Most Popular in:

Medical Esthetics

Email This Item! Print This Item!

The Physician's Role in a Medical Spa

By: Susie Naficy
Posted: January 29, 2010, from the January 2010 issue of
Male and female physicians smiling

$string.toUpperCase($string.substring($addOnType, 0, 1))$string.substring($addOnType, 1, $string.length($addOnType))s

Abstract: When combining a successful physician with a successful medical spa, many questions can arise regarding the best ways to address issues such as branding and staffing. This column focuses on some of the pros and cons when considering these types of concerns.

Q: What is more critical to a medical spa’s success: having a reputable physician working at the facility or allowing the medical spa to stand on its own as a business entity?

A: In this scenario, the value proposition depends on the ultimate goal of the business. It is interesting that many medical spas do not incorporate the names of the physicians operating them into the facility’s name. The result of this separation is to identify more value in the facility—as opposed to the physician who is present at the practice—potentially making it easier to sell the business in the future or, in the case of chain establishments, to provide flexibility when hiring and firing medical directors.

On the flip side, creating a primary association between the medical spa and the directing physician adds value and credibility to the business. A medical spa with a strong and obvious physician presence is more likely to be viewed as trustworthy and experienced.

However, linking a medical spa to a particular physician in this sense could potentially limit exit opportunities for the named physician in the future. This can be counteracted with strong branding that involves the physician’s name becoming a unique brand, which therefore lessens the medical spa’s association to a specific person, and once again places more value in the facility.

Ultimately, because the core business of a medical spa is to administer services, the individuals providing them—from physicians to mid-level providers—are the ones adding the most value. In time, certain treatments, such as the administration of Botox or dermal fillers, may become so commodified that the products become the drivers as opposed to the administration of them. If this scenario becomes true, the value that a particular physician may add to elevate one medical spa over another could become negligible. However, value is currently placed on the actual provider of the service, and because of that, a strong physician presence at a medical spa brings more value than the facility itself as a stand-alone business.

Q: Should a physician be directly involved in the administration of the nonsurgical medical spa services and products that are offered within the surgical practice, or should ancillary staff be hired to perform such services?