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STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Q&A with Sofia Kulakowski, Physician Assistant

Posted on August 09, 2019

STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Q&A with Sofia Kulakowski, Physician Assistant

Q. What inspired you to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant?
After graduating with my bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology, I knew I wanted to be in the medical field, but wasn’t sure what route I wanted to take. One day, I accompanied my mother to an appointment, and met a PA for the first time. I instantly realized that I wanted to be a PA.

I love Dermatology because of the wide variety of ways I can help patients. Whether it be detecting a skin cancer, helping a patient regain his/her self-esteem by treating acne, helping to clear a mysterious rash, or helping a patient look naturally refreshed with cosmetic injections, I’m always excited to help.

Q. What are your specialties?
I have over 4 years of experience in Pediatrics, and love seeing patients of all ages from infants to elderly. I enjoy in all aspects of Dermatology including skin cancer checks, acne, psoriasis, eczema, warts, rashes, hair loss, and cosmetic procedures.

Q. What are some of the highlights of your career?
I would say the most memorable highlights of my career have been when I diagnosed melanomas on patients that were not obvious. The fact that they were caught early and were able to be removed before they had spread was so rewarding.

Another highlight was when I treated a teenager with scarring acne. The patient went from always looking at the floor and mumbling to having great eye contact and the biggest smile because he regained his self-esteem.

One time a lady told me that she felt like she looked so tired and old. Her daughter was getting married in a few months, and she felt embarrassed to be in the photos. After filler and Botox treatments, she felt like I had taken 10 years off her face. She was so excited to be in her daughter’s wedding.

Q. What are three things a patient can do to maintain healthy skin?
Sunscreen, moisturization, and retinoids.

Q: Do you have advice for preventing the signs of aging without spending a fortune?
The easiest way to prevent signs of aging is to protect your skin from the sun. Sunprotective clothing, stylish wide-brimmed hats, and the Elta MD line of sunscreens are my favorites.

Q. What do you include in your own skin care regimen?
I start each day by cleansing my face with Cerave Hydrating Cleanser. I use Elta MD Tinted Elements sunscreen, and Jane Iredale BB cream for makeup. At night, I cleanse my face with Cerave Hydrating Cleanser, followed by Elta MD PM Therapy and tretinoin 0.05%.

Q. What are the most common procedures you perform? What are the ones you most commonly recommend?
I perform full skin exams, biopsies, cryotherapy for warts/precancers/keratoses, Botox/Dysport injections, fillers, skin tag removal, blue light treatment, allergy patch testing, keloid treatments, and laser treatments (IPL, ndYag, resurfacing) for dark spots/broken blood vessels/scars/unwanted hair.
I most commonly recommend full skin exams since people often have skin cancers or dangerous moles that have gone unnoticed.

I also often recommend Botox/Dysport injections because it’s the easiest way to prevent wrinkles from etching in or worsening.

Q. What inspires you most in life?
My faith inspires my everyday life. I’m so grateful for all of my blessings, and am eager to pay it forward by taking care of patients.

Q. What do you like to do for fun?
Growing up as the daughter of a retired Air Force officer, I’ve always loved traveling and trying new foods. My husband and I will (and often do) travel for food and coffee. I also enjoy running, photography, and exploring the outdoors with my husband and two young boys.

Q. What do you like most about working at TWI?
All the providers are experienced, intelligent, and ethical. The patient’s health always comes first. The staff is great. Everyone is kind, caring, and works hard as a team to take care of the patient’s needs. It is also an all-encompassing practice complete with Dermatologists, PAs, Mohs surgeons, a plastic surgeon, and aestheticians.

Q. What’s one thing that everybody needs to know about you?
I give all of my patients my full attention and respect. I consider my profession a privilege to be a part of, and work hard to solve my patient’s Dermatological problems.

Q. What makes you want to head to work every day?
I look forward to seeing the smile on a patient’s face whether it’s because I’ve helped to control a rash that’s been plaguing them for years, removed a growth that’s been painful, or helped them feel more confident with a cosmetic procedure.

Q. What do you do in (Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero, Fort Myers), Florida for fun?
I love spending time on the water with my family (with sunscreen of course) whether it be watching a beautiful sunset, splashing around at the beach, hunting for seashells, or kayaking. It still amazes me that we can see so much beautiful wildlife every day. There are also so many beautiful running trails sprinkled throughout the area. I enjoy trying new restaurants with my husband since we are foodies.
Recently, I started to learn how to play golf. Definitely a Naples must.

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