When Your Marketing Goes Too Far: How One Dermatologist Got Suspended for Dancing and Rapping during Procedures


Don't get yourself in trouble by failing to think through what you're doing and how it can damage your clinic and your reputation if something goes wrong.

You may have seen something about the recent case of  dermatologist Windell Davis-Boutté The “Dancing Doctor” who has been suspended for "negligence" after posting videos of herself dancing and rapping while performing surgeries. The physician used the videos to market her practice, where she was seen rapping and dancing, that it ended up having her patients file lawsuits against her with some of them claiming to be severely injured. (CBS article)

To get real for a second, this was a stupid thing to do for lots of reasons. Anyone who has been around for a while knows that it's not if you get sued, it's when you get sued since your patients have been pretty well conditioned to expect perfect results based on their own criteria.

The result: Dr. Davis-Boutté was sued by 7 of her patients and was forced to agree to a 2.5 year suspension of her medical license.

According to Gutierrez and Johnson (2018), there have been other instances like Davis-Boutté’s where physicians are singing and dancing while doing procedures. It causes immediate alarms to go off for patients, as physicians are expected to be focused exclusively on their care and the procedure. 

So what did Dr. Davis-Boutté get so wrong?

  1. She wasn't focused exclusively on providing the best care: Patients expect perfection from their treatment and if they're unhappy with the outcome in any way they're going to be looking to the doctor for answers. Any indication that the physician wasn't focused exclusively on providing the best care is immediately going to be the peg on which they're able to hang blame.
  2. She turned her patients into props: No patient really likes to be filmed when they're unconscious on the operating table.
  3. She made it public: Of course that was the whole idea. These were 'marketing' videos and they were produced and posted online in order to increase visibility for her practice.

While this went completely off the rails from the beginning for Dr. Davis-Boutté, there are some lessons to be learned. Here are a few things Dr. Davis-Boutté could have done to meet her goals without dropping a bomb on her dermatology practice.

  1. Use patients only for live testimonials: The social proof of happy patients is probably the best general marketing you can use, but they need to be aware of what they're doing and how it's going to be used. I'd suggest that if you're shooting live videos for promotion that you let patients "sign-off" on the final product before you actually release it. Make sure that patients 
  2. It's not about you: Patients want to be treated by a physician who's nonthreatening, caring and personable, and who puts them at ease, but they don't far beyond that because they're focused on themselves. Your efforts need to be focused on them as well. 
  3. Focus on what's actually important: There's only one thing that you're looking to have patients think about you if you're performing cosmetic treatments; that is that you're "the best" at what you do. Marketing campaigns that promote you as being the funniest, hippest, or best looking have no place beyond getting some initial interest. Successful clinics focus on outcomes for their patients and strive to earn new patients primarily by word-of-mouth.
  4. Think it through: All of this could have been avoided with a few simple "what if" questions were asked 

Below are a number of resources around the ethics of marketing physicians and procedures. In some cases it's a little head-in-the-clouds but remember that cosmetic medicine has really caused headaches for the medical ethics community.

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Continuous Care. (2018, March 15). Ethics of healthcare marketing for physicians and medical practices. Retrieved from https://www.continuouscare.io/blog/healthcare-marketing-ethics-for-physicians-medical-practices/

Cătoiu, I., Geangu, I. P., & Gârdan, D. A. (2013). Applying Marketing Principles in the Field of Medical Services – An Ethical Challenge? Procedia Economics and Finance, 6, 449-456. doi:10.1016/s2212-5671(13)00162-7

Gandolf, S. (2014, July 22). 7 Dangerous Legal Issues to Avoid in Doctor Advertising. Retrieved from https://www.healthcaresuccess.com/blog/doctor-marketing/dangerous-legal-issues.html

Gutierrez, P. L., & Johnson, D. J. (2018). Can Plastic Surgeons Maintain Professionalism within Social Media? AMA Journal of Ethics, 20(4), 379-383. doi:10.1001/journalofethics.2018.20.4.msoc3-1804

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2011, November). Women's Health Care Physicians. Retrieved from https://www.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Ethics/Ethical-Ways-for-Physicians-to-Market-a-Practice

Dr. Deirdre Hooper - Audubon Dermatology, New Orleans

Part 2 of our interview with Audubon Dermatology in New Orleans: Dr. Hooper of discusses marketing strategy and staffing.

