PODCAST: Meet the Team – Amy Biggs, PA-C

When you meet Amy Biggs, you’ll realize she truly cares about helping you achieve your dream results. Her goal is to ensure you step out of our med spa feeling like your outer appearance reflects your inner beauty.

If your cosmetic concerns need multiple treatments, Amy is with you for the long haul. She loves developing personalized treatment plans and witnessing beauty transformations. By getting to know you on a deeper level, she is able to recommend treatments that will make your goals a reality.

Learn how a passion for symmetry and spatial concepts led Amy to pursue a career in aesthetics. Find out which med spa procedures she believes deliver the most impressive results.

Links

  • Learn more about treatments offered at our medical spa

Please request your free consultation online or call La Jolla Cosmetic, San Diego, at (858) 452-1981 for more


Transcript

Speaker 1 (00:07):
You’re listening to The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast.

Monique Ramsey (00:15):
Hello and welcome to The La Jolla Cosmetic podcast. I’m your hostess, Monique Ramsey. And my guest today is Amy Biggs. She’s the new PA or physician assistant in our medical spa. So welcome to you Amy.

Amy Biggs (00:30):
Hi Monique. Good morning. Thank you so much for having me today.

Monique Ramsey (00:34):
Yeah. So now how long have you been at the center?

Amy Biggs (00:38):
I’ve been here for three weeks now.

Monique Ramsey (00:40):
Three weeks. Okay, give me your first impressions.

Amy Biggs (00:43):
I mean, so far my impression is wonderful. I think it’s an excellent practice, very well organized. Everyone is so kind and has been so kind and welcoming. I’ve really just enjoyed being here and also being in California and back into aesthetic practice.

Monique Ramsey (01:03):
Okay. So you’re saying back in California, so tell me where you were right before here.

Amy Biggs (01:08):
So just before here, my family and I we were in Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Monique Ramsey (01:13):
Oh my goodness. What led you there?

Amy Biggs (01:16):
Well, we went for my husband’s work. We really wanted to experience living overseas at least once in our lifetime and to also provide that experience to our children. And so we made the big decision to go over to Asia and we loved it. It was an amazing experience.

Monique Ramsey (01:34):
And how long were you there?

Amy Biggs (01:36):
We were there for four years.

Monique Ramsey (01:37):
Oh my goodness. And how old are your children?

Amy Biggs (01:41):
My children are five and seven.

Monique Ramsey (01:43):
Is it weirder for them probably to be back here because they probably don’t remember if they were ever here.

Amy Biggs (01:49):
Yes. No. And they actually, they were both born in Hawaii, so they’ve never lived in the contiguous 48.

Monique Ramsey (01:56):
Oh my goodness. So that must be fun for them. So what language, do they speak other languages?

Amy Biggs (02:03):
Well of course English is their first language, but I would say that they understand Bahasa Indonesia, they understand it quite well, but they don’t really speak it much.

Monique Ramsey (02:12):
Yeah, yeah. Interesting. Well, so we digress. I was just so curious when you said that. So tell me a little bit about how you help patients in our practice, kind of your role as a PA.

Amy Biggs (02:26):
My role as a PA, not just in aesthetics, but just as a PA, as a medical provider, is to provide good sound treatments for my patients. I like to really get to know my patients and understand where they’re coming from, what they’re concerns are, beyond just what we’re initially discussing in consultations. I like to get to know them as people. It helps me to understand what their expectations are and what it is that they’re looking for in their treatment.

Monique Ramsey (03:01):
Yeah, I think that’s a really good point, because sometimes that’s how you get to know their motivations. Sometimes it’s like, what’s the surface? Oh, I want my lips to be a little plumper. But sometimes the why leads you down other paths and so that’s kind of cool to get to know them. So what made you want to be a PA? Tell me about that pathway for you.

Amy Biggs (03:23):
It’s interesting because growing up I never had any exposure to medicine. No one in my family was actually working in the medical field as a nurse, a physician in any capacity. So I always knew that I really enjoyed helping people and I think that just as time went on and I learned my true interests in school, I loved science, I love math. Eventually just became very obvious to me that medicine was what I wanted to do.

