Formerly the chief of pulmonary critical care at New York Harbor Hospital in Brooklyn, Anita Dormer opted for a drastic career change at age 40, leaving the emergency room behind for the burgeoning—and relatively low-stress—world of cosmetic medicine. Together with an esthetician and a massage therapist, she opened Dormer Medical Spa in 2000, offering medical facials, laser hair removal, and the latest in injectables, like Botox and Restylane; the doctor has since expanded her catalogue to include facial implants and vein oblation, and moved to a larger, ground-floor space on a tree-lined street off Park Avenue. Discretion is paramount at the spa, and staff take care to avoid patient-to-patient contact: Usually only two appointments are scheduled per hour, and upon arrival, clients are promptly ushered to a private waiting room overlooking a quaint garden. Most first-time visitors—a nearly equal mix of men and women over 40 who’ve been referred by hush-hush word of mouth—opt for a no-holds-barred consultation with the doctor herself before deciding upon a sometimes rigorous program of customized facials, fillers, and resurfacing. In contrast to the work of other renowned cosmetic dermatologists, Dormer stresses that her patients leave looking well-rested and youthfully fresh, not pinched, taut, or overstuffed.
Indoor surfing, spinning lovefests, a luxurious pig-placenta facial, and more.