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Dr. Michael Gold - Gold Skin Care Center, Nashville

With 30 years of cosmetic dermatology experience Dr. Gold shows no signs of slowing down as he continues to grow his Nashville practice.

Dr. Michael Gold is a cosmetic dermatologist in Nashville Tennessee who was kind enough to sit down for an interview and give us his insights into how he runs his clinics, what technologies he uses, and what he's learned.

Dr. Michael Gold - Gold Skin Care, Nashville

Name: Michael H. Gold, MD
Clinic: Gold Skin Care Center
Location: Nashville, Tennessee

You've been working in this area for quite a while. What made you pursue cosmetic dermatology and aesthetic medicine?

I actually got started thinking about dermatology and aesthetics when I was 16 years old due to a bad case of acne, that I had when I was a young man. My dermatologist was Dr. Albert Kligman who invented Retin A and I was one of his first patients he placed on this medication. It was a strong formulation and within a week I had peeled the equivalent of today’s medium depth chemical peels. My skin was really smooth after that, and I thought - derm is the route I want to pursue in medicine. In my residency - actually my first day, I did a hair transplant with Dr. JB Pinski and the second day I did a liposuction procedure with my chairman Dr. Henry Roenigk. Dr. Roenigk was keen on cosmetic dermatology and instilled this love for aesthetics and surgery into me. I learned much from him and my other professors at Northwestern during my time there - especially from Drs. Jerry Garden, Ruth Frankel, and June Robinson. When I finished my residency I moved to Nashville, TN where I began seeing lots of patients interested in cosmetic concerns. This, along with my love of dermatology in general, helped propel my career in this field.

I was very fortunate to have played a role in the use of topical silicone gel sheets for hypertrophic scars and keloids and was part of the team that helped bring topical ALA into the US for not only AK use but for rejuvenation of the skin as well. I have been involved in lasers and light sources for years and had the first dedicated IPL for hair removal, which became a popular method around the world for hair removal. And I have played a role in absorbable suture technology for skin lifting.

Cosmetic dermatology has been very good to me - and with hard work and determination it can be for anyone who so desires.

You must have learned a little something about what you want as a work-life balance overseeing what is really quite a large clinic. What can you tell us about how you run your clinic and how it's organized?

Our clinic is very efficient - at least we like to think so. We have about 25,000 square feet of space all under one roof. We have many facets of our business and we have proven leaders who help oversee the various parts of our puzzle. We have a general dermatology area with 22 exam rooms that is staffed with 3 mid-level providers and myself. We have a medical spa with a dedicated aesthetician staff who perform services and sell skin products - which number about 500. We have a dedicated laser and rejuvenation center with their own dedicated staff where cutting edge treatments occur with either energy based devices (n=43) or with one of the injectable products we use. And we have a separate, dedicated research center, staffed with trained and outstanding nurses - all certified research professionals under my guidance. We have recently just added one of the most respected plastic surgeons in the US, he is now focusing his attention on hair transplants.

We have a staff of almost 50 employees and they are coordinated by our COO and CFO, Ms. Amy Anderson and for the research department we have Ms. Julie Biron. Amy uses department managers to assist her in the daily operations of the practice, which has been estimated by some to be one of the busiest practices anywhere in the nation. Our patient population varies from day to day but on average between 200 and 250 people pass through our doors daily. Patients come to us from all over the region and from most states in the US as well. Because of my international travel, we have visitors train with us on a regular basis and teaching these young and eager students has been some of the most rewarding work we have done.

A clinic that large, with that number of patients every day, is some serious work... It had to take some time to build out. How do you manage your team?

At the beginning it was easy - find the best of the best and pay them more than anyone else. But most importantly, treat them with respect and allow them to do the work that you hired them to do. Do not micromanage your senior staff - trust them to have your best interests at heart, and have the proper checks and balances in place to make sure that things run smoothly and efficiently.

We do use commission for our spa staff - shared amongst them so not to have a competition for each and every patient who comes to our spa. This has worked for me and therefore we have used this plan the longest.

Which technologies - IPL, lasers -  are you using in your practice and how do you decide what to buy?

