Clarkston Dermatology, the leading dermatology office in Michigan, offers a wide range of cutting-edge procedures to treat nearly any dermatological condition.
Dr. Wendy McFalda started Clarkston Dermatology around 16 years ago, and will soon launch a skincare company.
Wendy was seeing patients four and a half days each week, with each scheduled every 10 minutes. She started to identify a lack of time in the day to make calls and get tasks completed.
“I was just finding it impossible with my patient load to get anything meaningfully done during the day, and I needed help,” Wendy recalls.
She was also in the middle of construction on a new house, and when she sold her practice and merged with the other doctors, she lost her built-in assistant.
That’s when Wendy turned to BELAY, and BELAY VA Kelly Wirtala.
“I matched with Kelly, and she has been incredible,” Wendy says. “She is much more tech-savvy than I am. She went through and organized my emails, and got my calendar set up so that my office staff has access to that.
“I’m not used to asking for that kind of help, and knowing what I could and should delegate to her took me a little bit to be like, ‘I need to have this service repairman come to my house. Kelly can do that. She can set it all up and calendar it.’
“So getting used to asking was a bit of an adjustment period for me.”
Wendy admittedly has a lot going on that Kelly can help her manage day-to-day, as well as set up systems to reference later.
“I do a lot of FDA and pharmaceutical studies at the office,” Kelly explains. “I save all of my emails for that, and [Kelly] categorizes all of the study emails each month. Anything that I haven’t put labels on, she goes through and labels and archives.”
Then there’s the small matter of Wendy’s new-home construction.
“I’ve been meeting with contractors at the house and trying to figure out who I’m going to use, so she’s contacting them, sending them the plan, setting up a meeting.”
And there’s also the small matter of trying to hire experts for her upcoming skincare company.
“I’m trying to find and hire a cosmetic chemist, so she has been weeding through a lot of the professional organizations online and finding chemists for me to interview … She’s been everywhere.”
Developing trust in their relationship was something that was there from the beginning for Wendy.
“[Kelly] is so humble and transparent, and she is so eager to take things off my plate,” Wendy says.
When Wendy merged her dermatology practice into a larger group, she signed a five-year employment contract to give her some time to start her skincare company.
With Kelly’s support, Wendy now has someone who can help her during business hours, when she is seeing patients and is generally unavailable, by researching and contacting chemists and companies who can help to develop products.
“She is just as excited about the new company as I am,” Wendy says. “She’s been doing a ton of reading, saving articles for me in Google Drive, and finding people for me to talk to that she is excited about.
“I feel like I have an ally, not an employee.”
“Things used to really weigh on me, and she’s taken away that burden,” Wendy reflects. “[Having this partnership] helps free me up to think about what’s next — both professionally and personally.”
Wendy has leaned into BELAY’s delegation list of ideas and the advice from Kelly to share her 2022 goals to get the most out of this engagement, and the results speak for themselves.
“Kelly is actively looking for ways that she can take things off my plate and help make things easier,” Wendy says. “I’ve gone from feeling guilty about asking to now, ‘What else can I give her?’”
“I didn’t know how much better it would be having her work with me. She’s been so eager to help, and I don’t feel like I’m burdening her. I’m shocked at how well we were matched — she’s amazing.”
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