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Medical Director For A Med Spa: What You Need to Know

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Anyone from a physician to a layperson can legally own a medical spa in jurisdictions where the corporate practice of medicine is not regulated, as long as they employ a licensed medical professional (often a physician) to manage their medical activities. This individual is also referred to as a medical director, and they are in charge of establishing and maintaining a safe and compliant medical environment.

A medical director supervises and oversees the caregivers who execute medical aesthetic procedures and create the protocols that govern the practice. It’s ultimately their obligation if therapy is medical in nature.

Table Of Contents

  • Introduction To Hiring A Medical Director For A Med Spa
  • What Are The Roles Of A Medical Director?
  • What Are The Responsibilities Of A Medical Director?
  • Will I Need A Medical Director?
  • Can Any Physician Become A Medical Director In An Aesthetics Practice?
  • Is It Necessary For The Medical Director To Own The Practice?
  • How Do You Go About Hiring A Medical Director?
  • Tips To Hire The Right Medical Director

Introduction To Hiring A Medical Director For A Med Spa

A Medical Aesthetics practice’s medical director is a trained physician who supervises and oversees the medical treatments offered under the authority of a medical director’s license to ensure that patients are treated according to the appropriate standard of care.

Typically, a medical director controls the operations of a healthcare facility and holds medical responsibility for the medical treatment of the patients and procedures performed there. A medical director may be required to have experience or specialize in Medical Aesthetics and have financial ownership, depending on the state.

The medical director will be responsible for all patients treated at a med spa; they will have an employment agreement that specifies their roles and responsibilities and areas of state medical practice that must be addressed to comply with local laws.

Read on to discover about the responsibilities of a medical director and how they might serve in a Medical Aesthetics practice.

What Are The Roles Of A Medical Director?

Whether or not they are on the premises, medical directors are accountable for all medical elements of the business. Compliance is one of the most important of these responsibilities. Medical directors must verify that every procedure conducted at the practice is appropriately delegated and supervised and that non-medical staff follow a protocol to comply with state legislation.

Medical directors’ responsibilities vary by practice and state. Still, med spas with more advanced providers, such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and advanced practice registered nurses, who can examine patients and develop treatment plans, require less daily supervision than those without licensed medical personnel.

In some states, a medical director must sign off on neurotoxic and filler prescriptions, patient charts, and products for staff training. The medical director may also be in charge of ordering prescriptions through the account created under his name. The medical director must be on-site or within a certain call distance, depending on the state’s standards and the type of medical license the delegate holds.

What Are The Responsibilities Of A Medical Director?

The medical director has several other duties that they must perform to keep your business running smoothly. The following are the duties of a medical director:

  • Per state regulations, develops, approves, and regularly updates general institutional policy, protocols, and procedures.
  • Ensures that these procedures are followed and that requirements are fulfilled by supervising directly or appointing medical commissioners (reviews).
  • Establishes guidelines for emergency medical care, prescription drug use, and the utilization of medical equipment and supplies.
  • Encourages all medical workers and departments to work together.
  • Monitors, evaluates and strives to enhance the practice’s performance and the performance of individual employees.
  • Schedules medical audits to evaluate the quality of care provided and address potential clinical performance issues.
  • To stay current in a constantly expanding sector, the medical director pursues continuing education programs and urges personnel to do the same, gaining certificates for education and training programs. Evaluates and controls any medical catastrophes and can be accessible on short notice to do so.
  • Has a good understanding and awareness of prospective problems and incidents and the ability to foresee and prepare for them.
  • Ensures that physicians are protected from malpractice and that malpractice insurance is maintained.
  • Exhibits exceptional behavior and fosters a culture of trust and professionalism.

Will I Need A Medical Director?

You may require a medical director if you practice Medical Aesthetics in the United States. Simply put, if you are not allowed to operate independently in your jurisdiction, having a medical director allows you to legally provide medical services. You should constantly examine your state’s unique guidelines because rules and regulations differ by state. The medical director is in charge of medical supervision and overall regulation of the practice’s medical aspects.

Although the medical procedures on the medspa menu are non-surgical, med spas are still medical organizations that must adhere to the same rules and regulations as doctors’ offices. A medical director can help with this.

Can Any Physician Become A Medical Director In An Aesthetics Practice?

It is not a good idea to choose a medical director who has no aesthetic or clinical experience relevant to the industry. Your medical director should ideally be a “core doctor,” such as a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist, as both specialties are fundamentally aligned with the industry.

Most states now require med spa medical directors to specialize in aesthetic medicine, or at the very least have expertise and training in the field, to properly delegate and monitor these surgeries and treatments.