I may be a little different when it comes to IPLs and how we use them and how we decide to get them into the clinic. I had the second dedicated IPL for vascular lesions way back when and had the first dedicated IPL for hair removal after that. Which means that we have been working with IPLs for over 23 years now. Our clinic, along with a few others, studied and worked through the parameters to make what we now have - safe and effective and reproducible IPLs. When you decide to purchase an IPL make sure that it has a squared pulse, contact cooling, and sophisticated software parameters. The major device companies all have great IPLs - we usually stick with Lumenis, Syneron, Alma, Venus, and Sciton - where we have devices from. These are well made, well studied IPLs that one can surely trust.

Technology purchases are run through the committee in my office - I want everything so we have my office COO and CFO who must sign off on anything I want, which means we only get what we need. You don’t need devices sitting around and collecting dust - you need them to be productive and used on a regular basis. If we buy a new device today, we try to set a time line as to when that device needs to be paid off for us to be successful. It works most every time, and makes us concentrate on the task at hand.

What can you tell us about your marketing strategies?

Marketing has changed over time and I do things a lot different than I did when I first started in practice 30 years ago. Now things like social media are key to getting the message out there and we do use social media to spread the word and advertise what we are doing in our clinic. I think intrinsic advertising - using your own data base for advertising is the way to go today and having means of getting referrals from patients and colleagues as well. This is where we are today, plus newsletters and e-mail blasts and signs in the office.

In the past we used a lot of print advertising which at the time made sense - it really does not any more.

The other thing that we did 30 years ago was to be very involved in the community and we attended almost every charity event in town which was a great way to meet people and to determine which charities and causes would shape our giving’s over time. We still participate as often as we can and our community has been incredible kind to us over these 30 years.

Where do you see the aesthetic market going? Which treatments are the most popular?

Everything we do hopefully is profitable. As I said, we value our purchases and try to have them paid off in a specific period of time to make sure that profit starts at an appropriate time. If you buy a 100K machine and use it once a year, it is not going to be profitable. If you use that same device 5 times a day, then it is a different story.

My most profitable device at this time is the Aerolase Neo - I have a large acne population - as you can tell from question one - and we use the Neo to treat acne painlessly and successfully. It can be used for many indications but for us acne is number one.

But every procedure needs to be profitable and I am happy to say that almost everyone is in our clinic.

You've undoubtedly seen a lot running a large clinic with thousands of patients. What have you learned, and what advice would you give to other physicians?

I have learned much over these past 30 years. I have learned that my best friends do the same things that I do - David Goldberg, Mark Nestor, and Mitch Goldman. All of my mentors and friends taught me to be ethical and honest, to work harder than anyone else, and to give back to my specialty whenever I could. And hopefully the examples I have set for some of my mentees over the year have shown that drive, determination, compassion, and skill make for the best cosmetic practitioner and dermatologist.

My advice to others is real simple - learn your craft well, treat it with respect, and always put the interests of your patients above your interests.

We are blessed in what we do and we need to remember this each and every day.

Gold Skin Care Center Nashville - Staff

About Dr. Gold

Dr. Michael H. Gold is the founder of Gold Skin Care Center, Advanced Aesthetics Medical Spa, The Laser & Rejuvenation Center, and Tennessee Clinical Research Center located in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Gold is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Meharry Medical College, School of Medicine, which is also in Nashville. He is a Visiting Professor of Dermatology for Huashan Hospital, Fudan University in Shanghai, China (11/2006), Guangdong Provincial People’s Hospital, Guangzhou, China, as well as a Visiting Professor of Dermatology at Number One Hospital of China Medical University (11/2008) in Shenyang, China.

Dr. Gold is a board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon who oversees the various facets of the Center’s operations: a combination of medical and surgical dermatology, cosmetic dermatology, aesthetic services, and research endeavors. Dr. Gold has earned a national and international reputation for providing patients with leading-edge technological advances and has expertise in all facets of dermatology and aesthetic care. The Tennessee Clinical Research Center is now one of the leading dermatologic research institutions in the U.S.

Dr. Gold speaks on national and international fronts, focusing on dermatology issues related to the use of lasers and energy-based devices, as well as the use of fillers and toxins in aesthetic and cosmetic dermatology. He lectures in venues around the world and is a sought-after contributor to educational meetings globally.


