BLS Featured CMLSO: Raphael Darvish
1. Who are you?
My name is Raphael Darvish. I am a medical doctor who enjoys being entrepreneurial. I have a special interest in laser safety and have dedicated myself to promoting lasers and laser safety. The best thing about practicing medicine for me is learning. I learn something new every day while practicing medicine and being my company’s CMLSO.
2. What is your educational background?
I have been thankful to have completed all of my studies in sunny California. After high school, I studied Neurobiology at UC Berkeley. I then completed the MD/MBA program at UCLA in 2004 and went on to Harbor/UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, CA to do my medical residency. After my formal studies, I opened my practice next door to my father’s medical practice and continue to learn daily from him, my patients, my colleagues and from medical journals that I read over lunch.
3. Where do you work?
I am the physician and founder of Skinpeccable Dermatology & Laser Center in Los Angeles, CA. I presently do a variety of laser treatments in my office and own 5 lasers. To keep up to date with the practice of general medicine, I practice a couple shifts a week at my father’s urgent care practice.
4. When did you start working with lasers?/ How long have you worked with lasers?
I started working with lasers in 2005. Working with lasers was always interesting to me and I feel the field has a lot of potential to for growth and innovation.
5. How did you become the MLSO?
I sustained a non-permanent eye injury while working at my office and then decided that laser safety should be an important part of my practice. I decided to become a CMLSO to be able to best serve my staff and patients. It in unfortunate that it often takes an injury for someone to realize the importance of laser safety. A proactive approach is important but a lot of times is overlooked as physicians are busy and focus mainly on patient care/ practice administration.
6. Do you like being the MLSO?/Challenges of “today’s” MLSO?
I love being a CMLSO. Knowledge is power and I am happy to know that I am an expert in laser safety. I truly enjoy educating my physician and non-physician colleagues on laser safety. As our lives get busier, safety can take a back seat. But, laser safety is most important when things are busier since it is when we are busy and absent-minded that strict laser safety controls help prevent injuries. Becoming a safer business unfortunately does not immediately create added revenue as marketing would do for instance. For this reason, some laser business owners may put off safety expenditures in favor of expenditures that create more immediate income. Promoting laser safety in such a financially driven environment is a major challenge that I have encountered.
7. How has becoming certified helped/benefited you in your career?
Patients and staff all appreciate my practice’s emphasis on laser safety. I enjoy being able to educate my colleagues and clients on the dangers of lasers. As laser operators, we are all just one accident away from possibly permanently disabling ourselves or someone else. In addition to being involved in the practice of medicine, I am working on a laser safety project and also consult with companies on ways to make their laser workplaces safer.