4 Reasons You Should Never Buy Paid Patient Reviews, And 1 Reason You Should.

 Patient Reviews for Cosmetic Medical Practices

You're getting emailed from companies promising to raise your profile in the search engines by pushing hundreds or thousands of positive reviews, Facebook likes and Instagram shares to your sites and profiles, driving inbound patient inquiries and filling your treatment rooms. Don't do it.

Reviews are seen as one of the most valuable decision-making credibility markers that patients use when deciding who they're going to trust with their face. In fact, 85% of your potential patients trust online reviews - if they find them credible - as much as personal recommendations from their friends and family.  There is, however, a caveat to that trust. Consumers will only trust those online reviews as long as they believe they are authentic.

Here are some survey highlights from the latest 2017 survey:

  • 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day
  • 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • Positive reviews make 73% of consumers trust a local business more
  • 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business
  • Responding to reviews is more important than ever, with 30% naming this as key when judging local businesses
  • Consumers read an average of 7 reviews before trusting a business - up from 6 last year

Since the value of reviews is so high, some medical spas and cosmetic docs have taken to trying to buy positive reviews from bot-farms. Not a good idea. 

Here are just a few of the reasons why you shouldn't buy online reviews for your clinic.

1. IT’S AGAINST THE RULES

The biggest reason businesses shouldn’t buy online reviews is it’s against the terms and services of many online review sites. Businesses that ultimately do buy reviews or post fake reviews on behalf of their customers could suffer legal action or face sanctions.

Yelp has been very active in trying to ensure its reviews are authentic. Its Consumer Alerts program was created to make sure its reviews are properly vetted and provide helpful, accurate information to consumers conducting online research. If a business on Yelp is found to be purchasing reviews, their profile will be tagged with a warning to consumers about the dishonest activity.

The same is true for Google and Bing. If they catch you doing this the penalty can be severe and they will bury your search engine rankings - exactly the thing you were trying to improve.

2. IT CREATES DISTRUST

As we mentioned, online reviews are a valuable tool for both patients as well as clinics. Patients are leery of clinics either posting fake positive reviews on their sites or trying to sabotage their competition by posting fake negative reviews on their competitor’s sites. To ensure that trust is earned, your clinic should make every effort to be transparent in their collection of online reviews and run from shady practices. Patients can be merciless in spreading the fact that you're performing underhanded reviews if you're caught, and it's really easy to catch you. 

If your reviews are unerringly positive and weren't actually written by your patients - with shortcomings included - you're going to get hosed.

3. IT’S UNETHICAL

This one should be obvious but we'll outline it anyway. When you buy online reviews, you are lying to your patients and potential patients. Once they suss that our you're in for some through word-of-mouth backlash and deservedly so.

One thing to note here is that it's often your staff that will spill the beans. It only takes one tech or clinician to wink or drop that "those are all fake anyway" and - even if it wasn't the intent - your clinic's reputation will suffer.

4. YOU DON'T LEARN ANYTHING

When you buy online reviews, you're not getting feedback from your real patients. Reviews can help you identify problems that might exist in your business and gives you the tools needed to fix them. Clinics that are focused on the customer and care about the experience being delivered won’t need to buy online reviews or post fake ones because their customers will be motivated to post positive reviews on their own.

If you're thinking about buying fake reviews, don't do it, just punch yourself in the ear instead.

5. FINAL THOUGHTS AND RECOMMENDATION

The title lied.

There isn't any reason that you should buy patient reviews, but you should figure out how to get and use real reviews from our patients. If you're looking to improve both your recommendations and your search engine results, take a look at the Podium Special Offer for Members. It's the best tool you'll find IMHO and it works extremely well if you use it. You'll also save yourself countless hours of headaches and something like $1500 if you take advantage of the Members offer. Do yourself a favor and check it out or ask for a demo.

2nd.MD Select Partner Code For Members

2nd MDMedical Spa MD Members only pricing with code DOC1166

Use technology to consult online and set your own consultation rate, without any paperwork! 2nd MD is now a Select Partner of Medical Spa MD and is offering our Members special pricing. Watch the video below to learn more.

Creating an account is free and without obligation. You can set your own schedule, set your own fees, and set yourself at the forefront of medical technology.

(You must be a board certified US specialist to accept this offer.)

2nd MD Special Offer

 

Physician Testimonials

Who are the specialists are using 2nd MD right now?

