Profile: Kay Durairaj, MD

Dr. Kay Durairaj, MD
See how Dr. Kay built her practice and became a social media influencer.

By tapping into the power of social media—becoming a facial artist to TikTok stars and amassing a worldwide following on Instagram and YouTube—facial plastic surgeon Kay Durairaj, MD, FACS, has made herself one of the key faces of aesthetic surgery.

“It is what has made my practice relevant,” explains Dr. Durairaj. “We currently have a strong digital platform, and we reach out to people across the world.”

Dr. Durairaj, also known as Dr. Kay on social media (@BeautybyDrKay), currently has an Instagram following of 360,000 and a TikTok following of nearly 400,000. She is the host of the podcast “Beauty Bytes with Dr. Kay: Secrets of a Plastic Surgeon,” medical director of Beauty by Dr. Kay in Pasadena, California, founder of the online injector course Modern Aesthetic Theory and Artistry and CEO of skin care line KDSkin. She is also the mother of four children.

“My TikTok account became very popular during the pandemic, and I was fortunate to meet all of the hottest TikTokers, and many of the top 10 with over 50 million followers each have come into the office,” she says. “It is interesting to connect with people just by virtue of my online videos. It has provided a huge amount of exposure.”

While some question the long-term efficacy of building a patient base through social media, it has been very effective for Dr. Durairaj, who spends three to four hours a day keeping up with her social media endeavors. “I realized early on that this was a serious and legitimate way to communicate with patients,” she says. “I have a lot of creative tendencies, and my passion as a creator is what inspired me to make videos. This brand of ‘edu-tainment’ has proven to be very popular.”

From Artist to Physician

As the daughter of two physicians (and sibling to three physicians), you might think that Dr. Durairaj was always on track to follow in the family footsteps, but early on in life she hoped to be an artist and a writer. “I also had a deep interest in neuroscience and the molecular biology of memory and aging. My artistic background definitely fueled my interested in aesthetics,” she says. “I love the creativity and the ability to transform and improve visual outcomes. This is a happy field; it’s one where you can bring great confidence and joy to patients.”

Prior to pursuing otolaryngology, Dr. Durairaj was working toward a combined MD with a PhD in neuroscience and was involved in research on hippocampal memory receptors. “I was very passionate about scientific research. But, while in the USC Keek School of Medicine’s MD/PhD program, I decided that I did not want to do eight years for a full PhD, so I morphed out of that but kept researching as an interest,” she says.

Continue reading to learn more about how Dr. Durairaj built her practice in our Digital Magazine...

Keith Loria is a freelance writer based in Oakton, VA.

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