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IAPAM’s Aesthetic Medicine Symposiums Help Physicians Open Profitable Med Spas

October 31, 2008 |

In today’s economy, and given the growth in accessibility and acceptance of aesthetic medicine procedures, it is very important that physicians understand: “what is working” and “what is not.” in their practices, in order to have a successful and profitable medical spa. The IAPAM’s Aesthetic Medicine Symposium was designed to answer these critical questions.

To launch a successful medical spa in today’s economy, it is essential to follow a tested, step-by-step formula.  The IAPAM is the only association that addresses both the clinical and business needs of physicians working in the aesthetic medicine field, through its very successful Aesthetic Medicine Symposium series.  As a key part of the intelligence provided at these symposiums, physicians are expertly instructed in how to overcome the three most common mistakes made in launching a new medispa business, namely:

(1)   Botox® is not the big money maker,

(2)   Spa owners do not need a $200,000+ laser system; and

(3)   A free weekend training course is not all that is required to fully educate physicians.


Botox® is NOT the Biggest Money Maker

Botox® provides the entry into the medical spa arena for most patients, but it is not the doctors most profitable procedure.  IAPAM Symposium instructors focus on the pros and cons of cosmetic injectables like Botulinum Toxin Type A (i.e. Botox®).  These products will certainly bring people into one’s practice, but given their stiff competition, such offerings are far from guaranteed moneymakers.  “Over the last 2 years, Allergan has done a wonderful job educating the public about its Botox Cosmetic® and Juvederm® filler products, which is helping get people in the doors,” says Jeff Russell, Executive Director of the IAPAM. “Many times physicians and medical spa owners think that all they need to do is put up a shingle saying they now offer Botox® and people will come running. The truth is that there is much more profit in other aesthetic medicine procedures like physician strength chemical peels, than with and dermal fillers (i.e. Juvederm®, Restylane®, Perlane®, Radiesse®).”

Physicians do NOT need a $200,000 Laser System to Launch a Practice

Another key aspect of IAPAM’s Symposium program is a discussion of matching technology and equipment with a practice.  Before committing to expensive laser equipment, medispa professionals need to calculate the number of patients they would be required to treat each month in order to make a specific laser equipment lease payment.  The size of the practice, at start-up, should dictate the initial equipment investment.  Fortunately, the flexibility in the latest laser equipment allows one to add handpieces, as the practice needs them.  Physicians are much better off to start with a basic IPL/Laser System for $100,000, and then add additional handpieces as the patient-base grows. 

A Weekend Training Course is Only the First Step in a Long Rewarding Journey

Finally, one of the core tenets of IAPAM’s Symposiums is to offer “complete and continuing aesthetic medicine training and long term support for physicians practicing aesthetic medicine.”  Many times, physicians attend a free weekend training course in the hopes of learning everything there is to know about opening a medical spa or aesthetic practice.  Unfortunately, the reality of the market place is that most of these seminars are run by laser manufacturers or their hired consulting firms, both of whom are ultimately guiding you toward purchasing their products and services.  A physician may start along the information path by attending a weekend program, but one needs to have ongoing educational and peer support, and access to additional CME approved clinical training.  “You need to look at entering the aesthetic field as a journey; you are not going to learn everything you need to enter the industry in one weekend, so you need to have access to accredited on-going clinical training, medical textbooks, DVD’s and reputable on-line resources in order to hone your skills, just as you did in medical school,” reminds Russell.

A recent decrease in cosmetic surgeries and the associated increase in more minimally invasive procedures has lead many physicians to provide medical spa services to their patients.  To address this burgeoning medical field, the IAPAM has developed its Symposiums to meet the specific needs of aesthetic medicine entrants.  The IAPAM’s Symposiums provide tailored expertise to ensure that physicians can leverage their medical training and the low cost of providing non-surgical aesthetic procedures, to create a profitable offering within their medical practices.

For additional information and to register for an upcoming Aesthetic Medicine Symposium, please contact Jeff Russell, Executive Director, IAPAM at 1-800-219-5108 x705 or visit

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