Your Comfort Zone


Laura Carlsen, RN - Colorado Skin & Vein Center

Vice President and Clinical Director of the Colorado Skin & Vein Center, RN Laura Carlsen proves to be an all-around cosmetic provider.

Colorado Skin & Vein Center provides a wide range of services from clinical dermatology (provided by a physician) to cosmetic care (provided by an RN), a common strategy. In this interview Laura Carlsen RN discusses her work and path to a successful career and business.

Colorado Skin & Vein Center

Name: Laura Carlsen, RN
Clinic: Colorado Skin and Vein Center
Location: Englewood, CO

Brief Bio:

I graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1989 with a marketing degree. After graduation, I sold IBM electric typewriters, computer maintenance contracts and Aveda skin care. In 1990, I started a home-based business performing facials, microdermabrasion and waxing treatments. I ran that business for 13 years, before graduating from the University of Colorado Denver with a nursing degree in 2009. As a Registered Nurse, I went to work for Colorado Skin & Vein (which was previously known as Colorado Center for Photomedicine) where I have proudly worked for eight years.

What sparked your interest in cosmetic medicine?

When I went to school to become an RN, it was with the intention to stay in the cosmetic industry. I loved doing facials and skincare but wanted to expand on that knowledge. I was doing a lot of acne facials and had several patients ask me about blue light. I knew then that I had to know more about what was available and how I could be involved.

What can you tell us about the clinic?

For eight out of the 11 years that Colorado Skin & Vein has been in practice, we operated with one doctor, one nurse (myself), and one to two support staff. Sometimes we had an esthetician, yet oftentimes we did not. We went from a 2500 square feet space in Highlands Ranch to our current building at I-25 and County Line with over 20,000 square feet. We occupy the top floor and rent out the bottom floor. Our staff has grown to 10 full-time and a few part-time employees. We have three main areas of focus: Dr. David Verebelyi, who does vascular treatments (leg veins, facial veins, port wine stains, etc.), Smartlipo and CO2 resurfacing.

Dr. Kimberly Neyman is our dermatologist and dermatopathologist, and I am the clinical nurse manager who oversees all the aesthetic treatments in our office. The areas that I manage include: Botox, filler, Kybella, cosmetic sclerotherapy, tattoo removal, hair removal, Genesis, IPL, PDL, CO2 for stretch marks, and chemical peels. Our patient population is diverse due to the multitude of services we provide. The cosmetic side is dominated by females in the 30-60-year range, but veins and dermatology attract a more equally mixed ratio of male to female clientele.

As a hiring manager, how do you manage staff?

I am personally involved in most of the hiring. The one thing we found that has worked very well in our favor is doing working interviews. We begin by doing phone interviews, progress to face-to-face interviews and then take our top 2-3 candidates and have them spend a day with us. This allows us to see how they interact with our clients and staff, to see what type of questions they ask and to see if they offer any insight into our current way of doing things. This has dramatically changed who we extend offers to and the culture of our practice. We currently have a staff that we truly love and that are passionate about being here.

The cosmetic providers receive compensation in the form of a base salary and commission based on profit. We used to do it based on revenue, but found that it made sense to the office and provider to focus on profit. When the business makes money, the provider makes money. The front office staff also receives a base or hourly wage, plus commission. Each employee’s commission may be based on increasing production totals, or collection levels, and each year we review their commission structure and decide what to focus on for the coming year.

Which technologies do you usually use in the clinic?

We have a lot of technology in our office which includes: Cellfina, Ulthera, Smartlipo, and CoolSculpting. We use the Lumenis FX for our CO2 procedures and for IPL, Nd:Yag and Genesis, we use the Cutera Xeo. For laser hair removal, we use the Cynosure Apogee Elite and the Lumenis LightSheer Duet and we can treat all skin types. The Lumenis Fotona is used to perform tattoo removal and for superficial vessels, we use the Candela Pulsed Dye Laser.

We are very cautious with how we buy equipment. Years ago, you would buy a machine and own the right to use it. Today, companies like Ulthera and CoolSculpting require disposables or cards to operate. When CoolSculpting came out with the Cool Mini, we had to evaluate whether the $10,000 new hand piece would generate enough business to justify its cost. Since we offer multiple modalities, we had to ask ourselves “could we treat those same areas with Kybella or liposuction” and “could we offer better results than the Mini?”

