The Importance Of A Good Dermatology Practice
There is no doubt that skincare is a big talking point at the moment and running successful dermatology practice is essential. Wherever you look, whether it’s on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram, there are adverts or articles about new skincare products and methods. However, it’s important that your patients understand the difference between a dermatologist and so-called “skin experts”.
As a dermatologist, you know that skin conditions can vary and often present in different ways. Issues may arise when patients use an untested skincare product from someone claiming to be a skin expert. While these may be more affordable, the potential side effects could cost them more and not only financially, but physically and emotionally as well.
The Difference Between A Dermatologist And “Skin Experts”
There has been an increase in people claiming to be “skin experts” and while some may have healthcare experience, they are not specialised. This can include nurse practitioners, physician assistants and people that used to be mid-level professionals. They are often referred to as dermatologists but they actually aren’t.
For their own benefit, your patients need to understand that dermatologists are specialised, highly trained and educated. Dermatologists are effectively medical doctors (M.D.) who receive training in the four branches of dermatology:
- medical dermatology
- cosmetic dermatology
- surgical dermatology
Depending on the area of specialisation, dermatologists diagnose, treat and help prevent diseases that affect the skin, hair, and nails. Surgical dermatologists remove skin cancer through medical procedures while cosmetic dermatologists mostly perform non-essential procedures for a more youthful appearance.
‘Aging is a fact of life; looking your age is not.’ – Dr Howard Murad
How To Run A Successful Dermatology Practice
Anyone who becomes a dermatologist should be fascinated by all things skin-related and a healthy appearance in general. Having a successful dermatology practice doesn’t happen overnight and while it involves several elements, it all starts with you.
Have the right credentials
Considering dermatology is an area of medicine focusing on skin health and diseases of the hair, nails and mucous membranes; being knowledgeable, passionate and understanding can make a big difference. While any medical doctor can open a dermatology practice, they are not actual dermatologists.
By doing extra courses, going through rigorous exams and being a certified physician will be hugely beneficial. Additional certification can open many doors whether you want to offer chemical peels and Botox or focus more on skin grafts or vein therapy.
Don’t rush appointments
Exceptional dermatologists don’t treat patient appointments like a drive-through as they actually focus on the person’s story and their questions. You should take the time to explain things clearly, address their concerns and talk about possible treatment plans and tests they may have to do. Patients won’t work with a dermatologist who dismisses their thoughts, are difficult to follow up with or speeds through a consult.
Focus on the care, not the sale
Too often we see skincare products and treatments such as liposuction, dermabrasion and chemical peels presented like a sales pitch on a home shopping channel. While some treatments are purely for cosmetic reasons, it’s still a medical practice and should be treated as such.
A good dermatologist and their staff should never aggressively promote products, treatments or other remedies unless they specifically address a patient’s concerns. Even then, it shouldn’t be a sales pitch as the focus may appear to be more on the money than actually helping them.
Be generous with sampling
If you want your patients to feel they are in good hands, display loads of mini tubes of various products and be generous when handing out samples. Not only will this make your dermatology practice look the part but it also shows that you genuinely want patients to find the best solution for their skin condition, whether it’s psoriasis, rosacea, acne, warts, eczema or hyperpigmentation.
Provide after-hours support and care
Whether a patient is experiencing an allergic reaction following a treatment or they need to ask an important question, provide them with a way to reach you during the evenings and over weekends. You don’t have to be open for consultations after hours but you can certainly offer on-call services for emergencies. You could use an answering service that relay messages or leave an urgent contact number on your answering machine.
When To Visit A Dermatologist
Most people are referred to a dermatologist through their primary doctor but there are two instances where your patients should make an appointment urgently.
- If they have a lesion that could be skin cancer
- If they have risk factors that increase their likelihood of developing skin cancer
It’s also highly recommended that you encourage your patients to see a dermatologist at least once a year. A complete examination will check for skin cancer and other conditions which will help identify any potential health problems early on.
“Great skin doesn’t happen by chance, it happens by appointment.” – Unknown
Medical Financing For Dermatologists
Considering the cost of most good skincare products and treatments, it’s important to provide your patients with payment options and that’s where MediFin comes in. If your patients don’t have medical aid or even those with partial cover, MediFin provides affordable medical loans to ensure they receive the medical treatment they require.
Regardless of the procedure, whether they need laser surgery, Mohs surgery, mole mapping, photodynamic therapy (PDT) or sclerotherapy, MediFin can help. It’s easy for patients to apply for financing as it only involves a few simple steps.
Dermatologists in South Africa can now give their patients peace of mind knowing that you can help bridge the gap thanks to MediFin’s affordable financing options. Here are some of the Benefits Of Joining The MediFin Partner Network. Get in touch with MediFin for additional information or to learn more about MediFin Insurance.
Not all medical aids fully cover dermatology but with MediFin, there is something you can do to help.
Benefits Of Medical Loans For An Orthopaedic Surgeons
Medical financing can help orthopaedic surgeons provide patients with affordable payment options when they need it most. Here are some of the benefits of joining the MediFin Partner Network:
- Orthopaedic surgeons get paid upfront and in full
- There is no commission, hidden costs or fees
- Help improve general patient care
- Promote better patient engagement
- Increased cash flow as more people will be able to afford a hip or knee replacement surgery, an osteotomy, herniated disc surgery and arthroscopy among others