[4 min read] How can a GP get started providing cosmetic services in primary care?

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Most primary care doctors work in an environment adequate for minimally invasive cosmetic treatments. They also possess the fundamental medical knowledge necessary to expand their range of services in this direction.

For further information on this topic, you may be interested to learn more about the HealthCert Professional Diploma program in Aesthetic Medicine.

These are usually simple procedures, such as:

  • Dermal fillers,
  • Botulinum toxin injections,
  • Chemical peels,
  • Microdermabrasion,
  • Laser hair removal, and
  • Photorejuvenation

So, it is not a surprise many physicians are looking to increase patient satisfaction and revenue in a single move. But, all new ventures raise some questions. The two dominant ones here are:

  1. Should I add cosmetic services to my primary care practice?
  2. How to do it?

Should I add cosmetic services to my primary care practice?

There are many good reasons to start including aesthetic medicine treatments in a primary care practice. After all, these are additional services doctors can provide to patients, and fresh new options can only increase their overall satisfaction and convenience.

It is also an opportunity for patients to receive more care in one place from a familiar face.

From a physician’s point of view, cosmetic procedures add variety to a daily routine, increase job satisfaction, and expand revenue.

So, the answer to the first question is a yes. At least for those looking for a more hands-on treatment approach and a way to grow professionally.

How can I add cosmetic services to my primary care practice?

Since primary care physicians already have a patient base, the first thing they need to ensure is an ethical and safe treatment. Expanding the portfolio to include cosmetic treatments only because of profit can backfire.

An ethical approach means keeping your patient’s best interest in mind. Making a profit without delivering benefits to the patient is unethical and often unsafe.

Safety is another valuable concern. Three things are essential to ensure patient safety:

  • Proper training,
  • Certified equipment, and
  • High-quality, medical-grade products (botulinum toxin injections, dermal fillers, skin care products, etc.)

Before introducing cosmetic treatment to a primary care practice, it is vital to assess:

  • the existing patient base,
  • the competition in the area, and
  • the ways to reach new patients

The data about the patient’s age, gender, and ethnic background tells which cosmetic treatments to offer.

The information about the competition in the area is also valuable. It is better to fill an empty niche than enter the already saturated market.

Marketing techniques are a sensitive subject. An overly aggressive approach can stir mistrust among those patients who need time to adjust to new services. No one wants to see the doctor putting profit before the well-being of patients.

Informative brochures in the waiting room are a good and subtle way to begin. While pitching for aesthetic treatments during regular consultations is the worst strategy.

The bottom line

Globally, the demand for aesthetic medicine procedures is on the rise. The application of many popular minimally invasive treatments does not require specialization and years of additional education for primary care physicians. Although, safe delivery of, for example, botulinum toxin injections or dermal fillers does require special training.

Considering all the factors, adding cosmetic procedures to a primary care practice is a way to make your existing patients happier, attract new ones, make a profit, and grow professionally.

– Dr Rosmy De Barros

Read another article like this one: How to classify skin types


References:

  • McKeown DJ. Impact of Minimally Invasive Aesthetic Procedures on the Psychological and Social Dimensions of Health. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2021;9(4):e3578. Published 2021 Apr 28. doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000003578
  • Oliveri S, Faccio F, Pizzoli S, et al. A pilot study on aesthetic treatments performed by qualified aesthetic practitioners: efficacy on health-related quality of life in breast cancer patients. Qual Life Res. 2019;28(6):1543-1553. doi:10.1007/s11136-019-02133-9
  • Small R. Cosmetic procedures in family medicine. Am Fam Physician. 2014;90(3):136-137.

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