  • 5% of 2nd MD physicians have either studied, trained, or currently work at one of US News & World Report's top hospitals or specialty programs.
  • 20% of 2nd MD doctors are chiefs or directors of their departments or hospital programs.

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UTHealth Medical School &
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Board Certified Neurologist

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Freelance MD's First 30 Days

If you've been around Medical Spa MD for the last month or so you may have noticed a few posts by guest authors from Freelance MD, our new sister-site.

Freelance MD is for physicians who are interested in non-traditional or non-clinical medicine as well as information about physician career and lifestyle control. To couch it as being a hit is something of an understatement. Here's the post I just published on Freelance about it's first 30 days.

Freelance MD was launched one month ago today. There have been a few changes.

Greg and I launched Freelance MD after meeting at the Medical Fusion Conference in Las Vegas at the beginning of November. We'd already had a number of discussions about the need but I wanted to talk to physicians outside of my usual cosmetic medicine contacts and listen to what they wanted, and gauge their reaction to what we were thinking about. Well, whatever doubts I had about the need for this type of community were quickly assuaged. I could see that the opportunity to provide a very broad, horizontal platform that focused on providing physicians information, products and services was growing and we were in a unique position to address it.

The conference ended on the 7th and on the 17th we launched Freelance MD in it's current iteration. Now, one month later, we've been astounded by it's growth and it's resonance with physicians. I've been involved with a number of online communities but the speed with which Freelance is growing is more than unusual, it's astounding. Here are a couple of notable milestones from our first thirty days;

  • We've grow to almost twenty authors that include experts on topics as wide ranging as physician entrepreneurs, non-clinical careers, wealth planning, investing, and writing. We've passed 100 posts from our own authors, had our first guest post. It's actually been difficult for Greg to get back to everyone as fast as we'd like—but we're trying.
  • We're growing fast. Take a look at the growth curves below. For a community site that's just one month old and hasn't launched with an existing network this is phenomenal. As a point of reference, when I started Medical Spa MD it took me more than a year (maybe two) to reach this number of unique monthly visitors. Fast growth often comes with volatility but this trajectory is better than we could have hoped for.
       

    Freelance MD traffic From November 17th — December 17th, 2010


    10,319 page views an more than 2,000 unique visitors in the last 30 days and 1,500+ unique visitors so far this month! ; )
  • We're sticky. Take another look at the image above and you'll see a wide gap  between unique visitors and page views. This shows that the average visitor views slightly more than 4 pages each time they visit. For anyone who knows something about user behavior online, this is a key indication of how 'sticky' a site is and how interested visitors are in the content. The fact that we're seeing 5 page views per visitor literally blows the doors off of most sites, especially since there are 20 blog posts that are visible on the first page. This indicator—even more than the growth curve—is something to get excited about since it denotes that readers are heavily engaged.
  • Readers are recommending us with 500 Facebook likes, more than 1,000 stumbles, and an unknown number of tweets. (You can do us a solid by helping out here and posting a recommendation to our favorite social networks.) If you look up in the right corner of the site you can see the number of times that we've been referred through popular social networks. (The Twitter number will change because it relates to the specific page you're on, not an aggregated total. That's why you'll see changing numbers under different posts.) We've also just added the new LinkedIn 'share' button. To be honest, I'm not sure exactly what to think about what's going on there since I've never seen numbers like that appear so fast before.
  • We've partners with some fantastic organizations. You'll notice that our Select Partners list is growing and we're also excited about that. With partners like Health 2.0, ExpedMed, and the Medical Fusion Conference, we're tapping in to a number of other communities and events that we can add value to.
  • We've expanded our community to include Freelance MD groups on LinkedIn, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds... You can connect with the community through any or all of these. (You'll get bonus karma for connecting with them all.)
  • We're building out promotions for some of our partner organizations. If you haven't visited the ExpedMed CME Polar Bear Adventure to investigate your adventurous side or thought about attending the Health 2.0 Spring Fling in San Diego, you should take a look.

The numbers above are pretty impressive, but we're not going to be resting on our laurels any time soon. There's too much to do. We'll undoubtedly have some issues as we grow, but we're committed to pushing through these obstacles and making Freelance MD the single best community for action-oriented physicians on the web.

In the very near future we'll be adding memberships, downloads, a non-clinical physicians jobs board and even more authors to the mix.



