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Medical Spa Success is Staffing

March 10, 2009 |

One of the most important parts of an aesthetic practice or medical spa is your staff. After all, in order to have a successful aesthetic practice you are going to need more than one room running at once. In addition, most of the procedures found in a medical spa are perfect for medical aestheticians and nurses to perform. Of course, don’t forget your receptionist. They are the first contact your patient will have with your practice, and first impressions are very important! Of course you also need to keep in mind the operational expense of having too many staff, versus the reduction on business by having too little.

Since you will not want to be tied down to the day to day operations of the MedSpa, you may consider hiring a medical spa manager. This person needs to have exceptional customer service values, and be talented enough to choose and develop the right team to perform your medical aesthetics procedures. They will also be the person responsible for developing budgets, marketing plans, ensuring you meet regulatory issues, and cooridinating staff meetings.

Here are some more comments from IAPAM members and industry experts on staffing…

Dr. Barry Barrows emphasizes the importance of “having someone answering the phone who can speak well about what the practice has to offer.” Dr. Richard Foxx of the Medical and Skin Spa at Agua Serena also says don’t forget the “last person a patient sees before leaving the office.” A medical spa or aesthetic practice’s staff are the cornerstones to successful customer attraction and retention.

Bryan Durocher, in his marvelously comprehensive overview of existing compensation programs for medical spas across the U.S. reminds practitioners that, “the spa industry has some of the highest payroll expenses of any type of business, so when it comes to compensation, there is very little room for mistakes.” Therefore, developing a compensation strategy, whether it is straight payroll or straight commission, or borrowing from both, requires the ability to assess what a successful practice must pay employees, what benefits are required for employee retention, and how best to implement this formulae to maximize employee morale and business profitability. (

Cindy Graf expertly summarizes the key importance of a successful hiring program: The best physicians surround themselves with exceptional staff so that they can “delegate tasks to these competent staff to carry out the practice’s plans. One cannot do all of the essential jobs oneself. Be a supervisor, not a doer.” (

One thing you cannot skimp on is training. Not only do all of your medical staff need to be clinically trained. All your staff needs to be trained on how to perform aesthetic patient consultations, and which products go with each service.  For example, every IPL photofacial patient should be leaving with broad spectrum sun screen. Otherwise they will reverse the procedures results you just did for them! This material was taken from the IAPAM’s Aesthetic Medicine Symposium and the Aesthetic Practice Startup Workshop.

Jeff Russell
Executive-Director, IAPAM

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Comments (1)

  1. bookluver321

    “The Ultimate Practice Building Book,” by David Zahaluk is a prescription for financial (and emotional) health for modern private practices. Dr. Zahaluk details advanced concepts including how to build your practice’s core message and USP, inexpensive retention and referrals systems, direct mail campaigns that work, easy and lucrative joint ventures in your own community, coding pearls and how to get more out of your staff than you ever dreamed possible.

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