We never want to be put in a position that we must sell something because we are trying to recoup our investment. We currently do not have the Mini hand piece, but we will constantly revisit this decision as demand grows.

What ways do you get the word out for new patients?

Converting a new patient is always more expensive and time consuming than obtaining more business from a current patient. We try to focus on what our patients want and what they are asking for and we enjoy offering two annual parties per year. One focuses more specifically on new equipment or offerings, while the other is more of a patient appreciation party. Our patients look forward to these parties and enjoy the education, specials and goody bags they receive at them.

As for advertising, we often test the waters. We will try an avenue such as print media and track how many calls came based off the ad. If we don’t see our money back, we don’t continue our business with them. Over the years, we have tried billboards, radio advertising, local print media and community events. While advertising a procedure, like CoolSculpting, can generate some interest, we found that when other practices advertise, it helps drive business to our practice also. Often patients will hear about a procedure they are interested in and then Google to see who offers it at the most convenient location.

Which equipment do you think would be helpful in the practice?

We are currently excited about Cellfina and are planning to see a good return on investment. The research is very good and the patient satisfaction is very high, even after 4 years. We also do very well with CoolSculpting and sclerotherapy. We used to offer facials and microdermabrasion treatments, however, we have dropped those offerings as the profit margin was low. We are considering adding miraDry to our practice.

Can you tell us about any encounters in your eight years of working in the clinic?

I always try to meet or exceed expectations, and I often turn patients away if I don’t feel we are a good fit for each other. Even with that said, you cannot hit a homerun 100% of the time. For instance, I just finished a follow-up appointment with a patient who had recently visited a plastic surgeon for a facelift, but ultimately decided she did not want to have surgery. She wants lift in the cheek area but is cautious. We did Botox and one vial of Juvederm UltraPlus split between both cheeks. Normally, I would have done Voluma, but the patient wanted a natural lift that would perk her up a little and money was tight. I was concerned that doing such a small amount of filler would leave her unhappy as it would not be enough product to lift her cheeks significantly, yet she assured me she would be happy with trying anything.

Now, two weeks later, patient feels she is too full in the cheek area. The photos are beautiful. One half vial of Juvederm in the cheek of a 54-year old woman cannot possibly be too much filler. At the end of the follow-up she asked me to do filler on her jawline, but also stated that she didn’t want it to look any fuller. I told her I could not meet that expectation. I had her take a picture of her before and after on her phone so she can remember what the service did for her and perhaps also get advice from family and friends. As hard as I tried with conversation and showing before and after photos, somewhere the communication was not clear enough that filler will provide a more volumized look. It reminds me to keep attempting to be as clear as possible.

What advice can you impart to physicians or to any provider that is in the aesthetic business?

The best advice I could give is to take great before and after photos and to listen intently to what the patient wants. In the above story, if I had not taken photos, I may have believed that I made the client look worse than before they came in.

About Laura Carlsen, RN

Armed with a Nursing degree and a certificate of Registered Nurse, Laura went to work for Dr. Verebelyi in 2009. Laura has been able to contribute to Colorado Skin and Vein by writing protocol and assisting in surgery, learning laser safety and parameters, taking over the injectable practice, training and overseeing estheticians, and being responsible for all clinic supplies. The number of Botox patients has tripled in the last few years and her filler numbers put her practice in the top 6% in the nation.

Laura’s passion is in helping people to look younger and better, but not “done”. She prefers a conservative, natural approach. Because of her dedication to the long-term care of her patient’s skin, she still retains many of her original clientele from Secret World Day Spa. If you have an interest in perking up your looks but are not sure what to do, meet with Laura for a complimentary consultation. Her expert eye combined with incredible training from some of the top injectors in the world, will have you smiling in no time.


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Marketing Strategies to Retain in 2017

Here's where you might look to focus your marketing and advertising efforts from the experts at

Like with any other retail, direct-to-consumer business, cosmetic medical practices need to be exposed in the digital world as there is a shift with marketing online. After all, 90%+ of your potential patients will start their search for a provider solution online, even if you're local and well known.

So, what do you do?

The first step is understanding that you have two different types of marketing; farming and hunting.