Medical Spa MD Video

Here' s a promo video that the good folks from our Select Partner Frontdesk SEO built for Medical Spa MD to show their new video offering.

It's pretty damn slick if I do say so myself.

Frontdesk SEO is already offering a host of social marketing tools and services for the Medical Spa MD Members who subscribe to thier business services, and now they're adding selected video services in to the mix.

Video has moved into the forefront of both internet marketing and traffic conversion since the fact that it's generally difficult to produce offers something more than simple text.

If you need help with your search engine rankings to drive more traffic, take a look at Frontdesk to see if you need some help in generating new patients while, at the same time, interacting with your existing patients more frequently outside of office visits. There are a number of our Members who use the service and love it.

If you' haven't yet run your existing website through through the free reporting tool to see what Google and the other search engines think of your site, you can do it through the link below.

Run a free SEO report on your website

Special Offer: If you're a Medical Spa MD Member, I will pay for you to go to the Medical Fusion Conference!

If you're a Medical Spa MD Member and you go to the Medical Fusion Conference, I'll pay for you to go.

There's just a couple of small catchs to this offer. First, you'll need to tell them that you're a Medspa MD Member at the time of your booking to get this deal. Second, there are a limited number.

(Listen to the new Medical Spa MD Podcast, episode 1, in which Dr. Greg Bledsoe talks about the Medical Fusion Conference.)

I'm really excited to have you hear because in this video I'm going to talk about exactly how you can start to take control of your medical career and leverage you medical training in ways that you never thought possible. And then at the end of this video you're going to receive a personal offer from me that's exclusively  to Medical Spa MD Members in which I'm going to pay your way to attend the conference. That's right. I'm so passionate about this conference and it's philosophy that I'm going to personally pay if you attend this conference in Las Vegas. You're going to want to stick around for this.

But first up, let me introduce you to the Fusion Medical Conference while I tell you what's  got me so fired up and energized about it.

First you'll be up for two days of intense learning from physicians who have already made the decision to take their careers in the directions that they choose.  These docs will teach you how they've succeeded, and let you learn from the mistakes they've made. From concierge medicine to  pharmaceutical consulting, you'll learn from doctors who are already walking the walk.

Medical Fusion Conference is about taking control of your career, and your lifestyle. While other conference are packed with vendors and technology companies, Medical Fusion is filled with physicians who have decided to leverage their training and skills to create the career course that they want, from consulting , to writing, to film making. These guys are filled with information that you can use no matter what you current situation is. 

Secondly, Medical Fusion isnt about walking the isles of a sales floor and listening to sales pitches, it's about doing. The difference is glaring. Look, I've been to all the conferences in NY, LA, Miami and Vegas. While the larger expos and conferences are selling you fish, Medical Fusion is handing  you a fishing pole and teaching you how to use it.

Best of all, the thinking around Medical Fusion fits perfectly with cosmetic practices. As a physician practicing cosmetic medicine you need a host of skills, from marketing, to operations. You're in 'retail' medicine after all and the reason that you got in to cosmetic medicine was to gain some control of your practice and your life style. This is exactly the thinking that Medical Fusion is all about.

Ok, so let's talk about what you're going to get and why you'd be smart to step up snatch this offer before it's gone.

You get 2 days of rubbing elbows with physician entrepreneurs who can help you make smart and move your career in the direction that you choose.

You also get this generous bonus of 20 free hours of Category 1 CME credits through ExpedMed, the leader in expedition and wilderness medicine. It's al lot more fun than most CME courses and it's included for all attendees.

But, that's not all. Since you're a Medical Spa MD Member, I'm going to make you an offer that you'd be a fool to pass up on.

If you're a Medical Spa MD Member attending Medical Fusion and you let them know when you sign up, you're going to receive a full month of full service business SEO from Frontdesk. If you haven't looked at Frontdesk before, you should do it right now. There are already a number of Members who use Frontdesk to promote their search engine rankings and market their clinics online. And the business account is Frontdesk's flagship product that they usually charge $1,259 for.

And the reason that you're going to get that free month from Frontdesk is that Medical Spa MD is going to pay for it. That's right. I will pay for you to receive a full month of business services from Frontdesk and it won't cost you a dime.