Amy Biggs (03:56):
And initially I think I wasn’t really quite sure what I wanted to do in medicine, what route I wanted to take. And I think just life circumstances led me to becoming a PA. I just really fell in love with the field. I love that I would have the option to work in multiple different areas of medicine and I love that we have so much flexibility in our profession as well. And of course the fact that I didn’t have to go to school quite as long was also appealing because I was a slightly non-traditional student. I started a little bit later after high school and then also after college. So I took a little bit of time to get my grounding and figure out exactly what I wanted to do and make sure that I made the right decision.

Monique Ramsey (04:42):
Now in what you do in being a PA in an aesthetic practice, there’s a certain level of, I mean, obviously there’s a level of medical education needed and anatomy, but then there’s that creative component. So tell me where does that come from you or how did that manifest?

Amy Biggs (05:03):
That’s funny you asked that because I never considered myself very artistic at all. I could draw stick figures and that was about it. But I think that where I really have excelled in many divisions of my life is through spatial concepts. That is where my artistry comes in because I’m able to understand spaces and when you put together the understanding of spatial concepts as well as anatomy and then symmetry, being able to create symmetry, that is pretty much the only division of my life where I would consider myself to be artistic. My mother was always very artistic and she could draw and write so beautifully, and I always just really admired that about her. So I’m glad that I was able to find a little bit of her in me.

Monique Ramsey (05:52):
Well, and that’s so interesting you talk about symmetry because so much of beauty they say is symmetry, right? And sometimes we look at our faces and we don’t exactly know what’s wrong, but we know something’s wrong. And I think that’s really wonderful, that talent to be able to say, here’s what the problem is and diagnose it and then have a way to fix it. And like you say, it’s all kind of 3D, right?

Amy Biggs (06:17):
Yes, very much so.

Monique Ramsey (06:19):
So where did you train to be a PA, and does that start with a pre-med sort of path?

Amy Biggs (06:28):
Yeah, so I did all of my schooling up in Pennsylvania. I did my undergrad at a small liberal arts college called Albright College in Redding, Pennsylvania. And my degree was psychobiology and pre-med. So at that time, I wasn’t sure which field I was going to go into. To meet all the requirements for medical school or PA school, I had to do both tracks. So psychobiology was just an amazing degree because I was able to combine both psychology and science, the physiology of behavior. So I think that that was the beginning of my track. And then I did a lot of my pre-med courses over the summers.

Amy Biggs (07:15):
And then from there I went to Drexel University for physician assistant schooling in Philadelphia. And that was a graduate program for a master’s degree. And that was about two and a half years of schooling. First year is all didactic and then after that we go into multiple different rotations in the areas of primary care medicine. So we’re actually trained in primary care medicine, but then can go on to specialize after that.

Monique Ramsey (07:47):
Interesting. Then at the end of the Drexel program, is there a big test at the end? And what does that kind of look like in terms of getting the certificate and then your continuing education?

Amy Biggs (08:02):
There’s so many tests. So we actually have to take a test to graduate, which is almost, it’s very similar to the certification, our national certification, our boards. So we have to pass that test to graduate. And then after that, then we have to take the national certifying exam, and that’s about a four hour exam. And then once we pass that, then we are certified to practice as a PA.

Monique Ramsey (08:35):
So what got you started, sort of, into the aesthetics? So you get papers, you’ve taken all your tests, then what? Where did you go next and how did you end up here?

Amy Biggs (08:45):
So I mean, I knew a long time ago that I wanted to do something with skin, something with aesthetics, because I’ve just always been really drawn to it. So I wanted to work in either dermatology or plastic surgery because I knew that would take me along that track. And I lived in a very small town in Pennsylvania called Lancaster, and there were just not a lot of those practices at that time. But I was able to land a wonderful job in plastic surgery with an amazing surgeon. And luckily they were already doing lasers and fillers and neurotoxins. So I was able to get into that right away, right out of school. So I was very, very fortunate to find a job where I could just live my dreams and do what I was passionate about right away.

