Starting out as a Primary Care Physician, Dr. Jenny Weyler branched out to aesthetics, exclusively practicing the field since 2010 in our interview with the Physician.
Name: Dr. Jenny Weyler
Clinic: Aponi Aesthetics
Location: Worcester, MA
I am a Board Certified family practice doctor, who graduated in 1992 from the Medical College of Pennsylvania (now part of Drexel University) in Philadelphia, PA. I completed my family practice residency in 1995 at the University of Massachusetts in Worcester, MA. I practiced as a primary care physician from 1994-2004, and then worked in an Urgent Care clinic from 2004-2010. In 2010 I started taking classes to learn aesthetic injections, and I opened my own business in December 2010. Initially we did some primary care here, but I loved doing aesthetics so much, and that part of the practice grew so quickly that we became exclusively aesthetic providers in 2014 and changed our name to Aponi Aesthetics.
How did Aesthetics interest you and it influence your practice?
When I was doing primary care I always loved doing procedures: stitches, mole removals, biopsies and any minor surgical procedure. Learning aesthetic injections was a great way to incorporate my love of procedures with the excitement of learning a whole new field of medicine. The results are so obvious, amazing and gratifying. People love the results, so the clients are enthusiastic and how could I not love making people look and feel better? As I honed my skills in injections, I started to learn more about lasers and skin care products and we added that to our repertoire as we went along. I have logged well over 100 hours of direct hands-on training in injectables and laser safety and use, as well as many more hours of lectures on the same subjects. Aesthetics is constantly evolving and advancing, and I love learning new techniques and strategies for dealing with aging.
What can you tell us about your clinic in Massachusetts?
We are located in Worcester, MA, which is a large city, but not especially cosmopolitan when compared to Boston, which is close by. We are organized like a medical office, although all of our services are aesthetic, and we do not take insurance. Beyond myself, the physician, we have two part time injectors, and two aestheticians. We do mainly aesthetic injections, laser treatments and body sculpting with Thermi Aesthetics radiofrequency devices. The star of the office is my practice manager, who runs the show (with some input from me). My aestheticians do facials, waxing, medical grade peels, and laser hair removal.
What characteristics do you look for in staff?
I have been incredibly lucky in that very talented and wonderful women found me when they were considering a new job. My practice manager has done most of our recruiting and hiring, and she has a great eye for excellent staff. I believe enthusiasm, honesty and a willingness to learn are the very important qualities in staff. My staff are paid hourly, and generously. I could find people who worked for less money, but I believe everyone should make a living wage, and you can retain skilled employees if you compensate them well. My staff also receive a quarterly bonus which is a percentage of gross income that they generate, if they meet a certain minimum. That gives them a reason to take the time to sell skin care products and services.
With aesthetics, you will be accustomed to using devices, which ones do you use and what are your experiences with it?
We have a Rohrer laser with several handpieces, which include IPL, long-pulse 1064 nm Yag, 810 Diode and Erbium Yag. We also have an Aerolase Light Pod Neo Yag. We use a Thermi device for Thermitight body sculpting, Thermiva vaginal rejuvenation, and a ThermiSmooth 250 for body sculpting and skin tightening. We have an eMatrix machine which is a fractional radiofrequency skin resurfacing device. We tend to seek out the technologies we want based on aesthetic conferences I attend, and patient demand. We use all of the above devices regularly, and are very happy with all of them. The topical Thermismooth device and “minimally invasive” Thermitight device don’t work for everyone. I would say about 85% of clients are happy with their results, but I think that’s a reasonable success rate. If I had known better at the time, I would not have purchased the Aerolase Yag, because I ended up buying a multipurpose laser about a year later which HAS a 1064 Yag, along with other devices (hair removal, resurfacing, IPL). So that was an unnecessary purchase in the end.
What can you share about your marketing strategies?
We have hired a marketing consulting company who specializes in medical aesthetics to handle our SEO coding to increase our online search ratings and to provide content for our social media outlets (primarily Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn). They have been an integral part of us acquiring new patients. We also plan fun patient events about every quarter to introduce new products and services to our existing patients. Monthly email blasts are sent with new and exciting promotions and treatments available. A majority of our new business is based on existing patient referrals, so we have a referral program in place that works very well. Print, radio and TV advertising to us seems like marketing of the past and have not tried those outlets as of yet.
What treatments are popular in your clinic?
Based on volume (no pun intended!), dermal fillers are our most profitable and popular treatment, but on a case by case basis, the Thermitight and Thermiva treatments have the best profit margin. We haven’t dropped any treatments yet! Sometimes I think it would be nice to have a fractional CO2 laser for skin resurfacing, but my clientele is very averse to the kind of down time that would require, so I don’t think we could pay off the machine. The other intriguing laser I would love to own would be a picosecond laser for skin resurfacing, but again they are very expensive and compete directly with my other skin resurfacing device, so not something we will have any time soon.
What patient encounters can you tell us?
We had a client who was very unhappy with a procedure and thought it made her look worse, even though I have multiple photographs that show she looked the same or even a little better afterwards. She went on realself.com and wrote all kinds of negative things about the procedure, which were simply untrue. I gave her a free second procedure to see if I could satisfy her, and it did not. I even gave her another product for free, because I don’t want unhappy customers, but even that did not please her. She tried to have us refund the price of the original procedure through Care Credit, even though by then she had gotten thousands of dollars of free procedures. Luckily, Care Credit sided with us. When we showed them the consent form stating we cannot guarantee results and showed them we had bent over backwards to try and make her happy, they refused to pay her back. What I learned was: Take before/after photos to support your results, and make sure clients sign consents that specifically state you cannot guarantee results! And I won’t be so eager to give away free things to dissatisfied clients, because it doesn’t necessarily help.
In your years of working in aesthetic medicine, what advice can you impart to physicians?
I would advise providers to be to make sure clients sign consents, specifically stating that nothing is 100% guaranteed in aesthetics. Take before/after photos. They are crucial when clients complain about a procedure not lasting, or not working. It is well worth getting a tripod to get good, standardized photos. We recently purchased an amazing 3-D imaging system which will be invaluable to us, but prior to that even our less-than-perfect photos were helpful in showing treatment effects.
My other advice is to do your absolute best to hire excellent office staff who make your clients happy they came. If your staff is not working to make your clients happy, it is going to affect your success dramatically. Everyone in your office needs to love what they do, or it will show and it will make you look bad. Again, this can be easier said than done!
About Dr. Jenny Weyler
In 2011 she opened her own practice in Worcester to see patients seeking medical aesthetic treatments in a relaxed, confidential setting. She has trained with the Esthetic Skin Institute, Aesthetic Advancements, Galderma and Allergan Cosmetics from 2011 to present. She continues to attend educational seminars and training courses to learn the latest uses and developments in non-surgical medical cosmetics and injectables.
Dr Jenny lives in Shrewsbury with her husband, 4 dogs, 2 cats and 6 chickens. She has two grown daughters and keeps busy outside the office with gardening, cooking, knitting, and when vacationing, she loves to scuba dive.