Dr. Deirdre Hooper - Audobon Dermatology, New Orleans

Name: Deirdre O' Boyle Hooper MD
Location: New Orleans, LA
Website: http://audubondermatology.com/

Of Interest: Dr. Hooper is half of of Audobon Dermatology. She's an executive committee member of the Women’s Dermatologic Society, the nation’s 3rd largest dermatologic society. She also serves as Financial Vice Chair of the Women’s Dermatologic Society’s Legacy Council.  

Dr. Hooper lives in New Orleans with her husband and their 3 children.

Kindly give us a background of your clinic.

We have a condo in a medical office building across from a hospital. Being in a medical setting allowed us to become busy very quickly based on referrals from other doctors in the building. We offer a full range of medical, cosmetic, surgical, and laser dermatology. Treating medical patients over the years has fed our cosmetic business-for example, the mothers of our pediatric acne and wart patients become our injectable patients, and they often send their husbands to us as well!

We rented lasers until it became financially more sensible to purchase our own. We now each see about 35-50 patients each per day and have 2 full time aestheticians, 2 nurses who assist with cool sculpting and aesthetic procedures, and a skin care concierge. One of our early hires as an aesthetician has a business degree. As we have grown the practice, she has become more involved in the business and HR end and has now become our office manager.

We are committed to making sure that each and every patient is confident in our care. This means that we will take care of you every step of the way, whether your journey includes skin cancer surgery, skin diseases, lasers, injectables, or anything in between for a high-tech natural rejuvenation. At Audubon Dermatology, we specialize in comprehensive dermatologic care for all ages, skin types, and skin conditions. We utilize a wide array of the most innovative products and procedures to give you the best care possible. We are located in New Orleans but often have patients coming in from around the country to receive our services.

How do you approach staffing in your practice?

We offer quarterly bonuses that incentivize the office goals and behavior we want to achieve. We feel like it’s a great way to positively reward great employees and check in more frequently with employees who may still be learning. We have a policy that employees may not request a merit increase until they have improved on their evaluation scores for 3 consecutive quarters.

It’s important for employees to experience and try the products and procedures in your office so that they can recommend them to patients. However, we have found that not all employees utilize procedures, or they may not understand the value of a procedure or product when given absolutely freely. We offer "Audubon Bucks" quarterly based on very simple and specific measures we expect every employee to complete. If employees call in sick multiple times or are not completing items on their detailed job descriptions, they lose their Audubon bucks, we have found this to be an effective way to avoid giving free services to less effective employees, and to be a great way to allow employees to see the costs and value of services we offer.

Hiring and Firing seem to be the most common struggle we and our colleagues face. We have learned 3 important points: 1) Hire experience for the back, personality for the front. 2) Hire people that you personally like and would enjoy spending time with outside the office. 3) Incentives are not only monetary-appreciation and acknowledgement are just as important.

What are your marketing strategies?

We find that word of mouth is our biggest referral system. We rarely pay for advertising but do focus on our social media. The marketing world is changing, we are constantly trying to grow our online presence.

When we started our practice 10 years ago we had a yellow pages ad. That is long gone as we implemented a tracking module in our EMR and started tracking-how did you hear about us? 95% from my friend or another physician! In recent years, the number of patients who find us by google is growing, so we are sure to keep our website updated and search-friendly and we are utilizing social media, mainly Facebook (including Facebook live), Instagram, and twitter.

We use Constant Contact to email patients about specials and new services. In our office, we have discreet signs on the back of every door mentioning current specials and customized cards that give an overview of products and services we offer for varying cosmetic complaints such as red face, fine lines, or pigment problems. These often generate questions as patients read over them as they wait for us.

We have tried newspaper ads, ads in local magazines, even billboards. None of these have approached the success of internal marketing and social media.

What procedures are most performed in your clinic?

We try and focus on treatments that make a clinical difference. We are always bringing in new devices or products. Staying on top of all scientific and technological advances in skin care and device modalities has been a priority of ours from the beginning. We do track our ROI and if something is not selling we phase it out, but typically that goes hand in hand with new advances that we are upgrading to anyway.

What pearls and tips can you give fellow physicians?

One important lesson is not to let the patient tell you what to do. As we begin in cosmetic medicine, we may want to please the patient, and go against what we judge to be the best cosmetic outcome. We have learned that the patients are there for our expert injections, and also our expert eye. We know what looks best, and they benefit from our knowledge of beauty. Many patients come in and say “whatever you think, Doctor”, but unfortunately not all of them. For those patients we try to educate them, and offer them our best plan for a great outcome. If they cannot see our way, we do not inject them. You want as an injector to be proud of every patient that you work with. Be selective and always stick with what you know is best!