Hunting-marketing is what you're doing when you're buying advertising. It can work, but once your ad run is over, you're pretty much done.

Farming-marketing is somewhat different. Farming demands some work up front, but there are benefits that accrue long after that work is completed. Things like SEO, patient referral programs, customer service, front desk videos and other areas touch more of farming than of hunting. The main difference with farming is that you often own the distribution platform rather than just renting someone elses expensive space. The challenge with farming is that it's often not a quick-win but performs more like compounding interest.

There's need and a place for both.

Social media is [STILL] one of the best areas to get in front of potential patients

Social media is going nowhere. Almost everyone is hooked on their phones, stuck on their social media accounts finding something new or posting updates. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and among others can be used as an avenue to get new patients. With the right hashtag and relevant content, you can access new patients. Make sure that your content is new and up-to-date with the current technologies and procedures available to patients.

As for your present pool of patients, you can always show them your newest procedures or convince them you are still their go-to physician. New technologies and procedures are created and developed every year, and you could show your patients that you offer those that would help you in your practice. Not only that, people would see you as an expert of new methods in cosmetic medicine and you are constantly learning to improve your practice.

The goal here is to add value so that you're not muted. If the only thing you ever do is hard-sell your services or blather on about how great you are, well, you're stuck in first gear. Get your head out of your ass and figure out how you can serve your patients by teaching them something that they didn't already know, and that they value in some way.

It's not about you. It's always about the buyer.

Keep your website updated

This is crucial with any business since search and your rankings are critical to the top of your marketing funnel. If you keep your site the way it went live the first time a few years ago, it may not look good, and the search engines can see the tumbleweeds blowing across the page. (They don't like that.)

Internet users want to look at a modernized site that has a quick loading time and is easy to use and navigate... AND it's critical that it works on mobile devices, especially phones. Do not forget to update not only the look of your site, but also the information housed in the website. You do not want an old telephone number or a defunct email address on your CONTACT US page that may cost you your new patients.

Update your site regularly... meaning that you should have some content that changes every week or so (which is why blogging is so effective).

Positive reviews

This is the lifeblood of every doctor. Reviews help new patients discern if the physician would be the right fit for them. Teresa Iafolla of eVisit says that you may need to urge and encourage your patients to write reviews about you, your clinic, your staff, the procedure and anything else. Put them up on your website or broadcast it over your social media accounts, chances are patients will find them.

Beware of posting fake reviews or 'buying' reviews online. If you get caught the search penalties can be pretty severe.

These are simple tips that you may have to apply on your website or social media accounts to build your online presence further. You don’t even have to pay for these strategies either. While these are simple, it could go a long way. Do not forget these tips and it may help boost your revenue and sales.

If you have any questons, visit us at and fire off a question. We've been growing cosmetic medicial clincs and medspas for more than a decade and will be hapy to help.


Dr Elias Tam - EHA Clinic Shaw Centre in Singapore

Dr Elias Tam's interest in cosmetic medicine sparked because of his patients needs and is guided by a simple philosophy.

Name: Dr Elias Tam Dr Elias Tam - EHA Clinic Shaw Centre Singapore
Clinic: EHA Clinic
Location: Shaw Centre, Jurong West, and Toa Payoh

Brief Bio:

I am involved in several medical societies. This includes being a committee member of the Society of Men’s Health of Singapore, and in the International college of Surgeons(ICS). I am very humbled to be accepted as a Fellow of ICS being a non-surgeon, and even more overwhelmed to be elected the President for the Singapore Section. At the international level of ICS, I am also the Honorary Secretary of the Pacific Federation, Honorary Secretary of the Cosmetic-Aesthetic Specialty and member of the International Executive Committee. I have also started a Cadaveric workshop since 2010 and invite the best from different disciplines to teach our fellow doctors. The unique opportunity to refresh our anatomy through dissection and confirm that we are injecting into the correct depth/compartment cannot be over emphasized.

What made you interested in branching out to cosmetic medicine?

