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The Real Answers Behind Esthetics in a Medical Setting

By: Terri A. Wojak
Posted: July 31, 2014, from the August 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
The Real Answers Behind Esthetics in a Medical Setting

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Cosmetic medical services must also be broadly understood. It would be difficult to be successful in any job in which other aspects of the direct business were not learned ahead of time. To manage skin effectively before and after any medical procedure, estheticians must have detailed knowledge of what it entails, including the clients experience, indications, contraindications and possible adverse reactions. After proper training, it is in the best interest of the practice to have new team members shadow the physician for several weeks in order to gain first-hand knowledge of client experiences. The vast offering of cosmetic procedures available makes it hard to keep up; however, it is important for all estheticians to know the latest techniques and technologies in the industry, regardless of place of employment.

Myth No. 3: “I will be handed a client list when I work with a physician.”

Truth: There is an enormous opportunity to build clientele working with a physician; however, it is ultimately up to the esthetician to make it happen.

Although there will likely be plenty of opportunities to build a client list in a busy medical practice, it still takes work. It is the responsibility of the esthetician to introduce skin care services to the physician’s patients. The physician’s time is ultimately the most valuable to the practice; therefore, it should be spent consulting and treating medical conditions, during which the esthetician utilizes her time to provide recommendations for enhancing and maintaining the services the client has undergone.

There may also be times when clients make an appointment with the esthetician for a skin condition that is better suited to be addressed medically. For example, a client comes in to see the esthetician for microdermabrasion to treat deep-set wrinkles between the eyes, known as the corrugator.

Myth No. 4: “Medical services are expensive; therefore, I will make a lot more money.”

Truth: Working with a physician offers opportunities for growth, but it is not always realized as quickly as it is in a spa setting.

Just because medical treatments typically have a higher price tag does not mean that a business offering these treatments is more profitable. In fact, the overhead associated with many medical services can make it difficult for a start-up practice to see profit for quite some time.

For instance, one of the most commonly delegated procedures is laser hair reduction. Lasers alone can range in cost from $60,000 to well over $100,000. Plus, lasers need maintenance on a yearly basis and may have disposables for each use. Besides the equipment, the physician—whose time is the most valuable aspect of the practice—must be available for medical consultation for all delegated treatments and, in most cases, be on site during services. These overhead costs must be taken into consideration when negotiating salary.