There are a couple of caveats of course. You'll have to register by phone (866-924-7929) and identify yourself as a Member. And since I'm paying for this out of my own pocket I'm going to limit my total costs to $100,000 retail.  (Yes, I'm getting a discount. No, it is not free. No matter how supportive a business is, they still have to make money and pay their employees as we all know) That means that not everyone who wants to get this bonus is going to be able to.

And since this is my own cash, I'll reserve the right to approve every bonus.  I'll be pretty transparent about this and may publish a list of those who attend and receive this offer.

Lastly, lest you think that I must have some sort of business interest in Medical Fusion to make this kind of offer, not So. I have no business arrangement with the Medical Fusion Conference of any kind. None. Zilch. Nada. I'm making this offer because this conference is awesome and deserves support. That's it.

There you go. This is an absolutely killer deal. If you have any way of putting yourself in Las Vegas on November 5th, 6th, and 7th, do it. Whether you're just getting started, or you fancy yourself a bit of an old hand, you're going to learn how to take control of your career and put yourself on the path to the lifestyle you're looking for.

If you're smart, you'll book right now and snag a full month of Expert SEO services from Frontdesk.

Special Offer Fine Print

The offer I'm making to pay for a full month of SEO services from frontdesk is not part of the Medical Fusion Conference. It's my way of encouraging Members to attend and learn. It is entirely at my discretion and may be withdrawn, amended, discontinued or anything else at my sole discretion. (So don't abuse it.) That being said, you should absolutly take advantage of this ASAP since I'm only going to pay for a limited number of attendees. Yes, you will still have to pay the actual fee, flight and room... but you'll get me to give you a free month of full service SEO from Frontdesk. Get off your duff and sign up.

The Medical Fusion Conference. A New Select Partner.

A new Select Partner has joined Medical Spa MD, the Medical Fusion Conference.

The Medical Fusion Conference is something of an anomaly in the medical conference circut. It's a conference built around providing physicians additional or tangential sources of income in addition to their regular clinical practice, and it's a damn good idea.

The Medical Fusion Conference offers something that's sorely lacking among the conglomeration of clinical shows and expos, a 'horizontal' approch to how physicians can direct their careers along a path of their own choosing. Truth be told, a great number (perhaps the greatest number) of physicians who enter cosmetic medicine or open a laser clinic or medical spa are doing so in order to have more control over their practice, their income, and their life. The Medical Fusion Conference is designed with exactly that goal in mind.

At this coming conference on November 5th to the 7th there will be physicians who have successfully made career choices that have allowed them to escape the grind an hours of traditional clinical practice and have forged their paths that 'leveraged their medical training'. They're film makers, authors, consultants, marketers, and entrepreneurs that have freed up their time and lifestyle to be able to make choices that most physicians can only dream of. The conference brings them all to together in a way that allows other physicians to learn how to replicate their success.

You might not want to be a physician author, consultant, or film maker, or run a concierce practice while consulting for pharmaceutical companies... but the same thinking and skill sets that these physicians have that allowed them to chart their own career path are perfectly applicable to you if you're a physician who wants more control of your practice and your life. Why? Because while the big conferences and expos are really marketing and advertising floor shows that are paid for by vendors, this conference is designed to give you information and skills that you can put to practical use.

Best of all, the conference is still small and intimate enough that you'll have access to every speaker. That's something that you'll never get at the monster expos and conferences. Faculty who are true experts in their fields are being brought in to discuss their careers and developing trends in medicine.  Each day is designed to maximize learning and face time with faculty members including the scheduling of two "meet the faculty" sessions that allow sit down time between participants and the Medical Fusion speakers.

I just got off of the phone with the founder of the conference, Gregory H. Bledsoe, MD, MPH who is also the CEO of ExpedMed and Chief Editor of Expedition & Wilderness Medicine and I was more than just a little impressed. This conference is quite obviously something special and deserves your support.

If you're looking to give yourself some new tools in your career, this is the place to be.

