Sunday, June 26, 2022

It’s not all Greek to me

Andreas Samartzis is a 35-year-old chef from Astros Kynourias in the Peloponnese, Greece. He’s been living and working in Poland for the past 14...

Q&A with Gabriela Mercik

Gabriela Mercik – Medical Director and owner of Dr. Gabriela Clinic in London and Dr. Gabriela Polska in Biały Dwór.

25 years of experience as a doctor, first in cardiology at the Silesian Center for Heart Diseases in Zabrze, and then in hospitals in the UK.

Passionate about traveling, cooking, embroidering, painting and helping others. Husband Donald, accountant/tax advisor, son Grzegorz, a specialist in 6D® laser treatment and the manager of a clinic in London.

Dear Gabriela, are you back in Poland permanently or are you driving between Biały Dwór and London?

My life is divided between London and Biały Dwór. I like to travel, so it’s not a problem – I get on a plane like a bus – and can finally rest from phone calls.

You started at the cardiology hospital in Zabrze, then Northern Ireland and finally London. Why such decisions?

In Poland, I started my career in the best cardiology hospital – the Silesian Center for Heart Diseases in Zabrze. This is the hospital where the first heart and heart and lung transplants were performed, and the golden hour of help was anointed, in which people who had had a heart attack could be helped (e.g. by implanting a stent). I worked there for almost 10 years and then it was time for a change. I went to Britain for a few weeks and I have stayed to this day. I worked in hospitals in Northern Ireland and then opened my clinic after disease turned my life upside down. I wanted to live with the passion that I have always had for medicine, but I no longer wanted to work in a hospital, I wanted to be my own boss, I wanted to give women what they deserve – painless treatments without convalescence. Proven, safe methods that improve the health and quality of skin and hair.

I’ve heard a lot about your clinic in London. Is it true that the aristocrats there love your methods?

Women love to look good and they love luxury. My clinic entered the list of the best aesthetic medicine clinics in the UK in 2018. After that, I was able to return to Poland with a shield and open a luxurious Dr. Gabriela Clinic boutique in Biały Dwór, just as I had dreamed – in the forest, amid the scent of pine trees.

What makes you unique?

That I am extremely honest with the patient. If it’s too late or something can’t be done, I say it straight off the bat. I don’t beat around the bush and I certainly do not sell treatments. This is still medicine with a mission. First, do no harm! Advise reasonably. I focus on the quality of products and machines, their safety and medical research. You can’t move without these. You will not find popular, fashionable treatments here, but proven, safe one and ones that work.

You are also in Poland, do you see any difference between patients in the UK and in Poland?

Young female patients in Poland blindly follow celebrities, not thinking what they will look like when they get old. The older ones choose more wisely, they don’t want to look like they come from the factory: all the same, and they don’t want to damage themselves, so they’d rather do nothing than do wrong. And I am waiting for such patients.

My experience as a doctor, almost 25 years, and the search for the golden remedy for skin renewal has brought results and we already have treatments that safely and painlessly regenerate and rejuvenate as well as repair, for example, the effects of sunbathing. For example, my unique 6D® laser treatment.

Biały Dwór is the only place where we make it outside of London. Nobody else does this.

There is a big multicultural mix in the UK and it’s hard to put them all together, but the fact that my clinic is on the most famous medical street in London and this place is the dream of every doctor in the UK and around the world speaks for itself. I am also the first Polish doctor to be an owner of a clinic there.

Patients are wealthy people from all over the world who come to my treatments by private planes.

In my Portfolio I have royal families from all over the world, celebrities, actors, singers.

They all want to be healthy and look fresh, absolutely not grotesque.

Do we have the same requirements? Do we have the same awareness of ourselves?

The requirements of my patients are very high, because they come for a short time, we have to plan the treatments so that we can do everything without complications, and it is best that they can go to a famous restaurant with their friends for dinner on the same day. 

In Poland, it is less stressful in this respect, patients are more educated, aware of what they would not want, but they have a problem with trust, they say that they have seen many complications.

Are women alike regardless of where they’re from?

They are similar in their expectations, to be loved, happy and if they have a problem,that  they can talk about it openly.

We help not only medically, many times my office is a psychological temple of confession.

Even though you lived in the UK for many years, you were drawn to Poland. Can you define why?

I came because my clinic was closed due to Covid and there were no flights to the UK.

And then I thought that maybe I would find a place for a small office so as not to lose the years of exercising my hands – micromovements are very important – and I have to train like an athlete to keep my hands fit.

Many people also wanted to take advantage of the fact that I was available and this is how the idea was born to open the Dr. Gabriel Clinic in Poland and the whole process was sped up by the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, my friend, who said that she would come to the opening.

You are also very committed to helping those in need, which is how we got to know each other. Why does this help in Poland?

After the clinic was opened, there was also an important event – I asked, together with the Mukohelp Foundation (for children with Cystic Fibrosis), that the Duchess would agree to be their patron. And we visited foundations and also attended a charity ball, and that’s where we met, because we were united by the common goal of helping others. This visit resulted in cystic fibrosis drugs being reimbursed since March! So it was worth it! The Duchess’s voice was heard.

Any new plans? New challenges?

There are always many plans. Sometimes you have to make choices so as not to lose sight of the beacon that gives direction. I was able to register a clinic in London with CQC and I think it was one of my biggest successes in terms of the amount of documents that needed to be prepared.

Now Poland is the apple of my eye for the next months to ensure the quality is at the highest level – but we already have our first therapeutic successes. We also have more machines here than in London, so it will be happening! Both for the face and the body!

Katarzyna Braiter
Katarzyna Braiter
Editor in ChiefFormer consul of the Republic of Poland and former president of European Union Families Association EUFASA. She worked for OSCE and EU as election observer. Lecturer from diplomatic protocol and savoir vivre. Board member of SHOM, Spouses of Heads of Mission
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