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« Medspa Legal: A dermatologist weighs in on medical directors in spas. | Main | Review: »

Dermatology Times Interview: Everything you ever wanted to know about medical spas.

I've done more than a few interviews or round table discussions about the medical spa market. The press like me because I don't just tow the 'everything is cushy' line the technology companies and medical boards have to take so they don't piss anyone off too badly. (I'd have to name the Wall Street Journal as the highest visibility but that was for entrepreneurship and business startups, not medical spas.)

dermatologytimeslogoImage1134420133265.gifLast week I was contacted by Dermatology Times for an article being written about medical spas. Unfortunately, I was off in Florida consulting and didn't get back to John quite quick enough to make his deadline and so the article will run without the incredible insight of your's truly.

Not to fear. I'm going to take the time to answer all of John's questions right here over the next few days. It'll be interesting to see how my thoughts compare to the plethora of statistics that John's compiling. I'll let you be the judge of the content once the Dermatology Times article comes out.

Here's the email I received from Dermatology Times:

Subject: Derm Times query
Message: Hello Mr. Barson:
I'm a writer with Dermatology Times, a monthly newsmagazine for dermatologists, working on the following article. Can you address any questions about number of medical spas/growth in this field and income earned by medical spas?

DT 8101 SPAS -- an overview story that takes a broad look at the issues surrounding Medical Spas and Skin Care Clinics (the topic of our August special report). There will be separate stories within the Special Report on many of the topics below. So I'm writing a detailed story with lots of stats that provides an introduction to the major issues.

Try to get numbers on nonderms running them, and who they are (in general): OBs, dentists, family practitioners, ER docs ?
What does the average spa take in, income-wise, per month? What are the average salaries for derms, family physicians, ob/gyns?

Why are nonspecialists are turning to cosmetic procedures? Explain the cash angle. Same-day payments? What’s the benefit to docs? No late hours, etc.? (And how do product sales fit in? Some physicians promote their own skincare lines)

What are the arguments (both sides) on the issue of patient safety? Ditto quality of care, supervision of personnel.

How confusing is the market to the consumer ? How do they know what they're getting?

What are the issues surrounding medical spa chains?

I'm hoping to wrap up interviews etc. by the end of.... Please let me know if you can help (or suggest other sources).
Many thanks,

Whew. That's a lot of stuff to cover. (I wonder what the word length of the article John has to deliver is.) I'll tackle each of these questions as a separate post over the next week or so as I get time. When the Dermatology Times article comes out I'll post a link to it and we'll see where we are. (If you see the Dermatology Times article send me an email.)

Reader Comments (7)

Personally, I wouldn't answer it. It sounds like derms wanting to get some numbers to start something legislatively. Notice the questions on non-derms performing these procedures, patient safety, quality of care, supervision, etc. Sounds fishy to me. I'd delete that one if I were you. Some derms fishing for something so they send out some bait.

06.28 | Unregistered CommenterJarvik7

Wow Jarvik,
I'm pretty cynical but even I'm surprised that you think the Dermatologists would perpetrate a hoax like that. Jeff's got real pull but I doubt that legislatures would pass laws based on what he writes on a blog...

Personally, I think it's the plastic surgeons again. First Florida and now this... is nothing sacred?

I have to agree with Jarvik7. The derms played a major role in florida. The questions asked by this reporter were the exact false crappy information given to the Florida legislature. Look at the study that was done looking at "injuries" done in clinics by non-core physicians. It was one of the worst studies ever published but the derm journals published it and it was used to advance the Florida laws. Ironically they did not use the medispas as a control group to look at the "injuries" done in derm/plastics offices. I have corrected multiple problems from "core" physicians clinics.

Personally, I think Jeff should answer the questions and hopefully give our side of the issue.

06.28 | Unregistered CommenterLH

LH-- I would love to speak with you some time. I have really enjoyed reading your comments over the last few months. You can send me an e-mail if you get a chance. Thanks.

I agree with the cynics. Middle of the night...I am qualified to take care of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (and anything else if you're a specialist enjoying your sleep). Daytime...botox too complex for my limited skills!! Ha!

But, I agree with LH that Jeff's info would likely only help a rounded discussion.

I'd also be interested in hearing what Jeff has to say about this. As a Dermatologist I can say that if it's a plot, they didn't tell me at our last secret handshake meeting. I guess I'll have to finally send in a check for my secret decoder ring.

BTW: Best site on the web for this stuff. (Been lurking for a while.)

Derma Tologist,

We appreciate your input and we do not think that there is some conspiracy but there are many vocal dermatologists and plastics trying to legislate others out of business. Look at what happened in Florida. There are all kinds of laws throughout the US pushing similar agendas.

I do not believe every derm doc is behind this push. It is just those that do not want the competition. I hope we continue to have your input. By the way, I do have a number of derm docs that refer patients to me even though I am not "core" trained.

We will even let you into our club and teach you the secret hand shake (you must be a member for at least 90 days before we send you the decoder ring).

07.5 | Unregistered CommenterLH

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