Confirmed faculty for the Medical Fusion Conference include:

  • Gregory Bledsoe, MD, MPH, CEO of ExpedMed and Chief Editor of the textbook Expedition & Wilderness Medicine. ExpedMed.org
  • Natalie Hodge, MD, Co-Founder & Chief Health Officer of Personal Medicine PersonalMedicine.com
  • Elliot Justin, MD, Founder of telemedicine group SwiftMD and CEO of Pegasus Emergency Group. SwiftMD.com   Pegasus.md
  • John LaPuma, MD, New York Times best-selling author and founder of ChefMD. ChefMD.com
  • Steven Knope, MD, New York Times best-selling author of Concierge Medicine: A New System to Get the Best Healthcare. ConciergeMedicineMD.com
  • Setu Mazumdar, MD, Founder and President, Lotus Wealth Solutions.  lotuswealthsolutions.com
  • Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA, Professor of Otolarynogology, Dentistry, & Engineering, University of Colorado and Founder of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs. sopenet.org
  • Steven Peskin, MD, MBA, Executive VP and CMO of MediMedia. medimedia.com
  • Jeffrey Segal, MD, JD,  Founder and CEO of Medical Justice. medicaljustice.com
  • Gary Taff, MD, entrepreneur and real estate investor
  • Mike Woo-Ming, MD, MPH, entrepreneur and internet marketing consultant. themarketingmd.com

Study Shows Disturbing Medical Lawsuit Numbers


Frivolous or not, harsh statistics show lawsuits are running rampant against physicians...

There are about 95 medical liability claims filed for every 100 physicians—or almost one per doctor—and nearly 61% of physicians age 55 and older have been sued, according to a report released by the American Medical Association  and based on a survey of 5,825 “non-federal patient care physicians” conducted in 2007 and 2008.
The survey, which included doctors practicing across 42 specialties, found that 42.2% of the respondents had a claim filed against them at some point, with more than 20% of physicians sued at least twice.

As physicians age, it is more likely they will get sued, according to the survey, which found that only 15.3% of doctors under age 40 had been sued and only 4.2% had been sued twice; 45.3% doctors between 40 and 54 had been sued, with 22.3% having been sued twice; and 60.5% of doctors 55 and older had been sued, with 39.2% having been sued at least twice.

The study also found that 47.5% of male physicians had been sued, with 26.3% having been sued twice; and that 23.9% of female doctors had been sued and only 9.4% had been sued twice.

The most-sued specialties were obstetricians/gynecologists and general surgeons, with 69.2% of them being sued; while psychiatrists were the least sued at 22.2%.

In another study, the Illinois State Medical Society and the ISMIE Mutual Insurance Co. malpractice insurer surveyed some 1,100 Illinois physicians between June 21 and July 2, and 66% said they have personally reduced or eliminated high-risk services or procedures because of the threat of being sued, 82% said they viewed each patient as a liability risk, and 89% said that liability concerns caused them to “order more tests than are medically needed.” 

Guest post by Joy Tu of Medical Justice.

Submit a guest post and be heard.

Medical Spas & Cosmetic Crimes

From our friends over at Healthy Aging Magazine, an article that may or may not surprise you......

Depending on what statistics you read, tight economic times can either produce crime increases or decreases. However, a particularly peculiar variety of crime seems to be increasing these days—vanity crimes.

No, I’m not talking about the crime of going too big on your lip plumper or stripping 20 years off your skin when 10 would look more natural. I’m talking about people ripping off the dermatologists and plastic surgeons they’ve gone to for aesthetic procedures. 

A newspaper in Florida reported recently on several cosmetic crime cases:

  • A woman came in for Botox and fillers totaling $3,300 then pulled a dine and dash. When she walked out of the office to visit an ATM to get the money, she bolted and never returned. Although she declined the before and after pictures, the office captured her on security video.
  • A women received a $9,000 breast augmentation and tried to pay for it with a stolen credit card.
  • A Fort Lauderdale women was charged with using a stolen credit card to pay for a tummy tuck.
  • In a similar case, a Des Moines woman was accused of identity theft when she used a credit card to pay for over $6,000 in cosmetic surgery. She took out the credit card in her estranged husband’s name—probably not a good way to win him back.

An article on MSNBC cites Botox bandits Newport Beach, CA; Port St. Lucie, FL; Tampa, FL; Brisbane, Australia and Kenton, England. Jeff Karzman from the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery states that it's a problem happening "coast to coast."

Dallas plastic surgeon Rod Rohrich, MD, says he's having patients pre-pay for procedures to prevent what he calls "runners." Many medical spas have turned to an up-front payment system. 

Is smoother skin or a slimmer figure really worth a crime? How many months or years in the slammer would you do for a breast job or Brazilian butt lift? What should practice owners do to protect themselves against this kind of thing? Post security guards? Perform preemptive credit and background checks? Charge for procedures up front? If charge up front, should that apply to all patients or just new or suspicious ones? 