Bio: Dr. Hooper is an honors graduate of Louisiana State University School of Medicine. She received her undergraduate degree in biology from Louisiana Tech University, where she graduated cum laude. Her postdoctoral training included Louisiana State University Department of Dermatology as well as a Women’s Dermatologic Society Mentorship with Dr. Pearl Grimes in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Hooper is a Board-Certified Dermatologist with special interest and training in medical dermatology, dermatologic surgery, moles and melanoma, cosmetic dermatology and laser surgery. She is an executive committee member of the Women’s Dermatologic Society, the nation’s 3rd largest dermatologic society. She also serves as Financial Vice Chair of the Women’s Dermatologic Society’s Legacy Council. She is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and has served on that organization’s Youth Education Committee. Dr. Hooper is also a member of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery and Louisiana Dermatology Society. Dr. Hooper lives in New Orleans, LA with her husband and their 3 children.

Powerful Marketing For Your Medical Spa: Social Proofing

Increase conversion rates of cold sales emails through social proofing!

Social proofing is a psychological phenomenon which influences someone to think that you are great after knowing that other people think you are great. It is informational social influence where people assume or conform to other's actions in an attempt to reflect the correct behavior for a given situation.

This is useful especially when you are communicating to your potential customers for the first time, as when you are cold emailing them.

Social proof is also notable on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The more followers you have, the more trustworthy and reputable you appear to be.

Product reviews and ratings are relevant for American consumers. Statistics says that more than 70% of them look at product's site and its reviews and ratings before deciding to purchase a product.

Several techniques of social proofing can be utilized, including mentioning in your email the patrons of your product, perhaps a famous company which is also your client, a famous investor, or the person you know in common in the mail.

It shows your potential customer that others have also taken the action that your company wanted them to take, whether purchasing or subscribing. Research shows that when a famous customer is mentioned at the bottom of the email, replies in the cold email doubled.

In a study of 10,000 accounts at a German bank, it was shown that customers who came from customer referrals had 16% higher lifetime value than those who came from other acquisition sources. Social media has sparked dozens of different ways to provide this kind of social proof.

Facebook widgets that show other Facebook friends that “like” a brand, Twitter’s display of people you follow that also follow another person, and the various ways that company offer rewards for referring others to the brand are all examples of this. Perhaps you might also want to mention present customers with established positive reputations.

These influencers are seen more positively with association. A shared LinkeIn Connection may also be mentioned. It was found that when you point out a shared connection with someone in common, 25.5% of the people who received the email opted in to have a further conversation about the product compared to the 4 % who received the basic mail.

Testimonials, accompanied with corresponding faces, are one of the most persuasive forms of social proof out there. Compared to statistics, stories and real-life experiences by other people are more trustworthy and persuasive because these examples touch our hearts and mind.

Optimizing Your Clinics Email Marketing

Email marketing is a good way for businesses to engage both potential and existing customers. In 2015, email users are nearly around 2.6 billion and this is expected to exponentially increase to over 2.9 billion in the year 2019.

medical spa email marketing

Emails are very useful in the business world and as well as consumers - mainly due to its use for notification consisting of online sales.

Further, survey says that 91% of consumers check their email at least daily and 55% of companies surveyed say they generate more than 10% of sales from email.

Data from the Direct Marketing Association reveal that 66% of online consumers made transactions out of an email marketing message.

Email marketing allows you to be efficient. You can save a lot of your precious time after optimizing your autoresponder sequence or your sales funnel. Automation takes over and does most of the work for you.

But first, you have to plan about the results you want to achieve when hatching plans to grow your list. Map out how email marketing can be incorporated in your overall marketing scheme.

So, how do you improve your patient interaction through email marketing?

Start with what you write as a keyword in your subject line. A study shows that those with keywords confirm, features, upgrade, magic and raffle are likely to be reported as spam so it is best to avoid them unless you were able to built up a list that really trusts you and your brand.

Make a great first impression on your new subscriber through the welcome email or the autoresponder sequence.

When do you send them?

Try sending them on days other than Tuesday and Thursday and email your customers between the hours of 2 PM and 5 PM.

