Inspirational Woman: Dr Laila Kaikavoosi | GP, Menopause Specialist & Founder, Online Menopause Centre

Dr Laila Kaikavoosi

Dr Laila Kaikavoosi is a GP and menopause specialist and founder of the UK’s first online menopause clinic, the Online Menopause Centre.

She is a leading expert in the field of menopause and has helped thousands of women to reach their optimal health and hormonal balance by offering them the most up-to-date, unbiased and individualised treatment options.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I’m a GP and over the past decade I have specialised in menopause care. My medical training has taken place mainly in the UK with some additional training in the USA, which has given me insight into different healthcare models, as well as broadening my vision when it comes to treatment options.

I am the founder and the clinical director of Online Menopause Centre. OMC is the first registered online clinic to deliver care to perimenopausal and menopausal women in the UK. Although the idea and planning for this had started before the pandemic, we began operating at the start of 2021.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Never! Early on in life I learnt that things don’t always work out the way you have planned them. This early and hard lesson has actually been a blessing in my life, as it has trained me to be more flexible and to make the best of any situation I’m in. There are events that are totally out of our control and dramatically change our path. I generally face these events with an open mind and an excited heart.  My career has taken shape more organically, rather than from a prewritten manuscript.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Anyone who has set up and run their own business knows that you are faced with frequent challenges, so the list is long! One of the biggest challenges was setting up the Online Menopause Centre during the pandemic, as everything took much longer than we had anticipated. But it was important that we followed the meticulous policies that are required to set up a medical practice.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Definitely launching the Online Menopause Centre. Prior to launching OMC, I was working in the centre of London, providing personalised care to menopausal women. I could see what a positive impact this had on their quality of life. It has always been my passion to be able to provide the same level of service to a wider population of women by making the care more accessible and affordable. By offering women an online menopause service, they can access it no matter where they live in the UK.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I don’t believe there’s ever one major factor in achieving success, but if I had to choose the top factors in my life, it would be my desire and determination to achieve, as well as having an extremely understanding and supportive life partner by my side who has encouraged me at every step of the way.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I have never had an official mentor but there have been a few significant unofficial mentors/individuals who have influenced me. The same with being a mentor. Although I have never officially mentored anyone, I’m always willing to share my experiences with those around me who ask or I see have a desire to learn.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

I think one thing that does need to happen is greater understanding and awareness of the menopause and the impact this can have on women. At any one time 13 million women are peri or menopausal yet GPs are given little or no training in this area and many employers are unaware of how they can support women during this challenging time.

Change has to happen at the grassroots. I went through medical school and GP training with very little training in menopause and perimenopause care. I hope soon medical students and junior doctors get the necessary training they need to be able to provide the up to date advise and treatment women deserve.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

To believe in myself more and to practice self-care earlier.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

To remain up to date and current with the menopause service delivery and to be involved with provision of care in underprivileged communities.

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