Monique Ramsey (09:36):
Yeah, and dive right in. That is so nice. So you worked there for a little while?

Amy Biggs (09:41):
Yeah, so I worked there for four years and then I moved back to Florida, which is where I’m from. I wanted to be closer to my family. So I worked with a practice there for four years. And then I got married and my husband and I were living very far from each other. So we moved to Hawaii so that we could align ourselves and be in the same place. We had a hard time getting him transferred to South Florida, so we had to choose a whole new place. And Hawaii is not such a bad place to live.

Monique Ramsey (10:10):
Yeah. Is he in the military?

Amy Biggs (10:13):
No, he works for the federal government.

Monique Ramsey (10:15):
Oh, okay. So same idea though, where you might get transferred around.

Amy Biggs (10:20):
[inaudible 00:10:20].

Monique Ramsey (10:20):
So then Jakarta, now back here. And so tell me a little bit about how you get to know your patients and sort of maybe what you’ve learned by listening to patients.

Amy Biggs (10:32):
So in my consultations, I love to get to know them, not just about their concerns. So I usually try to include just basic discussions about life and where they’re from and their families, just things to set them at ease and to help them to feel more comfortable talking about, because some of the things that we talk about are not easy. There’s an emotional component. There’s been maybe many struggles in life that they’ve had prior to getting to this point to where they want to do something to improve themselves or even just to help them feel like their outer appearance matches their inner self, their inner feelings. That’s also one of the things that really drew me to the PA profession was being able to have a little bit more time with my patients. And from there, of course we discuss the procedures that would be best for them as well as expectations, what they can expect from the procedure, from their results, and then we go from there. So we start a journey together.

Monique Ramsey (11:41):
Yeah, that’s nice. Say they come up with the things that bother them, they kind of lay it in your lap to say, help me, how do I get from here to there, then do you sort of create plans for them, not just for that appointment, but going forward? Or how often does that happen where it’s one and done or versus maybe a plan that takes a couple different sessions?

Amy Biggs (12:07):
So it all depends on the concerns. So some concerns can be addressed very simply with one procedure, but many times concerns are addressed with multiple different types of procedures. So absolutely, we put together a plan and we take multiple things into consideration, like timing, if there’re any events coming up, their budgets. There’s multiple factors that go into devising a plan, but absolutely, and I really enjoy when I get to go on these journeys with my patients and really truly get to know them and then see the transition from when I first meet them to when we meet their goals. It’s just such an incredible transformation to witness.

Monique Ramsey (12:50):
Yeah, that must be really fulfilling for you because-

Amy Biggs (12:52):
Extremely.

Monique Ramsey (12:53):
… I’m sure they’re happy, but then it’s like you helped make that happen. So when you are not in the office having fun with fillers and patients and injectables and devices, tell us what you like to do outside of the office.

Amy Biggs (13:12):
I’m with my family all the time. I really enjoy spending time with my family. We love to go out and find new things to do. We just moved here, so we’re enjoying exploring San Diego and California. And I’ve never lived on the West Coast of the U.S. before, so I just feel like we have so much to explore.

Monique Ramsey (13:35):
There is a lot, yeah.

Amy Biggs (13:36):
So much, so much. So yeah, we try to choose something new every weekend to do with the kids. So we spend a lot of time together as a family. And then if I’m not there, then you can probably find me in the gym.

Monique Ramsey (13:50):
Oh, okay. What’s your favorite type of workout?

Amy Biggs (13:53):
Well, I like cardio and I like lifting weights. I like, just building muscle.

Monique Ramsey (14:00):
Yeah. Well, they say that’s the best thing for your metabolism, so.

Amy Biggs (14:06):
For your metabolism and for your bones. Yes, as we get older.

Monique Ramsey (14:10):
Oh, let’s not talk about that. Getting older, let’s not talk about that. We’re just going to fix all the things and stuff, it’s like we don’t have to admit that we’re actually aging. So of the procedures that you do, I mean, I would guess that you have a favorite. What are some of the things you just really enjoy?