MailChimp’s Email Genome Project reveals that more mails are sent on Tuesday and Thursday than any other day of the week so you might want to test sending emails on other days so you will have less competition. This will pave the way for increased inbox space and click through rates.

People are more likely to open their email between 2 PM to 5 PM, regardless of time zone, according to the Email Genome Project.

Where do you link your email?

Try sending your email traffic to a dedicated landing page because this is usually the one that has a higher conversion rate. Also, you might want to include social share buttons in your emails as this can also generate higher click through rates.

Got other email marketing advices? Share them by posting your comments below. =)

Botox Business For The Holidays

It's the time of the year where your patients are confronted with family parties and get-togethers... and it's a reminder that they're another year older. You could be the Santa they're looking for.

Christmas Botox

Look, you're probably already doing the basics with things like gift certificates and perhaps an email offer, but you might want to take stalk about what you could do to really boost your sales here.

For day spas it's common to do 50% of their yearly sales in December as gift certificates, leading to some very lean months in spring when they have to redeem them all. This can cause serious cash flow problems as clients fill your treatment rooms with no sales. There are a couple of tricks I've seen to deal with this that can mitigate the effects. 

  • Selling your gift certificates with some restrictions at a discount. You can stagger your gift certificates so that you push treatments or sessions into the summer or fall. On way is to sell your gift certificates by 'quarter' (spring, summer, fall, winter) with specific dates, then discount the ones farther out. By keeping track of purchases you can see what the discount should be to give you some control over when redemptions come in. Spring would certainly be full price but you might try scaling from 10% to 30% discounts for summer, fall and next winter. The fact that you're giving a 30% discount for a gift certificate that you sell for next winter is more than mad up for by getting payment up front, and the occational "breakage" that goes will all gift certificates.
  • Bundling treatments and services. Purse strings generally loosen over the holidays and, if you're not greedy, you can take advantage of this by bundling services that effectively boost your revenues. Tying your normall laser hair removal bundles along with an introductory Botox or filler treatment at a discount can give your patients a sense that they're lessening the cost and risk by getting a deal. (Don't do this all the time lest you fall into the trap of becomong a discounter where that's always expected.)
  • Memberships. One of the big moves that can give you regular recurring revenue (what eveyone wants) is to begin offering memberships. I'll go into that in a different post but you should be aware that memberships, while tricky to implement and get right, can dramatically change your clinic into a real business. Memberships allow you to tier your services, create some scarcity, engender a feeling of exclusivity with your high-revenue patients, and give you some vision into your future income. Yep. I'm definately going to have to deal more with memberships.

Create a relationship with your clients this holiday season and use that relationship to keep them coming back. Looking for new customers is more tedious and costly than maintaining regular customers. Gifts have always cemented relationships.  Use this time honored tradition to create some of your own!

Make Sure Your Medspa Staff Meet Their Sales Goals

Technological advancement is all around us. It would be advantageous to make use of all the available online applications and technological trends to reach your clincs sales goals, rather than unduly stress yourself out by not utilizing the available tools at your fingertips.


Using electronic notebooks such as the Evernote suite may come in handy when you do some scheduling, note-taking, and even have effective meetings by presenting your work as it evolves. This app has also a voice recognition feature and even allows you to sketch a whiteboard type image to facilitate communication with your prospective client.

According to Evernote developers, this application allows you to bring your life's work together in one workspace. It also allows you to collaborate with your colleagues and create more opportunities for your team. Also, it has a function which allows you to keep track of tasks, and write notes without the need of the conventional pen and paper.

A comparable application to Evernote is Microsoft's OneNote which allows you to sync and open your notes while using a your computers, tablets and phones. There is also Springpad, an app which is designed to automatically guess what you have clipped from the web or uploaded to your notebooks and then organize it without your help.


When you would need to generate more leads and reach out to your potential customers, here are some tools that will help you reach your sales quotas: There are tools that allow you to monitor when your brand is mentioned on social networks, blogs, or forums.

The app Mention allows you to monitor your brand presence and even monitor keywords that you want to keep track of. If you have your own Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google account, Buffer is a social media tool that sends your updates to the your social networking sites. It also tells you when is the best time to make updates based on your updates.

Collaboration with your team can also be done so your accounts are up to date. Other tools include Feedly for content discovery, Twitter Counter for tracking the progress of your tweets, and Bottlenose which displays information based on its order of importance.

A provider of marketing intelligence service such as InsideView and Data.com may help you in making decisions about your sale territory because these provide your with valuable marketing data useful in accelerating your sales.

