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

page 4 of 4

If a physician makes the decision to hire nurse injectors and estheticians to perform nonsurgical services, the revenue reward is potentially higher, but so is the risk—not to mention the increased complexity.

Ultimately, the pros and cons need to be weighed and, in both scenarios, a well-constructed long-term business plan needs to be established before taking action.

Q: What are the general pros and cons of being part of a franchise or chain medical spa?

A: Becoming the medical director of a chain medical spa has several benefits to a physician. Often, established physicians can continue to function in their own practices in addition to having their name associated with a medical spa chain, collecting a fee in exchange for their services. In many cases, physicians who do not have a background in cosmetic surgery or dermatology are able to associate with a medical spa chain as a medical director and, in these cases, such an association could allow the physician to gain experience in aesthetic medicine. Some medical spas require that their medical directors to be on-site at all times, but many do not, allowing more flexibility in the physician’s schedule. Be sure to check with your state’s board to find out whether your state requires a physician to be on-site at all times.

The disadvantage of associating with a medical spa chain depends on what the physician is seeking as a long-term practice model. Surgeons who are looking to establish themselves in the community with high-end surgical practices might find that associations with chain medical spas can be counterproductive. Furthermore, exposure to increased liability is a big consideration—especially if the spa’s medical director is not on-site. In addition, many medical spa chains require physicians to travel between locations and this schedule is not only taxing on the traveling doctor, but it is almost impossible to build trust and rapport with the staff the physician is supervising. And a healthy relationship with staff members is critical to the ultimate success of the business. Lastly, many medical directors of medical spas do not own equity interests in the business. This is not necessarily true of a franchise, but the absence of building equity in your own brand and business is a potential flaw to such an association.