Amy Biggs (14:35):
I love it all. I really do. I love this industry so much because it is always changing, it’s always improving. We have so many devices and tools to work with and I love doing procedures. So I honestly, I love it all. It’s so hard to pick one thing, but I would say whatever procedure makes my patients happy and meets their goals, that’s what I love the most.

Monique Ramsey (15:05):
Kind of achieving the goal no matter how you get there. And I would think it keeps your day pretty interesting. It’s not all the same thing all day long.

Amy Biggs (15:15):
Absolutely. Every day is an adventure.

Monique Ramsey (15:19):
So now that you’re here with us, okay, it’s been three weeks, we’re getting your bio on our website, and we’re going to start having your before and after pictures on our website. So I’m assuming though, or maybe correct me if I’m wrong, do you have an Instagram account where people can follow you and would you like them to do that?

Amy Biggs (15:43):
Yes, I am actually, unfortunately, my business Instagram account was hacked.

Monique Ramsey (15:49):
Oh, no.

Amy Biggs (15:51):
So I’m in the process of starting a whole new Instagram account.

Monique Ramsey (15:54):
Oh wonderful. Isn’t it fun?

Amy Biggs (15:57):
Yeah.

Monique Ramsey (15:59):
Okay. So do you have your new one yet?

Amy Biggs (16:02):
I do not. I’m in the process of setting that up.

Monique Ramsey (16:05):
Okay. So we’ll put it in the show notes once you have it, we’ll have a link in the show notes for that. And so one of the things that we talk about here at La Jolla Cosmetic and our brand promise is where dreams become real. We’re really wanting to help whatever that dream you have in helping that become a reality and be achieved, whether it’s on the surgical side, non-surgical, somewhere in between or both, that’s really what we’re all about. So Amy, tell me about a dream of yours that became real.

Amy Biggs (16:43):
Well, I’m living my dream. I love so much seeing things through my children’s eyes and seeing them experiencing things for the first time, it’s like being able to experience it all over again. But I would definitely say that just finding someone to spend life with, to venture through life with, and then being able to have a family and experience that together has always been a dream of mine. And I’m definitely, I’m living that dream.

Monique Ramsey (17:15):
Oh, that’s nice. That’s really nice. So the last thing I’m going to do with you is something that we’re going to call rapid fire. So we’re going to do a little rapid fire back and forth. Let’s just see what happens. I’ll give you a word and you’re going to give me the first word you think of. Okay. Can we do this? Let’s try it. Let’s try it.

Amy Biggs (17:36):
Okay.

Monique Ramsey (17:37):
Okay. Beauty.

Amy Biggs (17:39):
Love.

Monique Ramsey (17:41):
California.

Amy Biggs (17:43):
Beaches.

Monique Ramsey (17:44):
Sunshine.

Amy Biggs (17:46):
Rays.

Monique Ramsey (17:47):
Sunscreen.

Amy Biggs (17:49):
All over.

Monique Ramsey (17:52):
Everywhere and often. Okay. Ready? Wrinkles.

Amy Biggs (17:58):
Get rid of them.

Monique Ramsey (18:01):
And laser.

Amy Biggs (18:03):
Everything. Laser everything.

Monique Ramsey (18:05):
Laser everything. So do you enjoy using the lasers and which lasers do you prefer?

Amy Biggs (18:12):
I do. I love using the lasers. I especially love the resurfacing lasers. I think that they just make such an incredible impact, and just the results that you get from them are just incredible. You can use them for pigment, you can use them for fine lines and wrinkles. You can use them for sun damage, tightening the skin. I mean, they’re just incredible. You can use them for scars, acne scars, body scars, surgical scars, pigmentation. There’s just so many things that you can treat. So I just really love using those lasers because they are so impactful.

Monique Ramsey (18:54):
And I know we have several lasers at the center. What percentage of people might you combine different lasers to achieve what the goal is?

Amy Biggs (19:04):
Oh, a large percentage. Yes.

Monique Ramsey (19:05):
Oh, really?

Amy Biggs (19:06):
I love combining lasers for results. Yes. And I would say that as our industry grows and we have more and more knowledge, we find that we utilize multiple lasers for treatments to achieve results more and more.

Monique Ramsey (19:20):
Oh, interesting.

Amy Biggs (19:21):
Because the results are better.

Monique Ramsey (19:24):
And give me an example of, let’s say if someone came to you and they’re in their mid 50s and they might have some sun damage. I mean, all of us probably have sun damage. They have some fine lines and wrinkles, maybe they have other pigment issues or some deeper wrinkles. What are the types of lasers that you might use, or maybe they’re under their eyes or a little crepey, and what kinds of things might you make it combination out of?

Amy Biggs (19:49):
So I would definitely use a laser to address the pigmentation, like an IPL laser or BBL. We have a BBL laser, broadband light, which targets the pigment, can also target redness. So I would use that laser prior to treating with a fractionated laser, which is going to address more of those fine lines, wrinkles, texture, and also can address the under eye area, tightening the skin. So I would definitely use those in combination.

Monique Ramsey (20:20):
And then like you mentioned, acne scarring. So what kind of laser would be more appropriate for if you’re addressing areas that have that issue?

Amy Biggs (20:29):
So for acne scarring, it depends on the type of acne scarring, but usually we’re going to want to use a laser that’s going to penetrate a little bit deeper to address that scar tissue. I might also add in a subcision, it’s like a needle device that underneath the scarring to help release the tissue. I treated a lot of acne scarring when I was in Florida, and there are just so many different ways to address it and we have all those tools.

Monique Ramsey (20:59):
And then you mentioned surgical scars. So what kind of surgical scars? Like body, breast, tummy, face, like which?

Amy Biggs (21:05):
Anywhere.

Monique Ramsey (21:05):
Anywhere. Oh, okay.

Amy Biggs (21:07):
Yes.

Monique Ramsey (21:08):
What would a laser do to help the scar?

Amy Biggs (21:11):
Whenever you have a new scar, typically you get blood flow to the area, which can result in noticeable blood vessels at the surface of the scar. So we could address the blood vessels, which can help cause the redness. And then also resurfacing lasers can help with improving the appearance of the scars.

Monique Ramsey (21:32):
Interesting. I love that. It’s nice that there’s a lot of tools in the toolbox to help with whatever the patient is wanting to achieve. So, okay, last question. So tell me a place that you visited with your family here in San Diego that you and/or they have really enjoyed.

Amy Biggs (21:50):
We really enjoyed the zoo. The zoo and safari park. We actually joined and became members because we loved it so much. Not my husband so much, but my children and I, we love nature, we love animals. My husband’s a city boy, so not really… He didn’t grow up around nature, but we love seeing the different animals and the safari park, you know what they’re doing to even just save species and bring them back.

Monique Ramsey (22:19):
Yeah. Yeah.

Amy Biggs (22:20):
It’s really impressive to see what they’re doing.

Monique Ramsey (22:24):
And I was reading somewhere, the World’s Fair was here in San Diego and much of Balboa Park was all built for the World’s Fair. So for the whole year, people came from all over the world and all these exotic animals were brought for the World’s Fair. Then the world’s fair’s done. Now what do you do with all the… No really, what do you do with all the exotic animals? And so that became the zoo. When they say it’s the world famous San Diego Zoo, it really is. We take it for granted. I’m a native San Diego, so it’s always been a great zoo for me. But you don’t realize that, quite how famous it is and how special it is. So I’m glad you and your family are enjoying the animals and the safari park. I haven’t been out there in forever, but I need to go. All right. Well thanks for chatting with me this morning.

Amy Biggs (23:15):
Thanks, Monique. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 1 (23:24):
Take a screenshot of this podcast episode with your phone and show it at your consultation or appointment, or mention the promo code PODCAST to receive $25 off any service or product of $50 or more at La Jolla Cosmetic.

Speaker 1 (23:37):
La Jolla Cosmetic is located just off the I-5 San Diego freeway in the XIMED building on the Scripps Memorial Hospital campus. To learn more, go to ljcsc.com or follow the team on Instagram @ljcsc. The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast is a production of The Axis.

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