The most rewarding part of my job is making people happy, exceeding their expectations, and improving their self-esteem. In my private practice in Manhattan and Long Island, New York, I specialize in skin cancer treatment and cosmetic dermatology. Although these might seem like polar opposites, in reality I bridge two worlds of medicine whose goals are the same: to help people stay healthy and to look as great on the outside as they feel on the inside.
The following are a few tips I use to incorporate cosmetic procedures into my medical practice:
1. Structure the Day
In the morning, I treat skin cancer patients with Mohs surgery, a skill I have continued to develop over the past 25 years. I care about curing the skin cancer, but also greatly care about the final cosmetic result of the reconstruction, and ultimately, how the patient will look. Later in the afternoon, I switch gears and focus my attention on treating my cosmetic dermatology patients.
2. Make Efficient Use of Office Space
To accommodate occasional overlaps in timing – between Mohs patients and cosmetic patients starting – I use two private waiting areas. One for cosmetic patients, the other for medical patients.
3. Educate Patients
Up-to-date articles are placed in each waiting area targeted to each audience. Mohs patients read about the early detection and treatment of skin cancer. While cosmetic patients learn about the latest nonsurgical treatments available via videos and authentic before-and-after images. Both waiting areas contain information about the importance of sun protection.
4. Cross Sell
As a woman of a “certain age,” I identify with my patients and know what women want. They want to look younger, refreshed, vibrant – a better version of themselves. They want to look natural, not plastic – and they don’t want a lot of downtime. Often when treating patients with Mohs surgery or some other medically-related procedure, patients talk to me about their desire to eliminate their fine lines and wrinkles, or their age spots or “double-chin.” This provides me with an opportunity to talk to them about injectables, lasers and other nonsurgical alternatives they can consider – without going under the knife! Based on the needs of my patients, I introduced AceLift™, which is an acronym for the Augmentation of Collagen and Elastin via Lasers, Injectable neuromodulators, Fillers, and Topicals.
I consider my front desk staff to be the “gateway” of the entire practice because they are the ones who make initial contact with patients and potential patients. Staff members should be familiar with the entire range of medical and cosmetic procedures which are offered in the practice and be able to route calls as quickly as possible to the right person. For example, if a patient calls expressing a desire for Botox or filler, the call is immediately given to the cosmetic coordinator – if a patient has a question about their medication or wound care, the call is routed to a nurse or medical assistant.
Can medical and cosmetic treatments coexist under the same roof? Absolutely! They are both my passion. I believe that with a little juggling and a bit of multitasking, you can have it all.