Guest post by Grant Clauser, Editor of Healthy Aging Magazine.

Submit a guest post and be heard.

Frontdesk SEO: Medical Spa Marketing & Keyword Selection

Frontdesk has a growing number of full-service website SEO accounts from Medical Spa MD Members and additional do-it-yourself accounts popping in all the time.

Read this review of our SEO software by a Medical Spa MD Member.

Since we've had so many Medical Spa MD Members sign up and begin using our SEO software or outsourcing their SEO to us, I though I'd comment on one of the most common questions that we get from plastic surgeons and medical spas that are just starting; keyword selection.

What are keywords?

Keywords (or key phrases) are what someone who is looking for your clinic types in to the search engine. For many, selecting the right keywords can be of the utmost importance. If you select the right keywords your marketing efforts should see some pretty significant results after just a short time, but select the wrong keywords and you're going to be banging your head against the wall with little to show for it. So, let's talk keywords that are going to be most useful for Medical Spa MD Members.

Most Medspa MD Members are individual physicians who have a single clinic location. As such, you're targeting potential clients based on geographical location; a certain 'radius' around your practice that you typically pull new patients from.

This one single piece of info gives you the ability to be especially effective by using your geography in your SEO efforts. And since 85%+ of your potential clients are now using the web to find local businesses it's more than just a 'nice to have', it's imperative for success if you're looking to grow.

Selecting Your Medical Spas Best Keywords

There's some good news here. If you're offering Botox, Dysport, laser hair removal, or photofacials, or you're using technology that clients might be searching for like Fraxel, Thermage, or IPL treatments, you can just stick your area code or location on the end (which is how people commonly search) and you're set; so 'Fraxel' now becomes 'Fraxel Manhattan', 'Thermage' becomes 'Thermage NYC', and 'laser hair removal' is now 'laser hair removal 90210'.

Of course there's a hitch. Just because you're being ranked for 'Fraxel NYC' doesn't mean that you'll rank for anything else. So, you'll need to keep up your marketing efforts on all the keywords that you're targeting at the same time. (This can be pretty difficult if you don't have a system in place.)

If you've got any website SEO efforts in place, you'll do better with just adding your local city or zip code to your normal process.

Where to start

OK, here's the plug; you should run a free SEO website report on your domain name. We offer this service (and it's a valuable one) so that you can see exactly how your site's performing at any given time.

Frontdesk SEO Videos

I've received a couple of emails asking exactly how easy it is to use Frontdesk SEO by docs who are concerned that their front desk staff my not be technically savvy enough to handle the SEO software.

I have to say that I know a couple of users who have thier teenage kids and wives using Frontdesk to build thier clinic's online visibility. Of course, if you don't have anyone who can perform these tasks, you can outsource them to Frontdesk and pick up a slew of additional advantages and benefits like blog posts, Facebook and Twitter markeing and content creation.

Here's a couple of website SEO videos from Frontdesk's support and 'how to' area that give you some idea of just how simple and easy this SEO software is to use.

And of course you can modify or change your keywords and everything else.

Relevant Links

The Cancer No One Takes Seriously

Last month, honor of National Melanoma Cancer Awareness Month, Healthy Aging interviewed a dozen folks who have been diagnosed with skin cancer. I digitally recorded their stories, and our photographers took lifestyle photographs. Their voices and images tell their story in the following slideshow.


 
Surprisingly, I noticed something different in these cancer survivors than other people I had interviewed with other types of cancer, such as breast cancer. The survivors' attitude upon diagnosis was almost systematically laissez faire at first.
 
While the diagnosis of any type of cancer is so difficult that generations of people still whisper the word or refer to it generically as "C," most people I interviewed were more intrepid about treatment. Their thoughts weren't on radiation or chemo.

There may be reasons why people don't take skin cancer so seriously. For one, the two most common types of skin cancer are generally not lethal.

Skin cancer is the number one diagnosed cancer in the United States. In fact, more than one million people are diagnosed with basal cell or squamous cell (non-melanoma) carcinoma annually. Given the high numbers, we all likely know someone who had a skin cancer removed. However, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are slow growing and are most often not lethal. For example, less than 1,000 people die from non-melanoma cancer annually.

Melanoma is what you do need to worry about and why we need to seek out dermatologists, who are trained to recognize all types of skin cancer.

