Building Your Private Aesthetic Practice
Timeless advice & experts perspectives for establishing a practice that lasts
It may come as no surprise that a notable medical education may not suffice to prepare you for the economic, legal, HR, and other considerations that are necessary to build a private aesthetic, plastic or reconstructive practice. The learning curve during the early years is significant, and at the same time, you’re expected to deliver flawless outcomes, and manage complications as they arise. You may have no experience in drawing up partnership contracts, hiring a staff, or even how to manage an efficient operating room environment. On top of this, how do you attract patients when you don’t have a patient base already?
According to Dr. Alberto Rancati, founder of Centro Rancati de Cirugía Plástica in Buenos Aires, early-stage practitioners must keep their focus on developing a credible reputation.
Even if each consultation does not convert into surgery, the positive early opinions from patients are important for obtaining long-term success and a more peaceful experience for you, the practitioner.
He provides the following guiding tips:
Is it a fit?
The consultation process is an opportunity for the patient to get to know you — and moreover, for you to ensure that the patient is a good fit for you. Listen to your instinct, and look for behavioral cues in order to avoid future potentially costly litigious activity. Dr. Rancati’s underlying philosophy in his clinic is that you are not a fit for all patients, nor are they all a fit for you. Sometimes, the patients whom you refuse will be even more important than the patients whom you accept.
Master the patient experience
Professional and friendly rapport with the patient is created well before the actual consultation begins. All touch points — your staff, waiting room, and your own appearance — must represent your professionalism and vision of your practice. Is your patient coordinator educated on how to communicate with patients? Reduce waiting times and crowding in the waiting room, and if this cannot be avoided at times, be sure to extend an apology if your patients are forced to wait. Treat your patients as you would guests in your home; they must feel comfortable, as must you. Ensure an environment of quality, and that this appearance of quality is consistent in every aspect of your practice. In Dr. Rancati’s practice, the staff even knows how the patients prefer their coffee, and are familiar with the nuances of how they’d like to be treated — and he attributes these qualities to his enduring success, and the reason why his patients return.
According to Dr. Per Hedén (Akademikliniken — Stockholm), early success is dependent upon numerous criteria, but perhaps the most important is bringing on board the right stakeholders and partners from the beginning. Putting all of your resources — emotional, financial and intellectual — into developing your clinic may lead you to believe that you’re the best entrepreneur and manager of your company. However, this is a common mistake. You are trained as a physician or practitioner, and usually there are others who have a stronger business acumen than you, and are better suited to management and administration of a company. Dr. Hedén admits that if he could change just one thing from his history of co-creating Akademikliniken, it would be to know that
You can’t rule everything yourself — get strong business people on your team, because they see problems that you don’t.
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