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    The art of cosmetic consultation

    The pathway to your patient’s ‘Yes!’

    Melanie D. Palm, M.D., M.B.A“Yes.” The power of this word from a patient choosing to undergo a procedure in your hands holds great weight. It suggests trust, understanding, and confidence in your abilities. Getting there takes great skill, and this month I have enlisted the help of three cosmetic dermatology experts to guide us through the successful cosmetic consultation — the pathway to “yes!”

    READ: How to get selected for clinical research

    Our experts this month represent varied geographies and patient populations but many constants in the premises of outstanding patient experiences. Vince Bertucci, M.D., FRCPC is the director of Bertucci Medspa outside Toronto, Canada. Cheryl Burgess, M.D., is the founder of the Center for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery in Washington, D.C. Shino Bay, D.O., is the founder of the eponymous institute for cosmetic dermatology, laser, and plastic surgery in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

    Engaging the patient

    The cosmetic consultation begins with patient engagement and credentialing. Three of the four of us charge for a cosmetic consultation, legitimizing our expertise in the eyes of the patients. I personally use this as a bit of a vetting mechanism for more serious, invested, and long-term patients that understand the value of a skilled consultation.

    All of us have designated staff that function as cosmetic consultants, although some doctors have employees that wear multiple hats. Dr. Burgess utilizes “cosmetic assistants because they function in several capacities in the office,” she says.

    READ: Performing clinical research

    Dr. Bay has two cosmetic consultants. 

    “This is a sales position, and they have to be warm and caring and have amazing customer service skills,” he says. “They close all the deals so they must make patients feel like they came to the right place.” 

    All of us agree that your cosmetic consultant should fit your practice, represent your ideals, understand the industry and procedures, and feel comfortable discussing prices with patients.

    NEXT: Use of visuals

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    Melanie D. Palm, M.D., M.B.A.
    Melanie D. Palm, M.D., is director of Art of Skin MD in Solana Beach, Calif. Visit her at http://www.artofskinmd.com

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