Dr. Baum shares how she got into cosmetic dermatology and some management and marketing tips for fellow physicians in our interview with her.
Dr. Bertha Baum is a Florida based board certified dermatologist & cosmetic surgeon, considered a skin care expert who provides her patients with the most current and advanced treatments for all conditions which affect the skin, hair, and nails. Throughout her career, Dr. Baum has built a reputation as a top cosmetic dermatologist by providing leading-edge treatments, dedicated and personalized patient care, and excellent aesthetic results. Dr. Baum is often asked to share her expertise to the English and Spanish-speaking media about the latest advancements in skin care technologies. She has the scientific and medical training to diagnose and treat all skin conditions and to perform advanced therapies to beautify the skin. She has collaborated in several publications, in world re-known dermatological journals and books with her research. Dr. Baum remains committed to the highest standards of patient care and is actively involved in several professional organizations.
What sparked your interest in branching out to cosmetic medicine?
I've always enjoyed the concept of beauty, its cultural variations and the science behind making people beautiful and since very young I wanted to dedicate myself to a field of procedures and lots of patient interaction, which is why cosmetic dermatology was one of my favorites when I was exposed to it throughout my medical education. Since early on in dermatology I enjoyed using neurotoxins and fillers and starting viewing it as an art in combination with science. Also very rapidly lasers became some of my favorite treatments for patients. I’ve always had interest in design and medicine and with cosmetic dermatology found a way of combining the 2.
What can you tell us about Hollywood Dermatology?
We try to offer everything FDA approved available in our field to our patients and also be at the cutting edge in terms of treatments and procedures. I’m very OCD when it comes to patient care and staff interaction so we make sure at our Hallandale location to offer great costumer service and amazing results. I pride myself of being on time a majority of the visits because I respect the patients time and want them to also respect mine, they usually show up a little before their appointments and make sure to be on time for our visits.
Usually if you are a first time patient at our clinic you will be greeted by our 2 front desk girls and receive paperwork to be filled out (you can also fill it out online). One of our medical assistants will greet you and will have you see our cosmetic consultant first who will review with you the concerns and all your paperwork, everything becomes electronic in our office so we can access your chart when needed from our protected computer database. Sometimes a video is shown to you that talks about the aging process and what we can expect. While you are waiting you get a small questionnaire that takes 3 minutes with skin type solutions that will come up with your new skin care regimen. Then I come in and discuss with you based on your concerns what are the different treatment options and we usually have a combination therapy approach where we will combine different procedures to give you the best results. We will help you schedule the correct time slot to be able to accomplish the results we want. Patients get my personal email and also a folder with all the information we provide them. We have a menu of services where all prices are listed and we will create packages if patients need a combination of procedures done.
The day of the treatment patients will be applied numbing cream if necessary and will be escorted to the VIP section where they can read, work or enjoy some delicious coffee or tea until they are called into a room. Patients love the atmosphere at the office and the staff gets to know them very well. We all feel like family.
What role do you play in staffing?
When someone new is needed for our office the office manager will do the CV screening and share with me the people that she believes would be a good fit for the job we are looking. I try to be at the interview after the office manager tells me she believes its a good candidate. I ask them questions and make sure they understand our philosophy and office mindset. They need to be team players and self motivated. We go over expectations very early and sometimes even hand them checklists until they understand the concept of what needs to be accomplish on a daily basis, weekly basis and monthly. Also we have weekly meetings to set goals and discuss any concerns at the office, we sometimes will discuss difficult situations and what we could have done differently to make our office better. We motivate our staff constantly and give them rewards such as commission, gift cards, products or procedures in our office.
What devices are available in your clinic and what do you consider before purchasing them?
We have different IPL technologies, radio frequency, Infrared technology, ultrasound technology, pixel erbium lasers, laser hair removal for fair and dark skin, tattoo removal lasers, cryolypolisis, fractionated CO2 lasers and other technologies. Most of the time I will combine treatments to accomplish better outcomes. When we buy lasers we focus on disposables because those can be a big expense after you have paid for your machine. Also you want to talk to the companies about warranty and service. Make sure if its your first purchase you get more than one application with the laser, this is key so that you can use it often in your practice with different complains or situations.
What marketing strategies do you employ in your clinic?
We do a lot of internal marketing, for example once or twice a month we run an event and a promotion for our loyal or VIP patients. Also we offer our patients the benefits of the Brilliant Distinctions program or the Galderma Aspire rewards. We have done some marketing on local magazines but we truly believe in word of mouth because our patients are satisfied and they send more patients and thats our success. We have Instagram and Facebook and try to be as active as we can promoting new procedures or the latest in skin care products.
Which procedures do you perform often?
We do a lot of Botox, Dysport and some Xeomin; also all the fillers available in the market. Laser can be a big source of profit once the machine is paid because you are able to charge and not pay for the product. Plasma PRP is also another great source of income with excellent results
Can you share with us any accounts about your experiences in cosmetic medicine?
We still do clinical dermatology in our office so it was a very busy day at the office and I told one MA that was not with me in the rooms at that moment to get blood from a patient for plasma. After 5 minutes I go back into a clinical derm patient it was actually a full body exam and their first visit and I see the patient had a band aid on her arm freshly placed and as soon as I introduced myself she says “wow I’ve been to a lot of Dermatologist and they have never done bloodwork on my first visit, you are very thorough.” I realized that the MA had done in on the wrong patient and explained to the patient there had been a mistake, thank God the patient understood the situation and then told the MA she had gone to the wrong room to get bloodwork for plasma. I’m grateful this was not a big mistake but we definitely learn from that day to label the room numbers that are waiting for plasma treatment.
What advice can you share to fellow physicians?
To do what you love. If you want to get into cosmetic derm because of monetary reasons then don't do it, you will do a terrible job and patients wont be satisfied, most can tell when you do it for money. I think you have to love making people beautiful and also understand that they are beautiful inside and share that with patients because some are looking for that emotional void through their physical appearance. Another tip in terms of management and dealing with staff is firing people fast. Don't prolong getting rid of an employee that wont work for what they were hired for, dont try to assign them other jobs because when they are not a good fit for your office they shouldn't be there. Make sure you always communicate with staff, explain to them their expectations and also share with them your frustrations so that everyone can be on the same page.
About Dr. Baum
She is a member of the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. Over the past years she has provided a range of advanced cosmetic dermatology treatments, including fillers, neurotoxins, and laser technologies. Dr. Baum is proud to treat patients of all ages and skin types, and has experience in cosmetic, general, surgical and pediatric dermatology. Her vast experience allows her to provide high-quality treatment to all of her dermatology patients. Dr. Baum is a proud alumna of the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience Summa Cum Laude, attending advanced courses in Harvard University before receiving her medical degree from the Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Upon graduation, Dr. Baum completed an internship in Westchester Hospital, as well as a residency in dermatology at the NSU COM Larkin Community Hospital, where she was chief resident during her last year. She is married with 2 children, and enjoys spending time with her family.