After starting my first clinic in 1998, there was constant request for treatment of skin problems such as acne, wrinkles, hair loss, pigmentation and tattoo. To take better care of my patients, I went to attend various trainings in laser treatment, filler injection, or surgical techniques such as hair transplant. The term Cosmetic Medicine or Aesthetic Medicine was unknown then. Legally speaking in Singapore today, we are classified as General Practitioners with a special interest in Aesthetic Medicine. Cosmetic/aesthetic medicine does not belong exclusively to...

Click to read more ...


Dr. Steven Ang - Steven Aesthetic and Laser Clinic, Orchard Road

From injecting earlobes for good luck to training other physicians, Singaporean Physician, Dr. Ang has a number of interesting stories to share.

Dr Steven Aesthetic and Laser Clinic, Orchard RoadName: Dr Steven Ang
Clinic: Dr. Steven Aesthetics and Laser Clinic
Location: Orchard Road, Singapore


Dr Steven Ang started his private cosmetic medicine practice in Singapore in 1998. The same year, he became a member of the International Union of Esthetic Medicine, and in the process, introduced the term and concept of esthetic medicine (cosmetic medicine) locally. He was one of the pioneer cosmetic doctors in laser medicine and surgery, intense pulsed light, botulinum toxin and dermal filler injections in Singapore. In the past, he had been a trainer in botulinum toxin injections. He had developed the course syllabus at a local beauty school. He was a member of the Beauty Task Force, a committee set up by the Consumers Association of Singapore to look into objectionable practices by beauty salons and consumer complaints in Singapore in 2002.

Which factors played in your journey to cosmetic medicine?

I was exposed to using lasers for skin treatment in 1991 while working at a clinic. In the process, I saw a big market potential for cosmetic medicine.

As a teenager, I suffered from severe acne. One of the nasty remarks made by a former classmate that stuck in my mind was: “Your face looked like excreta.” Later, I managed to treat myself and regain confidence. This motivated me to want to help others. My favorite tagline is “Sculpting Beauty, Creating Happiness”.

I graduated with Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degrees from the National University of Singapore in 1987. I sought further training at the renowned St John’s Institute of Dermatology in London and obtained my Master of Science degree in Clinical Dermatology from the University of London in 1994.

In the early days, there was no formal training for cosmetic medicine. I enrolled at a local beauty college that offered diplomas from the United Kingdom and Switzerland. I learnt the practices of an esthetician. In 1998, I became a member of the International Union of Esthetic Medicine (IUEM), which was based in Europe.

I started my private cosmetic medicine practice in Singapore in 1998, and through my membership with IUEM, introduced the term and concept of esthetic medicine locally.

Slimming and body contouring are another aspect to cosmetic medicine. To learn more, I undertook the clinical and oral examinations conducted by the American Board of Barriatric Medicine (now renamed as the American Board of Obesity Medicine) in 2002.

I now practiced at two locations, in Orchard Road and Redhill. We offer a full range of esthetic services. Our staff strength is 13 personnel. We serve thousands of patients each year.

Every cosmetic physicians has stories. What stories can you share with us?

One thing I learnt about practicing cosmetic medicine is unpredictable situations can arise and you must learn to respond. Once, I have a Chinese patient who consulted about getting dermal filler in his earlobes. According to him, a bigger earlobe will attract fortune and ensure a long life. Being Chinese myself, I know that these ethnic physiognomy beliefs are real. Therefore I proceeded to treat him.

As an experienced physician, what can you advise your fellow doctors in cosmetic medicine?

Over the years, I have learned that there are several critical factors that can contribute to the success of a practice...

Click to read more ...


Dr. Mohiba Tareen - Tareen Dermatology, Minnesota

Dr. Mohiba Tareen - Tareen Dermatology, Minnesota

In our interview with Dr. Mohiba Tareen, she shares her views about staffing and running a successful dermatology and cosmetic practice.

Name: Dr. Mohiba Tareen
Clinic: Tareen Dermatology
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Dr. Mohiba K. Tareen is a board certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon. She serves as medical director for Tareen Dermatology, a full service medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology practice located in Roseville, Minnesota. Dr. Tareen is proud to be the mother of 4 young and active sons.

