Injectable and laser specialist Anh Bridgewater, PA-C has an uncanny ability to make each patient feel as if they are her only one. Find out which procedures Anh believes make the biggest difference for the face and the number one skin care product she would recommend to almost everyone.
Like everyone at LJC, Anh’s patients are her top priority. Her ability to coordinate and collaborate with both our plastic surgery and skin care teams makes her an excellent addition to the LJC team.
Read more about Anh Bridgewater, PA-C
Follow Anh on Instagram @anhthebeautypa
Speaker 1 (00:07):
You’re listening to The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast.
Monique Ramsey (00:14):
Hello and welcome to The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast. I’m your hostess, Monique Ramsey. And today I have a very special guest. Her name is Anh Bridgewater, and she’s a PA, which is a physician assistant. And she works in our medical spa as an injector and laser specialist and all kinds of fun things. So welcome to our show, Anh.
Anh Bridgewater (00:37):
Hi Monique. Thank you so much for the warm welcome.
Monique Ramsey (00:40):
Nice to meet you. So tell us a little bit about what your PA role is and how you help patients in the practice.
Anh Bridgewater (00:49):
So PA stands for a physician assistant, we are advanced care practitioners, mid-level providers. We work closely with the supervising physician, not directly, but more so indirectly. In the medical field, PAs are able to prescribe, we can order diagnostics, therapeutics, and do the full treatment plan for patients. Over in the aesthetic side PAs can pretty much do all nonsurgical treatments, injectables, lasers, and so on and so forth. So any of your cosmetic concerns that are nonsurgical, a PA would be able help you on your aesthetic journey.
Monique Ramsey (01:25):
Awesome. So tell us what made you want to be a PA? And what sort of was your educational path to get there?
Anh Bridgewater (01:32):
I think that PAs are becoming more well known now. Sometimes I’ll go to the coffee shops and I will overhear someone saying, “I want to become a PA in the future.” But back when I was finding my route, I was pre-med. And so kind of on that pre-med track, I really didn’t know what that meant at the time. Everyone who wanted to go into medicine was in this pre-med route. And so growing up, my family kind of wanted me to become a doctor or a nurse, just because that’s what they knew about. And when I was doing my master’s at UCSD, and one of the doctors that I was working there with, she kind of knew my hesitation and that I really didn’t want to go to medical school. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted. So she talked to me about PAs and she was like, “I work with this PA if you want to, I can let you shadow him.” And that’s kind of how I started my journey.
Anh Bridgewater (02:17):
What really fascinates me about being a PA, is that really I have that horizontal flexibility and that I can dabble in different types of specialties. And I really like that because I’m interested in so many things and I find it so hard to commit to one thing for the rest of my entire career life. What if I picked a specialty that I don’t like? But ironically, I ended up in aesthetics and this is all that I do now. And it’s something that I really love. But maybe I wouldn’t have found it if I didn’t try different things. And I did do a little bit of emergency medicine and neurology prior to picking aesthetics as my final thing that I wanted to do.
Anh Bridgewater (02:52):
So I started my undergraduate studies at UCLA. I majored in biochemistry and later decided to do my masters at UCSD in chemistry. Really the masters was because I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I needed some sort of bridge in the meantime. And I felt like going to school would be the easier solution rather than thinking about what I wanted to do. Because at the time thinking about what I wanted to do was really scary. Most PA schools will require that you have some sort of hands on patient care experience. And so I worked in dermatology and neurology as a medical assistant for about two, three years. And then I applied for PA school. And I attended Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, that was maybe back in 2017 or so.
Monique Ramsey (03:33):
That’s interesting where you were talking about, having to pick one thing for the rest of your life. But what’s cool about aesthetics is there’s so much under that umbrella, whether you’re doing Botox or you’re doing laser, or you’re doing some combination of ultherapy and threads. I mean, there’re so many things and then every face is different, every body’s different.
Anh Bridgewater (03:52):
Monique Ramsey (03:52):
So I would think that it kind of keeps it from being-
Anh Bridgewater (03:56):
It keeps a very interesting.
Monique Ramsey (03:57):
Yeah. Yeah. And then of course there’s always new technologies too. So then on top of that, I would think it would make it easy to sort of be like, okay, I can hang with this one thing, because the one thing is a whole bunch of things.
Anh Bridgewater (04:11):
Right. No, I totally agree.
Monique Ramsey (04:12):
So in terms of the procedures that you love to do, like what are your favorites?
Anh Bridgewater (04:19):
Yeah. That’s so hard to pick because there’s so many things I do love. But skincare is always the one thing that I like to talk to all of my patients about. I feel like that’s something that they can do on their own. When they come in and see me, it’s kind of like seeing your personal trainer. But when you go home, you got to do your own exercises in order to get the optimal benefit of all the treatments that we do in office. But in terms of injectables and treatments, I love lower face fillers, chin, jaw line, lips. I love the impact that it makes. And a lot of times I feel like chin fillers are commonly overlooked. And I think that it makes such a big difference on the face, the profile of a person. And it’s not one of those areas where someone will be like, “Oh, you had something done to your face.” I really like how subtle it can look, yet to make such a big impact.
