RealSelf, an online community for people seeking cosmetic procedures and the clinicians that perform them, is launching a fellowship program. Physicians and surgical care teams can apply for $7,500 grants to perform services like burn reconstruction and cleft palate surgery in developing countries.
“We developed this program based on our learnings from sponsoring medical trips to remote cities in Vietnam and India,” said Tom Seery founder and CEO of the Seattle-based company. “There is a vast gap in access to surgical care in these communities and a chronic shortage of physicians trained in reconstructive surgery.”
RealSelf won’t coordinate the medical trips abroad but will direct the funds toward organizations that winning fellows choose. Doctors with profiles on RealSelf will be given preference but applicants aren’t required to be registered with the site.
Seery, an Expedia vet, founded RealSelf with investments from former Expedia CEO Rich Barton and Second Avenue Partners. The company raised an early venture funding round of $2 million has been profitable since 2011. In the past year, RealSelf doubled its team to more than 100 employees and continues to grow rapidly.
“Our ambition is to see the fellowship program lead to sustained, broad-based activities across numerous places of need,” Seery said. “Even if the fellowship only helps one child gain hope for the future, we’re delivering on our mission of boosting personal confidence.”