Most recent statistics estimate that 68,720 new cases of melanoma will have been diagnosed in 2009. That's far less than breast cancer (194,280), colon cancer (106,100) and lung cancer (219,440). But there's one noticeable difference:

We have the tools necessary (our eyes and a hand mirror) to detect possible problem areas. Our follow-up with a dermatologist annually can ensure the cancer is simply removed, before it spreads to our lymph nodes. 

"It's so easy," Elizabeth Encarnacion says, after being diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma at 32. "It's not even like you have to get a mammogram or a colonscopy, you just have to go and have someone look at your skin."

The good news is when melanoma is caught early, it is highly curable, boasting 90 percent to 95 percent survival rates. 

On the other hand, malignant melanoma, when caught later, is a cancer with few effective treatments. The median number of people who are diagnosed with advanced stage melanoma, for example, don't live a year, according to the Melanoma Research Foundation.

And while many say ignorance is bliss; denial can kill.

"The best thing you can do, if you have any doubt, is go and get it checked," says Schilling. "The last thing you want to do is lose your life to something you have been looking at."

Read the rest of this article

Marci A. Landsmann is managing editor of Healthy Aging. She can be reached at mlandsmann@advanceweb.com.

Submit a guest post to Medical Spa MD and be heard.

Interview with Sciton BBL Product Manager Cheryl Deguara

Since Scitons Group Buy Program for Medical Spa MD Members just launched, we took the opportunity to chat with the Sciton BBLs product manager, Cheryl Deguara.

We're happy to have Sciton on board and offering our community some pretty hefty savings on the new BBLs IPL. We've had a number of conversations with them around their technology and customer service and we're satisfied that they recognize the benefits that this community can provide them, and that they're serious supporters of the site. Sciton's let us know that they've already sold more than a few units through Medical Spa MD. We'd love it if there were more Scitons out there.

To start off we wanted to get some inside info about why Sciton thinks that their BBLs platform is an obvious choice for your medspa or laser clinic. While not earth-shattering on the insight front and with a pretty obvious marketing slant, it's a start... and it's right on target.

From our first contacts it was obvious that Sciton is very proud of their BBL and and they aren’t afraid to say so.

“Our unit has some very impressive features that you won’t find with our competitors”, says Deguara,  “including an unlimited number of pulses while the unit is under warranty. Most IPL lamps have a pulse limit. When you reach that limit, it is typical to replace the hand piece 2-4 times a year at a cost of $5K-$7K each. You will never have that cost with Sciton's BBL.”

We asked Cheryl what she wants our Members to know about their product.

“BBL has 2 flash lamps instead of the 1 standard lamp found in other IPL devices. This not only means a longer lifetime but also helps eliminate the lamp degradation seen after short periods of time with other competitive IPL’s. There is no other IPL on the market that is as durable, reliable or versatile as Sciton’s BBL.”

Scition BBLs differentiated features include:

  • Other IPL devices require 2-7 different hand pieces to switch between wavelengths and/or spot size. Sciton’s BBL utilizes a single hand piece yet offers ultimate versatility and convenience.
  • Rapidly interchangeable filters allow switching the wavelength in a matter of seconds. Patients are not inconvenienced and doctors save time not having to power down the system to change wavelengths.
  • Innovative magnetic spot size adapters make changing the spot size fast and convenient. There is no need to buy a different hand piece simply to change the spot size. The large 15X 45 mm spot size is easily converted to 7 mm round, 11 mm round or 15 X 15 mm square in a snap.
  • Sciton’s BBL is the only system where you can control the skin temperature from 0 – 30 degrees centigrade. This allows better controlled treatments by increasing safety while maximizing clinical results.

Sciton Links

Sciton BBLs Group Buy: Save $15K on a new Scition BBLs

There's going to be quite a lot of Sciton activity on Medical Spa MD for the next month or so as we launch a new Sciton BBLs Group Buy Program with our newest Select Partner.

This program will expire after the first 5 Members lay down a deposit so if you want to take advantage of this you'll want to act first. I'll be laying out the details of the program but you'll want to watch this video explaination of the program from Sciton's Doug Carrow, Director of Sales Development.

View Sciton BBLs Group Buy Offer >

Questions?  Call 614-891-7591 or email info@sciton.com

Sciton BBLs Group Buy Configuration

BBLs™ enables treatment of multiple skin conditions with various wavelengths seamlessly using change-on-the-fly Smart Filters.