Using these available and easy-to-use technologies may greatly improve your business' performance. With these apps, ease of communication and coordination among you and your members is facilitated, making it easier for your to achieve your sales targets.

Dr. Daniela Dadurian - MD BeautyLabs Medical Spa In West Palm Beach Florida

Dr. Daniela Dadurian, MD Beauty Labs Medical Spa, West Palm Beach Florida

Daniela Dadurian, M.D. specializes in Anti-Aging medicine, Laser treatment and Cosmetic Medicine. At MD Beauty Labs, Dadurian practices a whole-body approach. She evaluates everything from anti-aging to preventative, nutritional and emotional wellbeing.

Name: Daniela Dadurian, M.D.
Clinic: MD BeautyLabs Medical Spa
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida        
Website: mdbeautylabs.com

What's your training and experience like and how did you get to where you are? 

I started my practice specializing in internal medicine. My patients started asking me why I don’t offer Botox in my practice and if I did they would prefer to come to me. So I started educating myself on Botox injections and it all started from there. I then brought in lasers and microdermabrasion and over the years the practice has evolved into a full service medical spa.

What has certainly been your inspiration to start a medspa? What was the greatest obstacle you encountered?

My driving force to open a medical spa was to combine wellness and aesthetic medicine and focus more on preventative medicine rather than fixing problems that are already there

My biggest road block was the overwhelming doubt from other physicians that I wasn’t a real physician anymore. Patients trust their doctors opinion when choosing procedures and many of the times the same colleagues that referred to me for years, now discredited my ability because I was changing my direction to aesthetics. 

MD BeautyLabs Medical Spa, Dr. Daniela Dadurian, West Palm Beach. Florida

What treatments/services do you offer?

I offer a number of different services, however the treatment that consistently generates the most revenue are fillers. I have dropped services in the past. I have dropped services because the market had decreased their value (example Groupon, Living Social), and I have also dropped service because I found a new technology that I feel is superior.

Have you ever had any encounters with technologies that you felt were oversold, either to the physician or to the patient? Are there any specific technologies that you would endorse to physicians to be wary of, either for medical or business reasons? 

I feel like cold lasers have very unpredictable treatment outcomes usually ending with dissastified patients. There is nothing specific that I would say to stay away from, my only advice is to focus on being good at a few things not everything unless you are properly staffed.

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Dr. James Wharton - Louisville Dermatology Clinic In Kentucky

Dr. James Wharton uncovers insights that could lead to better business decisions.

Dr. James Wharton - Louisville Dermatology Clinic In Kentucky

Name: James R. Wharton, MD
Clinic: The Aesthetics Center of Louisville/ Louisville  Dermatology Clinic
Location: Louisville, KY
Website: aestheticscenter.org and louisvilledermatology.org

Tell us about your clinic? What treatments do you provide?

We have separated our practice into two clinics. The Louisville Dermatology Clinic is a full service general dermatology practice. We evaluate and treat patients with any skin disease or condition. We treat adult and pediatric patients. We perform surgical procedures such as biopsies, excisions and more complicated cases requiring Mohs micrographic surgery. We have a full dermatopathology lab that can provide analysis and examination of specimens on site.

The Aesthetics Center of Louisville is located in the same building but is a separate practice. We separated our practices for the benefit of our patients. We feel this ethically is the best representation we can provide to our patients. We have a state of the art full service aesthetics practice that offers: peels, microdermabrasion, make-up application, waxing, lash/brow tinting, dermaplaining, IPL, laser hair removal, laser resurfacing, leg vein treatments, various radiofrequency procedures, Ultherapy, tattoo removal, Acleara treatments for acne, MiraDry, injectable toxins, dermal fillers, and concierge VIP dermatology.

You possess active medical licenses in Kentucky, Arkansas, Texas, Hawaii, Missouri, and Florida. Are there any specific distinctions regarding how you can practice medicine on each state?

I have active medical licenses in multiple states. While I currently  only practice medicine in Kentucky, it is important that physicians familiarize themselves with all the regulatory requirements for their state. There is a great deal of variation in the laws regarding which procedures can be delegated and the requirements of each state can significantly affect a business and what services they are able to offer.

