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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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Estheticians working in a spa are often accustomed to making commission on services and retail, as well as receiving tips. This gives the motivated esthetician an opportunity to see an immediate benefit to building and retaining clients. However, sharing commissions on medical services is not allowed in several states due to fee-splitting laws. Fee-splitting is taken very seriously in the medical field. It is based on the premise that no one other than the physician can receive revenue on medical services. This regulation was put into place to ensure ethical client care and can be discouraging to an esthetician who works hard to build a clientele with no immediate value. However, hard work does eventually pay off, and it is likely that, as the practice sees in an increase in revenue, hardworking team members will, as well. Although commission cannot directly be paid, many medical offices provide an hourly wage or yearly salary with bonuses, depending on overall performance. The up-side to this is, along with following regulations, regardless of who is treating a client, the staff works as a team instead of competing for clients. This keeps the ultimate focus on clients’ well-being.

Follow your passion!

Skin care is often taken more seriously in a medical setting; to succeed, maintaining the highest level of professionalism is required. There are core professional ethics that must be followed—and it is of the utmost importance to always do what is best for the client. Recent advancements in education and strides made by industry organizations working toward clearly defined roles have led to medical providers and estheticians working together to establish a high standard of care. There are several career paths the esthetician can take; to make the best decision, it is important to learn as many aspects of that career path as possible. Although there may be obstacles to overcome, a career in the medical industry is a great professional goal. When you follow your passion for the right reason, it will lead to prosperity in all areas.

Terri A. Wojak, licensed esthetician of 20 years, is an authority on skin care in a medical setting, education and business. She is director and educator at True U Esthetics in Chicago, the co-author of Mastering Medical Esthetics (True, 2009) and author of Aesthetics Exposed: Mastering Skin Care In A Medical Setting and Beyond (Alluredbooks, 2014; She is also a member of the 2014–2015 Skin Inc. Editorial Advisory Board.