An Interview with Mitchell Chasin, MD
With almost 20 years in the field of aesthetic medicine, Dr. Mitchell Chasin has witnessed firsthand the amazing explosion in the number of medical spas in New Jersey, where he is Medical Director of Reflections Center for Skin & Body, and across the country. This industry growth is mostly great news for consumers, he notes, as it points to the increasing availability and effectiveness of cosmetic treatments.
“Women and men are becoming more aware that between drugstore remedies and plastic surgery there is another route,” says Dr. Chasin. “In and beyond New Jersey, medical spas, day spas, skin care clinics and laser centers are opening to serve the growing demand for non-invasive procedures.”
This new landscape is not without its pitfalls, however. Regulations governing medical spas and related businesses vary from state to state. And, truth be told, oversight is often lacking in the industry. So how does a woman looking to try BOTOX® Cosmetic or a man considering laser hair removal find the right place?
Find Out About Spa Management
“The first step to take is to find out is who owns the business and how they manage it,” advises Dr. Chasin. “By definition, a doctor must supervise a medical spa. Unfortunately, there are few rules about how often, if ever, that doctor must actually be on site.” Avoid facilities that seem to lack the attention of a physician, he says. You may also want to bypass medical spas that are franchises or part of a chain. These businesses can have a tight focus on profitability to the point where service suffers.
Investigate Staff and Credentials
The next thing to investigate, according to Dr. Chasin, is the staff and their credentials. Who actually performs the procedures? What is their level of experience? If you’d like a consultation with a physician, is that option available to you?
Be Wary of Medical Spas as Afterthoughts
If your gynecologist or dermatologist offers cosmetic procedures, it can be an attractive alternative to turn to them for help in looking your best. Or, you may be thinking of visiting a medical spa that’s part of a plastic surgeon’s practice. Both can be viable options, but as you explore these possibilities, consider the physicians’ motivations, cautions Dr. Chasin. “Some doctors who specialize in very different fields, like gynecology, offer cosmetic procedures to bolster their bottom line in difficult times,” he says. On the other hand, some plastic surgeons add a medical spa to their practice as a pipeline for surgery prospects. “You’ll want to know the physician’s interests are in the right place before you commit.”
Make Sure the Practice Can Serve Specific Needs
On a similar note, be sure the facility you’re considering has a large menu of treatments and a variety of equipment, and educate yourself about the procedure you’re considering. Dr. Chasin explains that it’s not enough to know that one laser doesn’t fit all procedures from acne scar treatment to laser hair removal; the truth is that one laser doesn’t even fit all patients seeking laser hair removal. “Many systems that are appropriate for fair skin are not recommended for darker skin, for example,” he says. “Do some research so you’ll be able to ask pertinent questions.”
Review your First Experience
After you’ve selected a medical spa and had your first treatment, chances are you’ll know whether you’ve found a good fit. Still, Dr. Chasin suggests you take a moment to reflect on your experience. Did the facility respect your time by ushering you in promptly? When you described which aspect of your appearance you felt needed attention, did the staff present and discuss a variety of options? Did you gain a realistic view of what you could expect from treatment? Did the staff answer your questions fully and honestly? When your treatment was completed, were your expectations met?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, you made a great choice.
About Dr. Chasin: Dr. Mitchell Chasin is the Medical Director of Reflections Center for Skin & Body, a full-service medical spa in New Jersey. After completing his education and training in distinguished medical programs in New York and New Jersey, Dr. Chasin chose to focus solely on aesthetic medicine in the 1990’s. He opened his first medical spa in Bridgewater more than ten years ago, and added a second medical spa in Livingston in 2005. He is a member of several professional societies dedicated to cosmetic medicine including the American Board of Laser Surgery and the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine. Dr. Chasin is an attending physician at both Overlook Hospital and Somerset Medical Center, he serves as a teacher and lecturer nationwide and he’s frequently asked to appear in broadcast and print media.