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Diane Howlin, MD, FACP of Chelsea Medicine and Laser in Michigan

Chelsea, Michigan Board Certified Physician Diane Howlin, MD, FACP

Name: Dr. Diane Howlin
Clinic: Chelsea Medicine and Laser
Location: Chelsea, MI
Website: chelsealaser.com

That's interesting: In 2001, Dr. Howlin founded Chelsea Hope Clinic, a free Saturday clinic for uninsured patients.  In 2008, she was named the “Howard S. Holmes Humanitarian of the Year” by Faith in Action for this charity work. In 2009, she launched another not for profit free clinic, Chelsea Grace Clinic,  for uninsured and underinsured patients in Western Washtenaw County.

I grew up in Dearborn Michigan. I played the violin in my youth and undergraduate years, touring Europe with an orchestra in the summers. That led me to learn German and be interested in cultures/language.  I went to medical school at the University of Munich in German and married an Englishman. After medical school, we returned to the US for my residency in Ann Arbor, Michigan in internal medicine. I always loved surgery and surgical procedures. But a surgical residency seemed too hard on my family as we had two children. So I chose internal medicine and did my own procedures. I'd spend evenings in the medical library researching cosmetic office procedures like earlobe repair. That led to skin biopsies, lump and bump surgeries, and seeing the cosmetic effects of this work led me to lasers. Now the practice is fully integrated with both traditional internal medicine and aesthetic medicine.

As a female physician, what are the opportunities that you have that

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Dr. Richard Moore - The Lifestyle Center In St. Louis Missouri

Name: Richard Moore, M.D.
Clinic: The Lifestyle Center
Location: St Louis, MO
Website: TheLifestyleCenter.com

Can you tell us your background and exactly how did you get to where you are now?

I have always had a strong interest in business with an entrepreneurial spirit. Prior to medical school, I obtained a masters of international management and worked in the petrochemical industry in Houston, TX. Following several years as a Hospitalist physician and director of a hospitalist program, I decided to switch my focus and concentrate on health and wellness. A natural evolution of this was my involvement in aesthetic medicine.

How is your clinic structured? What is your work day like? What commitments do you have?

My center takes a team approach starting with the front desk or reception area, moving to my nurse sales consultant and then my team of nurses and estheticians. All employees are incentivized to contribute to the success of the center. My personal involvement is a daily presence in which I step in on several consults a day, perform office based liposuction, and for clients who prefer a physician injector I am available.

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Dr. Naomi McCullum - Personal Botique Cosmetic Medicine In Sydney, Australia

Dr. Naomi McCullum, Sydney Australia Cosmetic Physician

Bridging the gap from old school to new: How Dr. Naomi McCullum embraced social media marketing.

Name: Dr. Naomi McCullum
Clinic: Dr. Naomi
Location: Sydney, Australia
Website: drnaomi.com.au 

Dr. McCullum worked at several of the leading cosmetic/dermatology clinics in Sydney, and after being admitted as an inaugural Fellow of the Faculty of Medicine of the Australian College of Cosmetic Surgery, opened her own botique cosmetic clinic in Paddington in 2002. 

Can you tell us a bit about your career path?

I first had Botox myself as a young resident shortly after graduating from Medicine. On that day, I saw my future in the industry. Being a cosmetic patient and a proceduralist at heart, there was no choice in the matter. I have always been interested in all branches of the aesthetic tree, from design, fashion and architecture to beauty. It is more than a job for me.

I love having just one boutique clinic, as we can really focus on offering the ultimate specialized service to our patients. This attracts a certain type of client, which makes every day fun and interesting.

What is it like practicing cosmetic medicine in Australia in comparison with what you see in other countries?

The practice of cosmetic medicine is quite unregulated in Australia, with many non-doctors like nurses and dentists, involved in the industry. The laser/IPL industry in most states of Australia is also poorly regulated.

Another difference between what we have to deal with in Austrailian and other countries are the legal requirements for online activity in our industry.

In Australia we are not allowed to mention any of the generic or brand names of the injectables that we use on our websites or through social media. For example, we cannot use the words "Botox", "Restylane", "Juvederm" or even "Hyaluronic Acid" or "Botulinum toxin" anywhere online, which as you can imagine, makes it difficult to educate readers / patients. Potential patients have a right to know what products we supply; they also have a right to know comparisons between products that they might be choosing. The regulations also prevent me from having a useful online discussion publicly with colleagues overseas and in Australia about cosmetic treatments. The Australian regulations are paternalistic and harmful to our patients and industry, and need to...