About Tareen Dermatology:

Since its inception in 2011, Tareen Dermatology has provided high quality dermatologic care to thousands of patients in the Twin Cities and suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Dr Tareen trained at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Columbia University and also worked at a number of high profile New York City Dermatology practices prior to relocating to Minnesota. The Tareen Dermatology aesthetic practice began as a natural extension of the dermatology practice. It has now grown to employing 5 aestheticians in 2 different locations as well as a total of 4 physician assistants and 40 support staff members (clinic administrator, receptionists, clinical assistants, pharmacy staff, etc).

As a dermatologist, what sparked your interest in cosmetic medicine?

Dermatology and aesthetic medicine are complementary. I trained and worked in New York City for several years before moving to Minnesota. Patients in the midwest were surprised by the minimal and natural approach that I brought to toxins, fillers, lasers and skin care. The practice has grown tremendously as patients know that I will recommend simple and cost effective interventions that will enhance their youthfulness and beauty, while keeping them natural.

Tareen Dermatology prides itself as a comprehensive practice that cares for all aspects and ages of skin and health. I am proud to care for 3 and 4 generations of patients. From a cosmetic perspective, this may translate to chemical peels for a teenager with acne, filler/botox for a middle aged parent, and full face laser resurfacing for the grandmother to rejuvenate the skin. I also care for all of their medical needs.

As the physician, I form the center of the wheel. My four physician assistants work with me to provide excellent medical care. Our aestheticans perform procedures and consults. Our medical assistants make sure patients are comfortable and all their needs are taken care of. I surround myself with the best- a patient recently remarked that Tareen Dermatology is like "Dermatology Disneyland" as we really have such a happy office!

Can you tell us more about you think of and use your staff?

My rule is to always over-staff. My job is much less stressful if we have enough staff. When I enjoy my job, everything always runs more smoothly! Also, I have learned that, these days, most staff only work at any given place for a few years. I used to take it personally when staff left, but now I have changed my perspective and try to feel fortunate that I was able to have a skilled individual for a few years. Most of my staff keep in great touch and it is exciting to see the great things that they go on to do.

You've got a number of lasers, and in some cases more than one of the same kind. Can you give us a run-down of the technology you're using?

We have three Excimer lasers for Psoriasis, three vascular specific lasers, 2 Candela Gentlemax units for hair removal and deep vascular lesions, a fractional and non fractional CO2, 2 coolsculpting machines, and we just purchased an Enlighten laser for tattoo removal!

In general, I prefer specific lasers, not IPL modaliies, as I feel they deliver safer and more predictable results

Most of your marketing is word-of-mouth and based on your exisiting dermatology patients. Is that so?

Our marketing is almost completely internal. We are fortunate to have an audience of 150- 200 dermatology patients who trust us who come into our office every day as well as patients who spread the great work that we do.

My time is money- so the services that I do not have to perform directly- coolsculpting, vascular laser, laser skin tightening, and laser resurfacing- are the most profitable. I still do filler and toxin personally so I always struggle as I likely could make more money seeing medical patients during the time it takes me to do these procedures. However, I do enjoy the artistry and patients love my natural approach!

As a dermatologist whose practice is not entirely cosmetic, what have you learned about practicing cosmetic medicine?

In a medical and cosmetic dermatology office, often the lines can be blurred. Several years ago, we did a full face CO2 on a wonderful patient who had many medical and cosmetic procedures in the past. As she was checking out my assistant presented her with the $2,500 charge. She was confused and said, "Oh, I thought this was medical and we were doing it for my pre-cancer spots!" This taught me that I need to always draw a line between medical and cosmetic. Now, PRIOR to procedures, patients sign a form delineating their charges.

What advice can you impart to your fellow dermatologists or physicians?

Ironically, I was against the significant growth of my aesthetic practice. I thought that it would take away from the legitimacy of my very successful medical and surgical dermatology practice. I resisted the growth and purchase of expensive lasers. My husband, a urologist and my business manager, encouraged me. He said "Mohiba, people know you do good work. They are going to other places now and not getting the results they desire." My husband was correct, and our practice has grown exponentially. I think that if people know you do great work medically, aesthetics is a natural extension. I wish I would have grown my aesthetic practice sooner!

About Dr. Tareen

Dr. Tareen completed her dermatology residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, New York. During this time, she also lectured extensively and had her work published in a number of prestigious medical journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine. In addition, she was awarded the Conrad Stritzler Award of the New York Dermatological Society while a second year resident.

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