Monique Ramsey (05:04):
So during your career treating different patients, what have you learned from listening to patients?
Anh Bridgewater (05:12):
I love talking to my patients. I just like to hear about their day to day lives and what’s going on with them. I work really closely with my patients, so it’s kind of like a long term thing. So preparing them for weddings or like new events and just kind of maintaining their look, so that they feel great inside and out. I think it is such a privilege and an honor for someone to trust me with their face, that’s such a big deal. Because I’ve been on that side as well, like who can I trust to inject my face? It’s such a big deal. So anytime I inject someone I always remind myself that if this was the face that I was wearing, how would I want to treat it? And I think that’s very important to me and to the patient as well.
Monique Ramsey (05:54):
So tell me a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up? And what was the path prior to going to college?
Anh Bridgewater (06:01):
Yeah. I actually grew up in the Bay Area, so I’m a California girl. Always been in California, I don’t see myself living anywhere else. Northern Bay Area, went down to Southern California for school and then eventually made my way back up there.
Monique Ramsey (06:17):
So what do you love to do outside the office?
Anh Bridgewater (06:21):
Outside the office? I love to spend time with my two and a half year old. Such a cute age.
Monique Ramsey (06:26):
Oh my gosh. That’s so cute.
Anh Bridgewater (06:29):
Yeah. I just like to spend time with the family. We’re a pretty boring family. Honestly, we don’t really do anything special. But we are really big into traveling. So we love, love, love traveling. Although with the pandemic, of course, a lot of that came to a halt. But yeah, my husband and I prior to having the baby, we’ve been to so many places. And so that’s eventually one of the things we want to get back into. And then with our baby, we’ve taken him to Hawaii, Mexico and Italy this past September.
Monique Ramsey (06:57):
Anh Bridgewater (06:58):
He’s one day going to be a travel baby.
Monique Ramsey (07:00):
Yeah. Now, so a little bird told me that you guys have been to, combined maybe between you and your husband, 23 countries?
Anh Bridgewater (07:09):
Yeah. With both of us together. Yeah.
Monique Ramsey (07:11):
That’s a lot. That’s a lot of places. That’s awesome.
Anh Bridgewater (07:15):
We do like to enjoy our vacations when we’re not working
Monique Ramsey (07:18):
That’s so nice. And out of the countries you visited, tell us about one of the ones that surprised you the most. In terms of what maybe you thought going into seeing that country. And then when you got there, what you felt?
Anh Bridgewater (07:33):
That’s a really hard question because I feel like every country that I’ve visited, there’s nothing predictable about it. Whether it’s the people or the culture, there’s always something that really stands out about each country that we’ve visited. There’s a couple, if I had to pick that really is more deeply ingrained into me. One being Singapore, because my husband proposed to me there actually.
Monique Ramsey (07:58):
Anh Bridgewater (07:58):
Yeah. But it’s just such a futuristic country. It’s just so clean. It’s just really different. Very futuristic, very high technology. Just really interesting. And then Turkey we’ve been to Turkey and I was just really blown away by the hospitality there. Turkish people are just absolutely just so nice. It’s just a really beautiful country with really kind people. And they have a saying in their country that they treat their guests like as though they’re inviting you to their home. And so that really was a surprise to me because I’ve never been treated that way. I always kind of felt like, okay, you want something from me, because I’m a tourist.
Monique Ramsey (08:39):
So give us an idea of what might be on your top three places you want to go next?
Anh Bridgewater (08:45):
Oh man. I know for sure that we want to go back to Southeast Asia. We haven’t been there for quite some time. So Japan, my husband his grandparents are there. So we definitely want to go back there at some point and really visit the whole country. You really don’t see the country until you visit the whole country. We definitely want to go back to eventually Vietnam, because that’s where my parents are from. And I really want to explore the entire country as well. And then Bali, just because Indonesia is just a beautiful place. Like one of my favorite areas to be.
Monique Ramsey (09:16):
Have you been there before?
Anh Bridgewater (09:17):
We’ve been there twice. No three times.
Monique Ramsey (09:19):
Oh my gosh. I’ve seen pictures and it’s just like, it takes your speech right out of your mouth to see something that drop dead beautiful.
Anh Bridgewater (09:27):
So beautiful. Yeah. It’s really beautiful. The people there are so nice as well. And you can get around as a tourist, you won’t get lost.
Monique Ramsey (09:34):
Anh Bridgewater (09:36):
Yeah. They all speak English.
Monique Ramsey (09:39):
That’s funny. So what would you like listeners to take away from listening to this podcast?
Anh Bridgewater (09:47):
I think that this is just a way for listeners to get to know me and who I am. I think that that would make them more comfortable perhaps when they meet me in person. I feel that once we meet each other in person, then the trust will be built from there. But just think of this as kind of like an introduction.
Monique Ramsey (10:06):
For everybody who wants to meet her, besides listening to the podcast, to like read about her, she’s on our website @ljcsc.com. Which you can also go to glamfam.com. And then on Instagram, so our Instagram is @LJCSC. But Anh, are you on Instagram also?
Anh Bridgewater (10:29):
Yes I am. Mine is @AnhthebeautyPA.
