As part of our series of ‘Inspirational Women’, meet Miss Sherina Balaratnam – highly accomplished surgeon and owner of S-Thetics, the multi-award-winning state of the art clinic in the heart of Beaconsfield.
Sherina was born in Kuala Lumpur into a medical family. Her Father a neurologist and her Mum a nurse. ‘Medicine is in my DNA’ says Sherina, as she recalls how at the age of 8 years old, she would observe her Father as she sat quietly in his clinic as he diagnosed and treated his patients.
Sherina became fascinated with the diagnostic tools that became her focus as she swung around in the clinic chair playing with empty syringes and tendon hammers.
Her curiosity was continually challenged as she witnessed patients of all ages coming to see her father with a multitude of ailments. There were always lollipops for the kids containing Vitamin C she recalls which she also enjoyed.
The medical team were all female, and Sherina’s Mum had by this time elected to give up her career to support her family, and did so with great aplomb, bringing food and sustenance into the clinic on a daily basis, and looking after her three children, Sherina and her two elder brothers.
Sherina explains how her Father listened attentively to every patient and how each member of his team was skilled in the unique practise of treating each person individually, a value she has adopted throughout her own medical career. It is no surprise to that the Clinic is still operational today with her Father at the helm and the same team of female practitioners as when Sherina was a child.
‘Love has got to come into it’ says Sherina, ‘I could never understand when my Dad would say he didn’t consider it work, but now I do’.
The legacy of her Father, who was given a Datoship by the Sultan of Terengganu in his 50s has followed her throughout her own medical career.
Sherina now runs a flourishing aesthetics practise in Beaconsfield which is reminiscent of her own childhood memories. As you are greeted by her team of ladies, you feel that you are in good hands, but in addition that you are being taken into a family full of love and genuine support.
Sherina was also inspired by her Mum at an early age who would sit with her to read and make sure she studied. She would take her to school which was a 45-minute drive away from their home and would also advise her ‘Education will give you freedom’. ‘Sleep well and study hard, and exercise every day’.
Sherina spent five years in the UK at medical school and enjoyed everything – all topics and tutors. But her main inspiration came after graduation, when she found herself working in the A and E Department of a hospital stitching up wounds and lacerations. ‘It seemed like fun’ Sherina says with a dry smile ‘plus the feeling of instruments and tools, of steel and the dexterity that comes with that’ reminiscent of her childhood.
‘It was also a challenge of making the stitch work beautiful as well as the healing and the aesthetics, and then the Plastics guys would come along and do more, and it took me to a different level in what I could achieve’.
It was an evolution for Sherina to put wounds together for reconstructive surgery and she became fascinated by it and it became again not just treating the burns and injuries but treating the families too and helping them holistically with issues like children swallowing after a cleft palate or their general nutrition.
Sherina then took time out to do a Masters for two years in Surgical Sciences following her Mother’s advice in education, and following her passion in different areas of skin treatment and discovering light therapy whilst becoming curious about energy-based devices for wound healing and scarring.
She then began to question ‘what else is out there, and what else could I be good at?’.
Sherina’s decision to leave the NHS was not made lightly, as she loved her work, but sitting in a park in Ealing she made a decision for a life change. As she did, she questioned herself ‘Am I going to let my parents down?’. She braced herself to call them.
As Sherina delivered the ‘bomb shell’ to her parents she broke down, but was astounded at their reply.
‘Why are you crying?’ said her Dad ‘we don’t mind what you do as long as you practise medicine every day’.
Sherina now practises aesthetics in the same way that her father still runs his clinic, taking each patient individually and listening to their story before planning the treatment.
S-thetics is situated in the beautiful town of Beaconsfield, which she describes as the perfect setting for her clinic, and relishes the fact that she lives and works in the same town. Every detail is covered from start to finish, even with the colour of copper as a healing element in their interior design.
Sherina, together with her team of highly skilled female practitioners and her husband Jonathan, run a tight ship, and you are greeted at the door as a valued individual and leave feeling cherished and supported with all of the state-of-the-art technology to administer the treatments.
After all she says ‘It is beyond aesthetics – it is what I have learned from my Papa, treating the patient and not the problem. To bring value to someone, you really have to listen’. Sherina administers a variety of treatments, and is proud of her ability to have a vision for her patients and works with them to develop their full potential.
‘We don’t save lives but help lives every day’ – but to me Sherina is saving lives as she builds relationships with her clients and brings value to their everyday, leaving an imprint of her parents’ legacy with love and dedication.
You can contact Sherina at: