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Clinical Exchange for Medspa Doctors: A Call to Action

economist_medspaWe are looking for Clinical Providers and MedSpa Owners to help us with our Continuing Education Efforts. 

We want to provide quality content on Medical Spa MD to act as a stimulus for meaningful clinical exchange activities.

One type of Clinical Exchange is the discussions and the conversations that occur on blogs and websites.  Medical Spa MD is currently one of the only internet based clinical exchange platforms for Cosmetic Medicine.  We want to take advantage of Medical Spa MD’s leading position and large readership base to enhance its already strong presence in the Clinical Exchange field.

Our plan is to have people do summary notes of Webinars, Articles and Clinical Meetings.  These notes will be posted on Medical Spa MD and then a discussion can take place.  The conversations and debates will instruct us all!  Hopefully by sharing experiences and opinions, we will move the whole field forward in a positive and more rapid manner.

The first such Clinical Exchange Post was the summary of The IPL Dog and Lemon Guide.  This post has stimulated a lively discussion of the various IPL Systems.  Sciton and Palomar seem to be the favorite systems.  The clinical settings for treating Hair, Pigment and Vascular are being discussed.  We are all learning a great deal and a few knowledgeable and experienced thought leaders are emerging – Charry, Med Spa Guy, pmdoc, LH and SpaDocinCR.

Our second post will be a Summary of the DeepFx Round Table Webinar (May 2008) produced by Lumenis.  The Webinar was a Round Table Discussion between four of the most experienced and well known cosmetic physicians in the country – Jeffrey Dover, MD, Robert Weiss, MD, E. Victor Ross, MD and James Heinrich, MD.  Our post will summarize the Webinar.  The original Webinar is available to everyone on Lumenis’ Website.  We are hoping that our summary will prompt people to view the actual Webinar and then participate in the resulting discussion.  In the future, we hope that Lumenis will make their Webinars available in a form that can be downloaded onto iPods so we can listen in our cars.

Finally, it is our goal to get summaries done of the various meetings that are happening in the near future.  A few upcoming clinical meetings are The Cutera Clinical Forum in Chicago (August 2008), Controversies & Conversations in Laser and Cosmetic Surgery:  An Advanced Symposium in Whistler, BC Canada (August 2008) and the Harvard Conference in Boston hosted by R. Rox Anderson, MD entitled  “Laser & Aesthetic Skin Therapy:  What’s the Truth?” (October 2008).  We are hoping that conference attendees will write notes about the lectures and the sessions and then will submit those notes to Medical Spa MD to be posted.  We will be able to read these notes, learn from them and then discuss the content.  This will bring the information to countless more clinical providers.  In the future, we hope that the organizers of these conferences will record their sessions and sell the audio so we can benefit without having to travel and take time off from work.  At this years ASLMS Meeting, the lectures were recorded and you can purchase them for a nominal fee ($11 per Tape).

This Clinical Exchange Project is a grass roots activity that is meant to take the place of formal activities that Allergan and the big Laser Companies are not doing.  We are not sure why they have left this “information gap” and do not support meaningful continuing clinical education and meaningful clinical exchange, but we hope they will join our efforts once they see the value in these types of activities.  Better clinical outcomes and fewer adverse events will benefit the whole field.  By sharing information and communicating and making more information available to more providers, we can advance the field much more rapidly then our current method of each provider trying to figure things out by trial and error.

We hope you will join our effort as a summarizer of Webinars and Conferences or as an active participant in the resulting discussions and debates.

Reader Comments (19)

CHMD: Once again you have proposed another excellent idea for helping all aesthetic pratitioners achieve better outcomes. At this point I am not sure the "webinar" approach is the best way to go. I recently checked out a Palomar webinar on using the 1064 laser for treating leg veins. Since the 65 minute webinar was presented by Robert Weiss - certainly one of the leading experts in the field - I thought it might be helpful. What the webinar did was convince me that before even attempting this with a laser one should probably first take a full day course covering the basics of venous disease, the ins and outs of sclerotherapy, complications, etc. and THEN move on to the laser component. This simply cannot be done via the Internet and a one hour overview is not adequate. The "quickie" overview approach also seems to be the modus operandi of the Cosmetic Bootcamps that are being offered peiodically on these important topics. Once again-- these are the things you need to know to be able to deliver good (and safe) outcomes, and the laser companies are not going to do this for us.

By poking around a little, I discovered that Dr. Weiss is putting on a full two day clinical workshop on sclero and vein treatment in September in Baltimore. The second day deals with endovenous ablation so a doctor who does not deal with varcose veins could just take day one. The fee for the first day is $1400-- which certainly sounds like a good investment to me. This blog would be an excellent place to try to post information about these legitimate workshops which I would characterize as "beyond the sales pitch". Perhaps Jeff will facilitate for us. It is also looking like the prospective patients need a separate place to go so their questions do not get mixed in among the ones this site is intended to be dealing with. I believe Jeff is working on this.

P.S.-- I found the details about the September workshop on the Maryland Laser, Skin and Vein Center web site. Weiss received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University but I hope you will not hold that against him. And he has authored over 80 publications so will probably be able to help make you a better doctor!

Hi MedSpaGuy,

Webinars ARE the way to go because there are lots of them, they get archived and we all can view from home. This is why I feel this way:

The content of the Webinar does not really matter much. The fact that someone has listened to it and summarizes it is what is important. It is fine to add your opinion to the content as the transcriber (I did this in the DeepFx Webinar Summary). What matters is that something is written and posted so we can use this as a jumping off place for discussion. The discussion is where the real value is located! If the webinar is not worth anything, it would be nice to know so we don't listen to the archived version. If you summarized the vein webinar from Palomar and thought it was worthless, I would read that and suggest you listen to the webinar from Cutera. That way you could learn and everyone could learn from our collective experiences.

BTW, I have seen some very good webinars on LVR in the Cutera collection. It IS true that you should do Sclerotherapy first and LVR second. Many laser companies will not tell you this. They shouldn't be afraid of this because Sclerotherapy is easy to learn and easy to do. The best treatments are a combination of the two. In fact, it is my opinion that the laser companies should encourage you to do sclerotherapy so you get better results (but as I have seen all too often, the laser companies just don't get it).

Of course, if the patient has big varicose veins, they should be referred to a vasc surgeon or a vein specialist. I only do reticular veins and spider veins.

Med Spa Guy, I really appreciate your active participation on these blogs. I have learned a lot from you. Keep it up.

06.24 | Unregistered CommenterCHMD

I would definitely throw in dermarogue and DermaDoc

06.25 | Unregistered CommenterLH

LH and CHMD:
I wish to ask you this question: Which do you think is better: Discussions of aesthetic topics here, probably lead by CHMD or organizing an annual meeting between us where we can meet together face-2-face?? For the latter idea, we are thinking of a November meeting. Please let me know of your thoughts. I also welcome inputs from any interested aesthetic professionals. What I am hoping to do is to "streamline" our exchange of knowledges. Thanks CHMD for keeping this line open.

06.30 | Unregistered Commenterpmdoc

I think meeting would be great and then we can keep the discussions going online in this forum.

Meeting face to face would give us the opportunity to discuss what is truly important and then we can plan on how we are going to keep in touch and keep learning from one another.

Clearly the franchises and the big laser companies are NOT going to help us. We have to help ourselves.

When we all get better results, the whole field floats higher and we all benefit.

If we can get people like pmdoc, LH and other thought leaders together in one room for a weekend, I think we can make tremendous progress.

There are others like co2doc, Florida PA and TF who would be great additions to such a conference.

pmdoc, how can we contact you to find out more?

07.2 | Unregistered CommenterCHMD

ps. I will be doing a summary of the September 2005 Suppliment to Skin & Aging in the next few weeks. This Suppliment dealth with PIH, Hyperpigmentation and Melasma. It is excellent and has excellent information. Hopefully this will stimulate a nice discussion of these topics on this forum. This would be a great topic to discuss at any Clinical Exchange Meeting.

07.2 | Unregistered CommenterCHMD

pss. this suppliment has been posted by Foxydog1064 at

07.2 | Unregistered CommenterCHMD

CHMD and others:
Please email me to so we can communicate on a face-2-face meeting. Thanks

07.4 | Unregistered Commenterpmdoc

Thanks for the compliment!

Since travelling is difficult to coordinate and expensive, why don't we pick a topic - something fairly basic and applicable to everyone - and start a "best practices" discussion here online?

07.4 | Unregistered CommenterTF

One of our colleagues already kindly committed to the coordination of the meeting. The plan calls for a weekend meeting on Nov 8-9 near Philadelphia. I think online discussions and going to "formal seminars" can only take us so far. I would like to give this first meeting a chance since we can "frankly" exchange not only clinical and practical information but also possibly band together for more leverages (price wise and technical facts) against the laser companies. We have been to "those" seminars wherein the expert luminaires were somewhat bound to say nice things about some specific laser products because of underlying financial considerations. I am personally aware of Dr. R.F. in LaJolla would conduct Fraxel seminar then 2 weeks later do a Portrait Rhytec within the same county or Dr. F.M. in Miami doing seminars both for Thermage and Alma. This goes on and on and on.

07.4 | Unregistered Commenterpmdoc

Looking for a few good Men and Women: Volunteer "Conference Reporters"

We would like to organize a group of “Volunteer Conference Reporters” who are going to various conferences and can report on what they have seen, heard and learned.

For example, I am going to the Harvard Conference in October (Laser & Aesthetic Skin Therapy: What’s the Truth? 2008). I will write about one or more of the topics covered at that conference. After my summary is published, others can read it and learn from it. We can also discuss it via the blog (the same way we are discussing the DeepFx Webinar Summary). I am hoping that other readers who are going to this conference will become Volunteers and write about other topics covered at this conference. This conference is organized by R. Rox Anderson and promises to be excellent (What is the Truth?).