Monique Ramsey (10:32):
Oh nice. Anh the beauty PA. And you spell your name A-N-H?
Anh Bridgewater (10:38):
That’s correct. Yes.
Monique Ramsey (10:40):
And then before we wrap it up, so our brand promise is, “Where Dreams Become Real.” Because a lot of our patients, whether they’re having a plastic surgery procedure or they’re having a filler or a laser, they have a goal and a dream in mind. And so tell me about a time in your life when a dream that you had became real?
Anh Bridgewater (11:03):
Oh man, I think that’s been so many instances. Getting into University at the time, felt like a dream come true, getting into UCLA was one of my top choices. And then getting into PA school, which has become more and more competitive of each year. I remember crying tears of joy that day that I got the email for acceptance. And marrying my college sweetheart was also dream come true. Having a family. I just feel very blessed. And all of these things kind of came to me within one to two years of each other. So I felt like during that one to two years, it was kind of like my prime moment, or my prime time.
Monique Ramsey (11:41):
Anh Bridgewater (11:42):
Hopefully things don’t go down from there.
Monique Ramsey (11:43):
No you’re good. There was a quote from a book, “I’m on a rollercoaster that only goes up.” Which I love. I love that.
Anh Bridgewater (11:49):
I love that.
Monique Ramsey (11:51):
So yeah, you want your rollercoaster just to keep going up. And then something else for our listeners of our podcast. We give, if you show that you subscribe to our podcast, we will give you $25 off of a service or product of $50 or more. So Anh, let me ask you, if you are going to use $25 free money towards anything, what product or treatment would that be?
Anh Bridgewater (12:15):
Yeah, hands down it would be a topical retinol. We do have really great skincare brands here, Alastin, SkinMedica and Skin Better. A medical grade retinol is really going to be suitable for almost everyone wanting for anti-aging, preventing fine lines and wrinkles, cell regeneration. I think that that is the one thing that you need to have in your skincare, if you had to use one thing.
Monique Ramsey (12:41):
What age is appropriate to start something like that?
Anh Bridgewater (12:44):
I think that starting early would be good. And so maybe someone in the early thirties and from there. But if you’re seeing signs of aging, like premature aging in your late twenties, then absolutely you can start using a retinol. Obviously it’s not good for someone that’s pregnant or breastfeeding, so unfortunately you have to stop during that time. But otherwise pretty much everyone is a good candidate for using a topical retinol at home. You just have to be consistent with that regimen.
Monique Ramsey (13:12):
Yeah. I think that’s the key is really consistency.
Anh Bridgewater (13:14):
Monique Ramsey (13:15):
Just like you were talking about working out, same thing. See the trainer, but then on your off time when you’re not in with the trainer, then what are you doing?
Anh Bridgewater (13:23):
Monique Ramsey (13:23):
So yeah, skincare, I think it’s all about that consistency and really having products that are going to be effective. Because there’s so much skincare out there.
Anh Bridgewater (13:34):
Monique Ramsey (13:34):
And some of the ones that you can go to a department store and pay a lot of money.
Anh Bridgewater (13:39):
Monique Ramsey (13:40):
But is it really going to do anything?
Anh Bridgewater (13:42):
Monique Ramsey (13:44):
Well, I love the fact that you have a passion for skincare and that you really incorporate it into your whole plan for the patient, so that they’re maintaining a great result even when they’re not in the office.
Anh Bridgewater (13:55):
Yeah. I really like to empower my patients in that they can make a difference for their own skin and their own body.
Monique Ramsey (14:02):
What advice would you give to a patient in terms of overall holistic anti-aging, that they could do themselves?
Anh Bridgewater (14:11):
Minimalism is key, because you throw too many products at a person and maybe they’ll be good for about a week and then they’re out. So really just wanting to be consistent with minimal amount of products that are effective and that work. So sunscreen, at least 30 plus, 50 plus is even better. Reapplication of your sunscreen, whether you’re indoors or outdoors, you need to be wearing sunscreen. A good vitamin C or some sort of antioxidant to protect you from all those toxins throughout the day that your skin and body’s getting. And then in a topical retinol at night, that’s really all you need. But I do think that a medical grade skincare is going to be much more beneficial and effective. And if you don’t see results, then you’re not going to want to continue to do it. And so you really want to start a skincare that you can trust, that will work.
Monique Ramsey (14:59):
So if you guys have any questions about the services that Anh offers or want to schedule a consultation with her, our contact info and links to everything we talked about today is going to be in the show notes. And if you like what you heard and you enjoy our podcast, we would love to have you leave a review because we love reviews. You know if you’ve been on our website, we’ve got thousands and thousands of five star reviews. And so we really appreciate you guys taking the time and listening to a few different podcasts. Now we’re getting the up to, I don’t know, 40 almost podcasts since last May. So we’re moving right along and we’re trying to hit all the hot topics. Thanks for joining us today, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Anh Bridgewater (15:45):
Great. Thank you so much for having me.
Speaker 1 (15:54):
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. La Jolla Cosmetic is located just off the I5 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 at LJCSC. The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast is a production of the axis. theaxis.io.