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Dr. Lawrence Broder - Beleza Medical Spa In Austin Texas

Dr. Broder has a unique combination of primary care experience and surgical training. Now he's has dedicated solely to medical aesthetics and cosmetic surgery. What prompted the move?

Medical Spa Austin TX

Name: Lawrence Broder MD
Clinic: Beleza Medspa
Location: Austin TX
Website:  BelezaMedicalSpa.com

That's interesting: Dr. Lawrence Broder is a decorated veteran. He is a former US Army Major and Flight Surgeon. 

Dr. Broder - Medical Spa Austin TX

Family Medicine is very similar to cosmetic medicine. It's all about customer service. Many of the patients you see as a PCP will get better on their own and your job is to not hurt them and reassure them. As a cosmetic physician, the patients are different and are usually looking for a correction of a specific problem. You have the solution to that problem. Just like a PCP, the cosmetic physician must make sure the patient gets the right treatment without harm and reassure them about the side effects and results. The cosmetic patient who has feels better about their appearance, usually is happier than the patient whose sore throat has resolved. The sore throat probably would have resolved on its own, but I directly helped the cosmetic patient.

The other thing I enjoy about Cosmetic medicine over family medicine is the transparency. My prices, my results, my reviews and my background are all there for every patient to see. As a PCP, the patients did not know what the prices were (insurance), did not know if I had good outcomes with my patients nor knew who I was most of the time. I believe the whole US medical system is designed to extract as much money as possible from the insurance companies and Medicare/Medicaid by upcoding and unnecessary procedures. Cosmetic patients know what they are paying and will even bargain for better prices. Cosmetic physicians have no choice but to be honest about their prices and results, there is no...

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Groupon Sales Rep Threatens Business With Negative Yelp Reviews?

groupon medspaGroupon and the other daily deals sites don't have the best reputation among medical spas... and threatening businesses that won't listen to your cold call sales pitch won't help.

Here's a Facebook post by a small restaurant and hotel in San Francisco that details an email exchange with a Groupon sales rep. You can read the entire post (and the comments) here.

Here's the email from the Groupon rep and the response:

UNBELIEVABLE CUSTOMER SERVICE EMAIL FROM GROUPON - Threatening me with Bad yelps for not letting him bully me into a sales pitch!!!!! Talk about Abusive business practices (my response is below)

From: Andrew Johnston <ajohnston@groupon.com>
Date: Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 5:25 PM
Subject: Thanks
To: info@sleepsf.com

Hi Trip!

I sincerely appreciate you hanging up on me. As a resident of San Francisco for over 25 years, I have a huge network of friends (ages 25-40) that all are extremely active on Yelp as well as other social media. I will gladly let them know how you treated me as well as my feelings about the people who run Sauce...

Click to

Here are some more posts on Groupon:

  • Medical Spas & Groupon Group Buys: Group Buying & Medical Spas Social networks and social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) get a lot of attention as marketing vehicles in the cosmetic medical world, and with good reason – your potentail patient are already there and are spending more hours being social online than ever ...
  • Groupon & Medical Spa Offers: Groupon is gaining traction in a number of cities and doing a fair amount of business if their testimonials are a real indication of what's going on. I received an offer last week from one of the local medical spas in the area for 50% off of some general day spa treatments (facials and massage). ...
  • Your Medical Spa + Groupon: Does it make sense to promote your medical spa with Groupon? Groupon is a “daily coupon” website. It’s basically an email list that charges advertisers to send out their “coupons” called Groupons. Many small businesses I’d likely never hear about otherwise sen ...
  • Oregon Chiropractors & Dentists Ban Groupons: The Oregon Board of Dentistry has banned the use of Groupons by the states dentists... and Oregon's chiropractors have followed suit. Groupon seems to be an either love them or hate them marketing tactic as shown in the very strongly worded comments on our post Are Groupon Deals Killing Your Medic ...
  • Are Groupon Deals Killing Your Medical Spa?: There's a deluge of Groupon offers from Medical Spas who are using cheap laser hair removal treatments to gain new patients... Is it working? This Groupon tactic is used by skin clinics who are desperately trying to get new clients and don't know how to market effectively or drive perceived value. ...
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Everybody Needs a Marijana – Marketing of Medical Practices in the Information Age

A young doctor asked me the other day how new patients, excluding patients who were referred by other doctors or previous patients, find their way to my practice. We were hanging out in a crowded party in a loud room so I couldn’t elaborate too much, but I managed to belt out one word that would sum it up: Marijana. That is actually the name of the Director of Marketing, Advertising, and Web Presence in my plastic surgery practice – Discreet Plastic Surgery. If you ask her, she’d probably tell you that she NEVER expected to be working for a plastic surgeon. But if you ask me, she’s an integral part of our practice, and should be so for all doctors, especially those in private practice.