We have a few other notable conferences coming up in the next few months. In addition to the Harvard Conference in October, we have the Controversies and Conversations in Laser and Cosmetic Surgery: An Advanced Symposium August 8-10, 2008 in British Columbia , Canada and the Cutera Clinical Forum in Chicago August 15-17, 2008. There is also an Obagi Conference, November 13-14, 2008 (Ultimate Skin Symposium) in Los Angeles . Finally, every April the ASLMS has its annual conference which is excellent. I am hoping we can cover these conferences at a minimum and add others that we feel are top notch!

I have volunteered to be the Conference Reporter Coordinator and Organizer.

If you will be going to any of these conferences and would be willing to write a summary of one or more of the topics covered, please contact Jeff Barson at and he will forward your information to me so that we can coordinate our efforts or just repond on this blog with your email address and I will contact you..


08.6 | Unregistered CommenterCHMD

I would love to do this. My email is If anyone is interested, rather than contacting Jeff Barson or CHMD, you can send me a private email and I will forward it to Jeff and CHMD ("off line").

I will also be at the Harvard Conference in October and would love to summarize one of the talks for everyone.

If you send me an email, please label it "Clinical Exchange MedicalSpaMD" so I will not think it is "junk email". Thanks.


08.6 | Unregistered CommenterJEE

This is what each laser company NEEDS to do for us.

08.9 | Unregistered CommenterMDR

Why aren't the Laser Companies and Allergan doing this for us?
This is just an example of what a company should do.
Why are we prevented from "Clinical Exchange"?
Why are the laser companies not encouraging us to communicate to find "best practices"?

Welcome to the MRI NetForum Community

NetForum provides a virtual meeting place to share knowledge, experiences and best practices with other Philips MRI users from around the globe.

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08.9 | Unregistered CommenterMDR

M. Christine Lee, MD, MPH
Lasers: What every patient should know, and what your doctor probably doesn’t
The Ultimate Guide for The Best Skin Ever
AuthorHouse, Bloomington, IN

From Page 162-163

A good laser company that is interested in long-term growth would welcome the comments of a laser clinician/researcher no matter how critical or negative they may be, because only a laser expert who is actively engaged in the treatment of patients on a daily basis using their requisite knowledge of lasers and skin interaction and possesses the necessary clinical acumen that can only be achieved by being the ultimate end-user of the devise can truly have their hands on the pulse of the industry-their opinion is vital for a laser company to be able to develop new and better devices and to continually improve upon existing technology. Companies interested only in short-term profit gains and not long-term growth constantly suppress the objective opinions of candid laser experts, not wanting to hear negative feedback and only wanting to push forward hype in order to sell more devices. They will, in fact, try to discredit those physicians who do not support their products, regardless of what the objective scientific evidence supports.

Many laser companies have come and gone. The ones that will remain standing are those that structure their business on sound engineering, research, and development. They produce lasers that really do something. They put more money and resources into product development than in marketing and advertising. They have a corporate philosophy which is based on building relationships, recruiting and retaining talented individuals, investing in new technology and research, diversifying, networking, building extensive distribution centers, nurturing forward vision, and promoting ethics and integrity.

08.27 | Unregistered CommenterJEE

I've really enjoyed the educational exchange I've received from this website. I am an Internist and have been doing cosmetic medicine for almost 5 years. Having started at an Empire Seminar (not recommended) I have spent a fair amount of time, energy and money over the years to continue my education and training. I agree that most of the seminars out there are either sales pitches for new machines or watered down overview for beginners (with a sales pitch attached).

Unfortunately, one of the best meetings I've attendied, I'm no longer welcome. I attended the ASDS meeting in Palm Springs a few years ago after paying double the Derm/Plastics/Ent admission rate and getting Dr. Richard Fitzpatrick (of SkinMedica) to write a lettter of "sponsorship" (thanks again). I tried to go last year when it was in Chicago but now it's exclusively for Derm/Plastics/Ent. No "outsiders" welcome at any admission price.

Every year I look at the ASLMS surgery meeting and it interferes with Spring Break. One of these years I will attend. The Harvard conference this past October looked promnising. Any feedback? Also, feedback on other quality, advanced training meetings that allow "non-core" physicians to attend would be appreciated.

11.18 | Unregistered CommenterInnovaMed

I've been to ASLMS and Harvard Conference. Both are great. I hope to go to Controverises next year. The Cherry Hill Meeting was also great. We are doing it again in the Spring/Summer of 2009. Send me your emial address if you want to be part of our "User Groups". Check out the Testimonials for the Cherry Hill Meeting by searching for "Cherry Hill Meeting".

11.19 | Unregistered CommenterJEE

The ASLMS has an overview and latest trends in lasers. The Harvard one has more focus and it is always interesting to hear from Prof Anderson.

11.20 | Unregistered CommenterAle

To see this months article on Clinical Exchange in HealthyAging Magazine, go to this link:

12.12 | Unregistered CommenterCHMD

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