Some physicians are leaving clinical practice and starting their own medical spas.

Dr. Lisa Jenks will be speaking at the SEAK Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians Conference October 22-23, 2016 in Chicago. She will be teaching attendees how to start, build and run a successful medical spa.

Dr. Jenks was recently interviewed on this subject:

Q:  Dr. Jenks, how did you get started running a successful medical spa?

I started my career as an emergency room physician, which I loved, but which was a crazy lifestyle, especially since my husband at the time was also a physician and we had three young children. I left the ER and spent a few years as a stay-at-home mom. I was asked to be the medical director for a spa that wanted to provide laser services, which is what first introduced me to the medical aesthetic world. Once I was medical director, I began taking courses and attending conferences to advance my knowledge. I have always liked finances and the idea of running my own business, so the thought of opening my own medical spa was very appealing. I opened Genesis MedSpa with 4 treatment rooms in 2007, expanded into a 7 treatment room facility in 2012 and am currently opening a second location.

Q:  What certifications, training, and experience is helpful to break into the medical spa field?

Extensive training is not usually needed in order to break into the aesthetic field. There are week-long conferences that give overviews on skin analysis/anatomy/health, laser techniques and aesthetic treatments. Most companies from which you buy equipment for a medical spa include training on their specific equipment. Companies who manufacture injectables (such as Allergan or Galderma) have many day-long training sessions for beginners and experienced injectors.

Q:  How large is the medical spa industry and how fast is it expanding?

Data estimates that revenues of medical spas in 2012 were $1.94 billion and will hit $3.6 billion in 2016. The market is forecast to grow 18% per year.

Q:  What is the one piece of advice you would give to a physician considering starting, building, and running a medical spa?

It is difficult to choose one piece of advice, but if I have to, I suppose it would be that this is an industry which demands a large amount of money up front and so it takes a while to make money. Start-up costs for medical spas are between $700,000 and $1,000,000. If a physician is going to open a medical spa, they have to approach it as a small business venture and be committed to staying with it for a minimum of 3 years before they see many financial returns.

Lisa S. Jenks, MD is the owner and Medical Director of Genesis MedSpa in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which she founded in 2007. Previous to this, Dr. Jenks worked as a Medical Director for Radiant Reflections Spa in Colorado Springs. Prior to her career transition, Dr. Jenks worked clinically in emergency medicine and family practice. Dr. Jenks received both her MD and BA from the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Jenks’ spa has won numerous awards and has been named a Colorado top 100 woman-owned business.