What is your life’s purpose?
My goal is to empower people through education, information, and the most effective tools available, to face the world—quite literally—feeling their absolute best and ready to take on new challenges.
How are you living your purpose?
I live my purpose through every means by which I am able to share my knowledge, expertise, and experience to empower others to learn how to heal and nourish their skin through my integrative approach—healing the skin from the inside out and from the outside in. When you make an appointment to come to my office, visit my webpage, or buy my book, it is usually because something about your skin is interfering with your ability to feel your most empowered and confident. For some, it’s acne, for others, it’s dull skin, brown spots or premature aging. Watching my patients transform, not only on the outside through achieving healthy, radiant skin, but also on the inside through developing renewed self-confidence and an inner glow, is my motivation. My work is so much more than skin deep, as I often say. I share more information on my mission and goals here.
Of course, I live my purpose through my dermatology practice, but realistically, I can only reach so many people through my practice alone. This is why I love to share my thoughts as a media expert on Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, Dr. Oz, and through my regular press contributions.
My most recent initiative is my book, The Beauty of Dirty Skin: The Surprising Science of Looking and Feeling Radiant from the Inside Out. Through my research and my life’s work, I am able to share the most effective methods by which to achieve healthy skin on any budget! My 3-week plan is accessible, attainable, and very realistic for today’s multi-tasking super woman.
How did you find your purpose?
It all starts with my dad, Dr. Frank Bowe. He became completely deaf when he was three years old, as a result of a childhood illness. He was able to speak, but he sounded “deaf.” As a deaf child in a hearing world, he often played alone and kept to himself because he wasn’t included at school. His peers – and adults – assumed he lacked intelligence or was just not capable because he was deaf. Thankfully, one teacher believed in him. She had his IQ tested. Turns out, it was off the charts. She empowered him to believe in himself and what he was capable of achieving. Once he started down this path, he graduated from college, pursued his PhD at NYU, met my mother, who was studying sign language, fell in love, and started a family.
While my mom became a sign language interpreter and therapist for special needs children, my dad pursued his goal of changing the world for people with disabilities. He led a nationwide protest which ultimately led to the Americans with Disabilities Act. He inspired so many people as an activist and leader. My father was not a deaf man – he was a remarkable man who also happened to be deaf. His students at Hofstra University often referred to him as a “rock star” professor. As a couple, my mom and dad shared a dream to help the world to see the value of the person behind a disability. Growing up in that open-minded environment, it was easy for me to look past a disability or condition to the person inside. It did, however, weigh on me when I saw the pain in someone’s face when others were less accepting of a condition or disability.
While I was in medical school, I felt drawn to a specialized dermatology clinic called “the acne clinic”. At the clinic, I met patients with severe acne and scarring. Even as their physical scars were helped through treatment, the emotional scars from dealing with and living with this condition often persisted. But slowly, and with some encouragement, as the treatments truly started to work, I watched a transformation as their personalities began to shine through.
I loved to be a part of that transformation. I wanted to pursue this field that could change lives in such a tangible and meaningful way. And that’s how I started down the path to become a dermatologist.
What advice do you have for purpose seekers?
I believe that passion and hard work are the keys to success, alongside resilience. There are no short cuts. Find what speaks to your heart and your mind. There has to be synergy between the two. Where you have a spark, a fire inside of you, you will not struggle to continue to stay energized. Your energy will come from an authentic and genuine place, so it will find you. Additionally, resilience and grit are critical tools in seeking your purpose. It might not be easy; it most likely will not be easy. You will face huge obstacles and you will have moments of crushing self-doubt. Use these to fuel you—and most importantly, keep going.
What resources do you recommend?
While I was at Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, I was incredibly fortunate to team with excellent mentors who helped guide my education and my path. I think community outreach, mentorship, education – these were critical to my mission and to achieving my goals. I tend to ask many questions. I tend to be an information-gatherer. I think outreach – meaningful, intentional, and respectful outreach to pioneers and leaders in your field can be incredibly beneficial in terms of learning and growing. I will forever be a student in many ways because my learning and education evolves on a daily basis with the science in my field. I think maintaining an open mind and investing in your own growth are two of the best resources I can recommend.
I am consistently inspired by my close friend and incredibly gifted nutritionist, Keri Glassman (https://nutritiouslife.com/), who has always provided incredible guidance and support, and clearly “gets” the digital world.
I’m also so inspired by Ginger Zee’s book, Natural Disaster: I Cover Them. I am One.. I knew Ginger was incredibly brave and authentic when she talked about her struggles with melasma on Good Morning America. Her most recent book proved even more brave and heartfelt. She shares her struggles with depression and takes the stigma away from that diagnosis. I love how she speaks so honestly, so authentically, from the heart. I admire her; it takes guts to be so open and honest when you are a public figure.
Dr. Whitney Bowe is Medical Director of Integrative Dermatology, Aesthetics & Wellness at Advanced Dermatology, P.C., in addition to being a distinguished research scientist and a thought leader in her field. She is one of the most in-demand dermatologists in America and has lent her expertise to programs like Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, The Doctors, and Dr. Oz. She and her work have been featured in publications including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Allure, InStyle, Vogue, Elle, Reader’s Digest, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
Dr. Bowe attended Yale University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Upon graduation, she was named a 21st Century Gamble Scholar, and was awarded a full scholarship to study medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where she graduated top of her class.