No obligation to buy if less than 5 Members join.

If there are less than 5 members at the end of the program, you may chose to buy the BBLs at the list price or you can chose to not buy the BBLs and your deposit will be refunded. 

Try it out!

There is no risk to try out the system. After your new Scition BBLs is delivered you will have 30 days to decide if you want to keep it or not. You'll receive full clinical training and support from Scition during this period. If you return your BBLs within 30 days from the date of installation, the full purchase price will be refunded (less the $5,000 deposit for clinical training).

12 month trade in!

Within a 12 month period you can chose to trade-in the BBLs in order to receive a credit of the full purchase price of the BBLs to go towards the purchase of a Sciton JOULE platform.

Additional Reading

Sciton BBLs Group Buy & Medical Spa MD

5 Medical Spa MD Members can now save $15,000 on a new Sciton BBLs through Sciton's Medical Spa MD Group Buy.

This offer expires after the first 5 Members make a deposit.

Sciton is the first major cosmetic laser and IPL technology manufacturer to test the waters in this kind of sales environment. For that, they deserve considerable kudos since it's not the typical CYA marketing and sales play that manufacturers usually employ.

We'll be discussing Scition and the BBLs at lenght but there's a rub of course. This offer is limited to the first 5 Medical Spa MD Members who make a deposit and get going. There's no risk since you can return the BBLs if you're not happy. You'll have to pay for the clinical training but you'll keep all the money that the BBLs makes you during that period. If you're looking to add an IPL for any reason, take a look.

As a note, don't think that Medical Spa MD is selling out or playing favorites. Sciton approached us because they already know that they've made sales of their technology because of Medical Spa MD's Members. They'd like to expand on their success. We're happy to have them because they've shown themselves to be proactive on the sevice end, engaged with Members, and have a good reputation.

If you've got any questions about this plan, please contact Scition directly by calling 614-891-7591 or email info@sciton.com

Additional Reading

Sciton BBLs Partnership Launch Is Coming

Sciton and Medical Spa MD will be announcing a group buy offering for our Members next week.

This is just a heads-up, but if you're even thinking about adding a cosmetic laser or IPL to your medical center you'll want to take a look at this new program.

Sciton's not sitting on their thumbs. They're a motiviated and hungry company that's watched the success that some of our other Select Partners like Shine and Frontdesk SEO have had and decided to craft an offer that pushes the limits of what a cosmetic laser manufacturer has done before.

This could fizzle of course, but I think there's an equal possiblity that it could just change the way that cosmetic medical technologies like laser and IPLs are sold and marketed... at least by those companies who have good reputations and understand that their physician customers are their greatest asset.

For Medical Spa MD's community this could be something of an inflection point, with one of the major technology companies now looking to actually become a member of the community we've built and allowing Members to pool their collective buying power and benfit from others who are using the same technology without trying to wall them off from all other information and messaging – which never really worked anyway. We'll be discussing the details of the offer and how it came about when it launches now but I wanted to mention that it's coming.

To bone up beforehand, read the latest cosmetic laser & IPL reviews and get a sense of what the medical spa community's thinking about Scition, Palomar, Cutera, Solta and the rest of the cosmetic laser & IPL technologies or visit some of the physician user groups.

If you're in the market for any type of cosmetic laser or IPL my advice is this; wait a week. Even if you're about to buy a Palomar Starlux, Candela Smoothbeam, or even a used cosmetic IPL, you'll be able to beat up your sales rep on price a little.

Your Medical Spa Frontdesk & Website SEO

Damn! That was a lot of work but we now have a special website SEO reporting tool installed directly in Medical Spa MD.

Frontdesk SEO is a Select Partner and the uber-cool Frontdesk SEO reporting tool is now available directly from this site.

For those of you who have not yet run one of Frontdesk's website report on your site, you'll want to ASAP. It's somthing akin to a credit check for your website and gives you a look at your Page Rank, links, SEO, competion, trends, and lets yo knowwhat Google, Yahoo, and Bing think of your website.

The report is free of course, but you'll undoubtedly receive an email at some time in the future about Frontdesk's do-it-yourself SEO software or outsourcing services (Which are fantasitc by the way and we use them ourselves). That's the trade of course, which is fine. After all, we're all capitalists here.