What is a Medical Director?
A Medical Doctor is someone who is responsible for overseeing medical practice within a non physician-owned clinical environment. A medical director is responsible for the supervision of any medical services performed within an organization. The director is responsible for compliance, regulatory review, and to ensure that the internal protocols were successfully implemented and followed. The Medical Director is also responsible for preparing a written policy, a protocol for all medical services offered as well as developing plans to implement any new or additional products or services. Clinic staff members/personnel who work under a Medical Director are performing services at the delegation of the physician, and in most cases, the Medical Director is not present on a daily basis in the facility. The physician usually does not own or control the facility. It is important that you find an actual “MEDICAL DOCTOR,” for example anyone with the letters “M.D.” after their name. These credentials give your clinic a more professional image and will also make you more appealing to insurance companies.
Why do I need a Medical Director?
Medical Directors serve many purposes in any clinical aesthetic practice. First off, many states require a Medical Director (either on the premise of off-premise) in any aesthetic practice which utilizes laser devices including modalities such as; laser tattoo removal, laser hair removal, and laser skin resurfacing. Even if the state medical board regulations do not require a Medical Director on site, it is still highly recommended that the owner of a clinical aesthetic practice obtain and utilize a Medical Director. Medical Directors are primarily responsible for the formation and implementation of procedures and protocols for the clinic. For example, a clinic must have in place a particular protocol for any post-treatment injuries or complications. If for any reason there is a complication or post treatment injury it is imperative you have a medical professional to consult. To take it even further, if the post-treatment complication was severe enough for the client to seek outside care or legal ramification you absolutely need to have a medical doctor on your side to protect you and your clinic. Another great reason to have a medical director in your clinic is that every one of your clients must be medically cleared for laser aesthetic treatments. This includes medical history and current/past/future medications. If you encounter a client that has a medical condition or taking a prescription medication which you are unfamiliar with, you will need a medical professional to clear them before proceeding with any laser treatments.
How do I obtain a Medical Director?
After reviewing your state laws and regulations regarding the practice of aesthetic laser procedures, the next step would be to contact a lawyer to help with the clarity of the role of a Medical Director in your clinic, as well as drawing up the specifics of the MD/Clinic owner relationship. A common mistake that can lead to legal troubles for a practice is not establishing and following rules and regulations according to the role of Medical Director in state in which the clinic is located.
A great source for this drawing up this type of contract is Legal Zoom: After getting all the legalities and regulations out of the way, obtaining a Medical Director is much easier than you might think! We have all seen a physician at least once in our lives, so it’s safe to say we all “know a doctor.” The two most common Medical Directors come from either an Emergency Room or OB-GYN background. The best way to find a great Medical Director is to ask around with in the offices of your personal physicians or any that you may know, you can even check with some of the local medical spas to find out if their Medical Directors may be taking on additional clinics.
If you are not able to quickly obtain a Medical Director through networking in your area there are other great references online: