Marcus Medical Spa

Above: L to R, back: Dr. Sheena Samra, Stephanie Walsh, Kelly Gutshall, Donna Duffy; front: Sarah Ozer, Krista Jacobson


Marcus Medical Spa offers a wide variety of aesthetic treatments—both surgical and nonsurgical—for facial rejuvenation and body contouring. These services are performed by a team of experienced nurses, physician assistants and aestheticians, led by founder Keith Marcus, MD. Marcus Medical is involved in various community activities in the South Bay and donates time and facilities to benefit local schools and charitable programs each year.

What is the best advice you’ve heard?

Sheena Samra, MD, facial plastic surgeon: To be present in the moment and take your time. This advice came from my family and has been my guiding light both personally and professionally. I love the artistry in aesthetic medicine. It is something I know I would not be able to attain without presence and patience as my foundation.

How do you encourage open and honest dialogue in the workplace?  

Kelly Gutshall, registered nurse: By being open and honest myself. It is inevitable that things come up that need to be addressed—especially in the workplace—but someone has to open that door. I have learned it is easier to initiate and better done by example.

How do you find time to fit it all in? 

Donna Duffy, registered nurse: Those who know me will attest: I have a lot to fit in. I am a part of several pickleball groups, one of which I manage weekly. I am in a book club that meets bimonthly, as well as The South Bay Film Society. At my center is my family. We are intentional with our time together, whether  a sunset walk along the beach on a weekday or a weekend getaway.  

Practicing aesthetic medicine on a daily basis can be as demanding as it is rewarding, but these are the things that replenish and ground me. They are what invigorate me to show up focused, ready to collaborate with my clients and coworkers. 

Dr. Samra: I don’t always, but being intentional with my time—as well as flexible and forgiving with myself, because not everything can be planned—allows me to strike a balance between my personal and professional lives. I use a paper planner to write my long-term and short-term goals. By making these tangible, I am able to prioritize and shape my day in a way that feels both balanced and productive.

Why did you choose to work for this practice?

Sarah Ozer, physician assistant: I chose Marcus Medical because of their stellar reputation and aesthetic values that reflected my own. After moving to the South Bay, I was looking for a workplace to call home. Marcus Medical has been that for me. It has given me roots in this community and an enriching environment to grow in. Dr. Marcus is a great mentor, and I have learned so much from him and the other providers here at Marcus Medical. 

What is the #1 thing you do to ensure your business is successful?

Stephanie Walsh, esthetician: Continuous communication with clients is the key to my success. When I first meet with a client, I discuss their history, current skin care regime and goals. Then I formulate a customized treatment plan, write their regime step-by-step, and discuss the timing of regular appointments and follow-ups in between if needed. 

How do you balance work and play? 

Donna: Through modifying my work schedule (I am out of the office on Wednesdays). Still, it is important that I’m available to my loyal clients, many of whom I have seen for nearly 18 years, so I now accept new clients through referral only. This keeps my schedule full without existing clients having to wait months to see me.

Tell us your favorite quote.

Stephanie: “Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Nietzsche

How does your family play a role in your career? 

Krista Jacobson, esthetician: I’m beyond blessed to have a supportive husband. He works from home and is a superdad, allowing me the freedom to grow my career. I’m able to focus 100% of my attention on my clients and their care, assured that my boys are taken care of at home. If I need to train or test out new products, he’s the first to raise his hand!

What are some of your favorite ways to stay grounded?

Sarah: Connecting with others has always kept me grounded. This is one of the reasons I went into aesthetic medicine: I wanted that ability to connect with my patients, one-on-one. Outside work, I have my network of friends and the Sandpipers, a South Bay philanthropic group I joined this past year. Their mission, as well as the women that comprise it, ground me not only in myself but also in my new home in the South Bay. 

What advice do you give to your children? 

Kelly: Be kind. This is the #1 thing I want to instill in my children. Many of my patients come to me to address an insecurity. While there is an anatomical and tangible component, there is also a mental and emotional one. While addressing and relieving my patients’ insecurities is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work, it has made me acutely aware of how one quick, cruel moment can last a lifetime. I never want my children to be that memory.

Krista: Wear SPF! Starting now (my boys are 11 and 7), and apply it daily! Unlike my generation, which basked in the sun unprotected and unaware of the damage we were causing, my boys will have the knowledge to protect themselves. They will be able to prevent sun damage, early aging and, worst of all, skin cancer. They may hate it now, but they will thank me later!