This knowledge will also allow them to assist in the event of an emergency complication or a liability situation. For instance, you should be able to contact your medical director if you have a problem. It would be their license that you would rely on. That medical director must accept full responsibility for whatever may occur.

Is It Necessary For The Medical Director To Own The Practice?

The restrictions vary by state, but many adhere to a notion known as “corporate practice of medicine,” which asserts that payment for medical services can only be made to a physician or a physician-owned firm. It also stipulates that physicians or physician-owned firms, not only employees or contractors, must be the owners of the medical facility (or medspa). If your state follows this regulation, no employment contract between you and a board-certified physician will make your med spa legitimate.

How Do You Go About Hiring A Medical Director?

The best way to start this process is by creating a job description that will outline the specific qualifications required for the position. Once you have determined what you are looking for, begin by posting the job opening on various job boards or other social media sites. You can also reach out to local dermatology societies as many of their members seek new opportunities. Finally, consider using a staffing agency specializing in the medical aesthetics industry.

Once you’ve identified suitable candidates, check their qualifications with the appropriate licensing authorities. Also, peer evaluations, patient testimonials, and overall clinic ratings can all help you get a feel of their professional track record.

Tips To Hire The Right Medical Director

Since hiring a medical director for a med spa can be costly, it’s wise to do your homework. Consider the following hiring guidelines for the best medical director for your aesthetics clinic to help guarantee the correct candidate is selected.

1. Be Familiar With The Regulations

Make sure all of the necessary requirements are listed before creating a job posting for your new medical director. Various boards have different regulations and best-practice criteria that medical aesthetics clinics and spas must follow, depending on where they are located.

The credentials necessary for a medical director might range from a qualified physician who specializes in cosmetic medicine to a certified treatment provider with certain extra qualifications, depending on the services supplied.

Inquire about the standards in the country, state/province, or region where the medspa is located, and obtain legal guidance if you’re unsure about what certificates, training, or active licenses a medical director needs in that location.

2. Check The Credentials

In many areas, verifying a physician’s or nurse practitioner’s credentials is simple. Be familiar with all national, state/provincial, and regional standards for medical directors at med-spas, and double-check each candidate’s qualifications with the appropriate licensing organizations. Take a reference’s word for it, but don’t take it at face value. Because the owner and operator of the spa will be held liable, it’s recommended to double-check any possible candidate’s resume before making an offer.

3. Probe Their Track Record

Ask each candidate about their patient satisfaction ratings and any patient testimonials from previous positions(s). If they cannot supply this information, the Internet can be an excellent resource. Search online for patient evaluations and the overall rating of the medical aesthetic clinic where the candidate worked, using the candidate’s resume as a guide.

Some of these questions may be useful in fact-finding – Is there a large number of reviews or a small number? Are there any recurring criticisms that the clinic does not appear to have addressed? Is there a professional way to respond to unfavorable reviews that are both fair and courteous?

4. Consider a Working Interview

A few prospects may appear ideal on paper, but how will they fit with the team or ideal target client? Can they provide the same degree of care as that medical aesthetics clinic? If possible, invite the top two or three prospects for a working interview after the initial round of interviews. For half a day, have the applicant act in the role of a medical director, imitating the proposals they may make to improve business operations, marketing activities, patient care, or the consultation process.

If applicants will be doing medical aesthetic treatments, have them conduct a few different treatments on willing employees and ask for comments. It should only be a working trial, so make sure the prospective employee does not interact with patients or gain access to personal information without the presence of a current employee and a signed confidentiality waiver on file.

Bottom Line

Once you have pinned down a list of potential candidates, it’ll be a matter of evaluating each one’s match for your medical spa. You want someone who can assist your practice in expanding and leading your staff in the direction of your mission. Use these characteristics to help you choose the right medical director for your medical spa.

The task of hiring a medical director for an aesthetics clinic necessitates legal assistance due to insurance and regulatory problems. Ensure that a lawyer is present throughout the process, and have them talk with the potential medical director before hiring to ensure that the applicant understands their legal responsibilities. It will protect their rights and provide you peace of mind about your medical aesthetics clinic’s long-term commercial performance.

It is worth noting that a licensed medical director need not be always present during a procedure as long as a licensed nurse practitioner or licensed aesthetician is present, depending on your state. This again varies based on the procedure but the physician or medical director is always required to sign off on it. This helps both the business owner and the medical director. Licensed physicians who choose to be a medical director typically start this as a side hustle (learn how to balance a side hustle with a full time job here) and expand their services accordingly. Also consider the most lucrative side hustle for physicians that can be done in your PJ’s.



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