From family practice to cosmetic medicine, Naila Malik MD has come a long way.
As a family practice physician who has made a switch to cosmetic medicine, Dr. Malik has built both a thriving practice and found the time to launch her own skin care line. We wanted to learn how she did it.
Name: Naila Malik MD
Location: Southlake, TX
That's interesting: Dr. Naila Malik had both an MD in the US and a MBBS (MD) degree in Pakistan. She's also launched her own line of Naila MD skin care line.
Can you tell us more about your career transition into cosmetic dermatology?
Although board certified in Family medicine, I have always had a personal interest in skincare and anti-aging medicine. Throughout my years in practice , a major part of my practice has consisted of treatment of skin disorders such as acne, rosacea, eczema, skin biopsy, etc. In order to do so effectively, I attended several dermatology and minor skin surgery workshops and seminars. I added cosmetic dermatology to my practice in 2004. Three years later, my practice was focused entirely on cosmetic dermatology and medical weight loss.
This allowed me to have more time for my family and opened up opportunities for additional dermatology and cosmetic skincare workshops to get better at what I do.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the practice transition, it frustrated me that I did not have the right skincare to recommend to my patients in between their treatments. After months of cosmeceutical ingredients research, I developed the first generation of my skincare products for acne and anti aging in 2008.
Over the years and after extensive patient feedback and clinical studies, I launched Naila MD ACNE|Anti-inflammatory Acne treatments for teen and adult acne and SUNCARE| BB Crème Skin Perfecting SPF20 in November 2011 , followed by Naila MD AGELESS| Cellular Repair Complex and CALM | Sensitive and Rosacea prone skincare in March 2012.
We have SKINGEAR |For Men and more targeted products on schedule for the coming months. The products have been a HUGE success within our practice and have helped our patients maintain healthy skin with or without office treatments
Where are you located? What are available products and services?
Our clinic is located in the heart of Southlake TX, a very fast growing and affluent town in Dallas Fort Worth area. I have two medical laser trained aestheticians and a front desk assistant. We offer acne treatments, cosmetic dermatology services and medical weight loss. I do all injectable and fractional laser resurfacing treatment myself and my aestheticians perform IPL fotofacials, laser hair reduction, microdermabrasion etc., after an initial consultation with me.
What have you learned in managing your staff?
My practice has evolved considerably over the years and so have my staffing needs. I have found that medical laser trained aestheticians with prior experience work best for my current practice. I personally supervise EVERY treatment during the initial couple of weeks of new aestheticians.
When hiring a new staff member, attitude, pleasant personality, friendly demeanor take precedence over qualifications and experience. I always do a background check on EVERY new hire.
In our office, we have biweekly lunch meetings with all staff members and I emphasize our practice philosophy which is summed up as: “Treat EVERY patient like you will treat yourself or your close family member; with respect, integrity and honesty . Be sincere, do not recommend a treatment or product if they don't need it.”
What IPL or laser technologies are you using? What are your thoughts about the technologies you’re using now?
We offer the following lasers/treatments at our office:
What marketing techniques have you found to be effective?
We employ several avenues to market our practice. We have a strong online presence in the local area, through SEO of our practice websites, my blog, facebook page and pinterest postings. Direct email marketing to our patients and anyone else who has signed up for our email list. We advertise in one or two high end magazines with distribution in areas suitable for our practice, geographically and financially. We donate our services and products for local school and charity auctions. Lastly, word of mouth is our biggest new patient referral source. We try our best to make our patients feel comfortable and referrals are a direct result of happy, satisfied patients!
What treatments or services generate a significant amount of revenue?
Botox and fillers are most profitable for the amount of time spent on each patient and the repeat nature of these treatments. CO2 Fractional laser resurfacing is also an excellent service for the reimbursement and patient results. Moreover, our Skincare line has shown remarkable profits with little effort. We have had a TON of walk-ins for skincare purchase because of friend & family referrals
What lessons have you learned about practicing cosmetic medicine? Can you describe essential attributes a physician must have to succeed in this industry?
I absolutely LOVE cosmetic medicine and find it extremely rewarding to see happy, satisfied patients but like every other field in Medicine, it is not for everyone. In my opinion, the physician traits essential for successful cosmetic practice are first and foremost, intense passion for helping people improve their appearance. Innate aesthetic sense-cosmetic dermatology is like art work, you need to be able to determine the best injection technique/placement after taking individual face shape in consideration for optimally aesthetic results. Finally, a little training or the right personality to counsel some patients in dealing with insecurity at some level with utmost sensitivity and respect.
What advice can you give to other physicians based upon your experiences?
Informed consent of every cosmetic treatment should be discussed by the physicians before starting each treatment. All potential side effects should be clearly listed and explained to the patient before every treatment. Always be honest about treatment outcome! Under-promise and over-deliver. Try not to jump on every new treatment as it is introduced. I have found that media hype can lead to pressure for introducing newer treatments but it ends up being very costly not only in dollars but also in unhappy patients. A lot of treatments with huge media hype have not performed as promised by the manufacturers, unfortunately it is you who is ultimately responsible for patient satisfaction. Emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyle alongside whatever treatment you recommend for best results. Be diligent about wording used for marketing your practice online, in print and everywhere. Each state has its own regulations, check these and double check all marketing materials being distributed.
What’s the best advice you ever got as a doctor?
Be aware that you can make mistakes, acknowledge them and try your best to take corrective action as promptly as you can. This goes for patient care, practice management, marketing and everything else you do.What is the one mistake you've made in your career and what did you do to make it right?
A few years ago, I hired a company to design and publish my first practice website and I did not personally oversee everything on 50 some pages of the website. One of the local competitors complained to the Texas Medical board about the photographs on the website as not being labeled properly. I corrected the labeling as soon as it was brought to my attention. I had to go in front of the Medical board to explain myself and ended with a fine and a complaint on my previously flawless record.
I was rather disappointed with the outcome and learned my lesson. Now I personally write the content of each of my websites, Facebook pages and upload/label my patient photographs.
About: Dr. Malik is Board-Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. She is an American Academy of Family Physicians Fellow. She completed a residency with honors in Family Medicine at Grant Medical Center for three years, followed by a one year residency in Anesthesiology at Tampa General Hospital, University of South Florida, She obtained her MBBS(MD) with honors at Fatima Jinnah Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan. She is affiliated with American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine (A4M), American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS), American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS) and Liquid Face Lift Association.
This interview is part of a series of interviews of physicians running medical spas, laser clinics and cosmetic surgery centers. If you'd like to be interviewed, just contact us.