As I finished up my training in plastic surgery and went into private practice, I soon realized that free market forces are constantly working to edge me out of the market. Competition is fierce, and people in large markets have many choices in obtaining plastic surgery, as they do in other professional services. A few print ads and radio talk shows later, I further realized that in today’s world, the majority of marketing dollars in a doctor’s practice must be geared towards their internet presence. Even your print ads eventually all end up as PDF files in the “media” section of your website – funny that people still put so much weight on how many times their doctor shows up in “People” magazine. I guess a comment about whether or not Kim Kardashian had a Brazilian butt lift really makes you an expert…

So where do I get started? …you ask. Easy. Just like most questions asked in life these days, the simple answer is: “Google it!” I have no financial disclaimer here so “Bing it” or “Yahoo it” works just as well, and is in fact, recommended as well. Seeing what internet content is out there associated with your name, an old article that you published, a hospital website listing you as a physician, a yellow pages or rate-a-doc style website, or any other peculiar locations, is of paramount paramount. In our office, we started doing our search engine optimization (SEO) by calling each of these websites and online listings and getting all the details right, including linking to our own website. From there, you will soon see how rapidly you’ll be approached from different directions regarding potential help. There’s a huge market for this work, and it rarely goes unnoticed.

As in any rapidly progressing internet-based enterprise, getting someone on your side who knows the tricks of the trade is the key to success. Sure, you can outsource all of these services away, and many do. But, when you add in all the costs of internal office marketing, advertising in a wide gamut of different media, and other costs of brand development, you have a full-time job on your hands. Please beware doctors, stick to doing what you do best. Get an expert on your side. Get yourself a Marijana!

Dr. Daniel Kaufman
Discreet Plastic Surgery

Dr. Michael C. Edwards: Board Certified Plastic Surgeon In Las Vegas, Nevada

Dr. Edwards thinks he's found numerous advantages over the current system. Let's find out why.
Las Vegas Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Michael C. Edwards

Name: Michael C. Edwards, MD, FACS
Clinic: Edwards Plastic Surgery
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Website: MEdwardsMD.com

Many doctors have been taking advantage of social media and SEO in marketing their practices. Has it been helpful to you as well?

We have maintained a good internet presence with a lot of educational information on our site(s). Like most would say print media does not help you. I would recommend on focusing on educating your patients and not a lot of flash animation. Many patients don’t have the patience for that and they will move on. I do use some social media but not to the degree that many other plastic surgeons use.

You're using IPL in your clinic. What affected your buying decision? Where do nonsurgical technologies fit in your practice?

I no longer use the IPL however I do perform a lot of non-surgical treatments with neuromodulators and fillers. I purchased an IPL when I opened my practice and it was used for skin treatment as well as hair removal. The proper maintenance did not make the potential profit worthwhile, especially as my practice transitioned away from facial surgery.

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German Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Simone Hellmann of the H-Practice

Surprisingly, plastic surgery in Germany is a taboo. Physicians strive to achieve a natural, un-operated look for their patients.Germany Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Simone Hellmann

Name: Dr. Simone Hellmann
Location: Cologne, Germany
Clinic: The H-Practice
Website: h-praxis.de

Can you tell us what is it like practicing cosmetic surgery in Germany?

In Germany, cosmetic surgery is not highly accepted – unlike in Brazil for example. Most patients –at least in my practice - are female and they are not very open to talk about that topic with their friends and family. They mainly gather their information on the internet and we are all aware that not every written word is true and that one should hardly trust all of those reports, forums or blogs. Therefore, you have to be very discreet as a doctor and you really have to thoroughly inform and educate your potential patients. Only if you are consistently showing excellent results and offer highly qualified services you are able to build up a pool of loyal patients who will refer you to their best friends. At this level you can create a solid patient base, but it will take you quite a while.

Cosmetic surgery patients in Germany are very much afraid of what they see in magazines and on tv – celebrities with unnatural looking faces or breasts. So it is my assignment to convince those patients that these looks are avoidable and once they will trust you and your skills, German people can be very decisive for ‘getting it all done’.

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