Dr. Mark Mofid's plastic surgery practice includes the La Jolla, Del Mar, and Chula Vista areas of San Diego.
Name: Mark Mofid, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Location: La Jolla, CA
Dr. Mark Mofid is a board-certified San Diego and La Jolla area plastic surgeon, certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Can you tell us how your clinic's set up?
Our office is centrally located in La Jolla/UTC within San Diego County. We have a full time dermatologist (my wife) and plastic surgeon (me) and a nurse. We have a AAAASF/Medicare accredited surgery center attached to the clinic and also provide laser services. The practice has several thousand patient visits per year and we offer medical and cosmetic dermatologic services as well as cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.
Staffing is always something that physicians are interested in. What is your hiring process?
Experience is overrated. The best front office employees that we have had over the years have had tremendous potential but were the proverbial diamond in the rough. We have 4 full time front office staff, two surgical technologists and a full time nurse. Our office manager has been with the practice for over 7 years and should really be credited with shaping a few generations of really wonderful administrative assistants. When we have hired for the front office in the past, we have typically fielded about 500 to 1000 applications per position. It’s a rigorous process where we hand select 50 resumes for phone interviews. Whether or not an applicant gets an actual interview may be determined by something small like how they answer the phone when we call them. We typically meet 20 or so applicants in person and we look for an ideal fit; someone who wants to commit 2 to 4 years to learning everything about the field of plastic surgery and dermatology and ultimately has aspirations to do much more. After 2 to 4 years, we do what we can to help those individuals find great jobs/career paths in industry, nursing or otherwise. Past front office staff from our practice have gone on to work for some of the largest corporate entities in plastic surgery/dermatology, have become office managers for other large practices or have become nurses or nurse practitioners.
What IPL or cosmetic lasers are you using?
We presently own a Cutera laser for hair removal and vein treatments. We offer several options for facial resurfacing with aggressive chemical peels and dermabrasion. We have an excellent referral relationship with a laser facility in our community that satisfies the needs of laser services that we don’t offer.
Have you ever had any experiences with technologies that you felt were oversold, either to the physician or to the patient?
Without naming names, there have been an aggressive marketing campaign for laser lipolysis treatment and we have avoided the temptation to jump on that bandwagon. We’ve been in practice long enough to have witnessed flame out technologies like thread lifting, injectable and laser fat treatments, mesotherapy and Endermologie. From my standpoint, I want to offer patients tried and true technologies with a high likelihood of having a happy patient at the end of the day. It’s a bad idea to try to be the first person in your community to offer a new technology only to have patients spend their good money for no results or worse.
How are you marketing your practice?
The best form of advertising is to do good work. It’s inexpensive and lets you compete on quality rather than price. Of course we have a website, but it’s not search optimized as well as we would like. If we weren’t busy, perhaps that might bother me more than it does. We don’t use print advertising or any other type of advertising.
Are your patients inquiring about nonsurgical options?
Nonsurgical fillers and chemodenervation agents are natural extensions to any cosmetic surgical practice. Many patients that are candidates for facial rejuvenation want to dip their big toe in the swimming pool first to determine whether having “something done” is a pleasant experience. These treatments can be done at cost in a busy surgical practice with the hope of converting some of those patients to surgical procedures.
What’s the worst decision you ever made as a physician and how did it make you wiser?
We’ve been fortunate not to have had to deal with many of these but one in particular stands out in my mind. About 6 years ago, we unknowingly hired a bookkeeper that had a criminal record. As they say, leopards don’t change their spots and we had to deal with the aftermath leading up to another criminal conviction for this person. I would recommend doing a background check on all new employees.
Read: Medical Spa Embezzlement & Employee Theft Scams - a free report for Members.
What's the best advice you've ever received as a physician?
Not to put the wagon before the horse. We started our practice in an 850 square foot, 2 exam room office and allowed for the natural growth of the practice to guide decisions such as whether to build the surgery center and add additional space or staff. This way, you don’t have to worry about an unsustainable overhead.
About: Dr. Mofid received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard University. He completed his medical degree, training in general surgery and plastic surgery and an advanced craniofacial research fellowship at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Mofid is currently a staff surgeon at several hospitals in the San Diego and La Jolla area, including Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, and Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.
Dr. Mofid is a clinical faculty member of the University of California, San Diego’s Division of Plastic Surgery. His publications on breast and facial surgery have been featured in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a journal recognized by surgeons nationwide. Dr. Mofid has presented at numerous medical conferences both in the United States and internationally. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
This interview is part of a series of interviews of physicians running medical spas, laser clinics and cosmetic surgery centers. If you'd like to be interviewed, just contact us.