she says. “Gender-based violence in our communities and country as a whole has reached an alarming rate. As members of society, we can no longer tolerate and normalise the ‘unsafety’ of women.”
Among Magudumana’s greatest career accomplishments is the expansion of Optimum Medical Aesthetic Solutions. “Within a year, we were able to move the practice to the wealthiest square mile in Africa: Sandton. We were able to create even better office space to service my clients.” Naturally, she’s a champion for women too — those of colour, and her peers in the medical field, in particular.
“We face many challenges in medicine, particularly in an industry that was previously dominated by men. Women are constantly reminded and mistaken to be everyone except for the physician,” she says.
“There’s a lack of mentorship and guidance. Many women feel unsupported, so my peers and I provided support to one another and vowed that this will be the same support that we will give to younger and upcoming doctors.”