OA dermatologist from Poland, Dr. Anna Rosinska's aesthetic practice also offers medical weight loss and wellness medicine in Texas.
Name: Anna Rosinska
Clinic: Body Focus Laser & Longevity Center
Location: Midland, TX
Personally, I’m most interested in integrative medicine, which is the combination of traditional medical therapy with complimentary natural components that address each patient in a holistic way.
That's interesting: Dr.Rosinska was voted a Silver Medalist in Midland’s Top 100 Businesses and Personalities in category for Midland’s Favorite Physician in Year 2008. Dr.Rosinska was also voted a Gold and Silver Medalist in Midland’s Top 100 for 2009 (Best Physician and Weight Loss Clinic) and Silver Medalist in Weight Loss Clinic category in 2010 .
Can you tell us a little bit about how your interest grew in cosmetic medicine?
I always had an interest in weight loss and as one of the very few female physicians at that time in our area I had huge female patient population. My ladies were frequently complaining about weight issue, menopausal symptoms, hormonal imbalances and the fact that that was usually dismissed by male doctors as normal and not worthy of their attention. Lot of my premenopausal women were put on antidepressants, sleeping pills and Xanax, while all they needed at this time of life was a little bit of progesterone. I started looking into more info on hormone balancing, discovered the benefits of bio identical hormones and I also started going to different trainings on weight loss, BHRT, etc. Being able to take my patients off antidepressants and anxiety meds and make them feel better was the first step to wellness medicine. That brought on my interest in preventative measures. Maybe instead of waiting for people to develop conditions and treat them with drugs we could prevent them at the first place with lifestyle modifications, supplementations of natural hormones, vitamins, nutrients eliminating toxins form the body, detoxifying, etc.
Being able to help my female patients to feel better, managing their hormones, helping them to lose weight, become healthier, more energetic led to another area: aesthetic medicine. Once my ladies started feeling better they wanted to improve their looks, skin, wrinkles, sun damage, and that prompt me to exploring this area- to meet their demands and also for selfish reasons- I was in my 30s and started seeing first signs of time.
I started going to different seminars, meetings, conferences, lectures in US, Canada, Europe, South America, getting private trainings sessions with best specialists in the country and I still do that.
How is your clinic organized? What types of treatments and services do you offer?
We are located in Midland, Texas. I am the only physician in the practice. Our staff consists of 3 nurses, 2 laser techs, aesthetician, medical assistant, 3 receptionists and office manager. We have over 4000 active pts, we see at least 2-3 new patients daily. Our patients come from Midland-Odessa area, but also from the big part of west Texas all the way to El Paso and from large areas of New Mexico. Lots of my pts who moved to big cities like Dallas, Austin, still come back for me to do their fillers/Botox. We see about 80% women, 20% men. Age: most are women 35-55, but we see all age groups starting from teenagers with acne to older pts for osteoporosis or cardiovascular prevention. Economically our patients’ population ranges from the ones who have couple of private jets to a single mom with 4 kids working at McDonalds. We have a wide spectrum of services, which can be afforded by different economical classes. Offering CareCredit helps a lot.
I make medical decisions and oversee purchasing/ staff issues/clinic operation in general, but the person who mainly takes care of all the technical details and staff issues is my office manager.
We offer several medically supervised weight loss programs, body shaping procedures, liposuction, fat grafting, variety of laser procedures (hair, vein, pigment, tattoo removal, skin tightening, resurfacing, rejuvenation), aesthetic services (microderms, chemical peels, acne treatments, facials, skin care, lash extensions), wellness & prevention (hormone balancing with BHRT, cardiovascular prevention, thyroid rx, dermatology, female care), sclerotherapy, injectables (Botox, fillers).
What stories do you have about hiring/firing? How do you compensate and train your staff?
Hiring new staff is usually hit or miss – you can never tell during the interview how the person will perform. We make the hiring or firing decision together with office manager. When hiring we always tell the person that the first 6 weeks is an introductory period during which we’ll mutually decide if we belong together. That way at 6 weeks I am not firing this person, I just simply do not offer them a permanent employment. Makes a difference when they apply for unemployment. Firing an employee is never a pleasant task and we try to compensate for that telling them about the positives as well.
Staff compensation: we offer competitive salaries, 10% commission on products sale, incentives for upselling certain procedures, purchasing the products sold at the office at cost, also minimal fee for procedures (just to pay for our cost). I would like to offer more for upselling/cross-selling but so far I haven’t found a perfect method.
We offer free trainings with trips to other cities for seminars, trainings, also bringing trainers to the office for training new staff or retraining periodically.
What IPL or laser technologies are you using? What are your thoughts about the technologies you’re using now?
IPL- we use BBL from Sciton in combination with their SkinTyte, and are very pleased. (all our lasers are listed on the website, I think it’s too many to comment on each one). We do lots of hair removal with Italian 955nm-1064nm laser from Quanta, we recently purchased a second hair removal laser from them due to high demand.
My favorite lasers are also fractional CO2, MiXto from Lasering USA, our newest “baby”, Ulthera and LipoSonix for localized fat reduction from Solta. I also wouldn’t be able to live without my Tickle lipo machine, which makes liposuctions much faster, easier and effective. I’ve had had all these treatments done on myself and I am pleased with results.
We always negotiate the price with laser companies. It helps to call them right before the end of the quarter – they are much more accommodating. My office manager is an excellent negotiator and she has saved the practice a lot of $$$. She also asks for a free extra year of warranty while negotiating, or extra disposables, free shipping, etc.
The technology, which is most – not disappointing – but maybe most unpredictable, is RF (radiofrequency). We have never seen any good results from VelaSmooth and then from VelaShape (from Syneron), and finally I’ve sold if for pennies through laser resale website. We use another RF body shaping technology now for about 5 yrs, Lipo-Ex and we have a lot of success, but again, it’s sometimes hard to predict the results. Some of our older technologies, like Vasculight, or Smoothbeam, which was a very painful treatment, are now gone from the office. I replace lasers frequently, some of them we donate or trade in, I enjoy the state of the art, newest equipment.
What are the hits and misses in marketing your clinic?
At this point I don’t spend much money on advertisement. We have a good website (pay monthly fee for that and I have it redone completely every 3-4 years to keep it interesting). We have an excellent SEO management through Incredible Marketing which brings new patients daily. They also manage my FB page and we are now up to 1800 fans. There are daily posts on FB, most of them educational, not advertising. I write myself a monthly email newsletter (ConstantContact ) which goes out to 5000 of subscribers). It features new treatments and products and also monthly discounts and promotions, and invitations to events.
We do in-office advertisement- simply putting out flyers with our special offers or new treatments but the biggest source of my business is word of mouth. Every new patient get a folder with practice info, policies, price lists and a card (printed via Vista Print) which entitles them to 10% discount when they refer a new person and the new person also gets a discount- so everybody wins!
One a year before Holiday season (way before other clinics think of that and it gets oversaturated with events) we have our Annual Open House, a biggest event of the year, with food, open bar, valet parking, sometimes live music and 20% off all treatments/products/procedures we offer. We invite all our reps (laser reps, skin care, injectables, etc.) and each of them is assigned a station- each guest gets a punch card and has to go through all the stations to be able to enter the drawing for a prize- we have those drawings every 30 min and usually give away around $ 15,000 in services-products.
The second biggest event, but not that big, we have around Mother’s Day, but we don’t offer that much discounts. I don’t want people to wait for events only to make purchasing decision.
We have numerous free workshops throughout the year about usually a new treatment or procedure, but these are smaller events, mainly educational. We offer some kind of incentive (plus free food/wine) for attending.
Office manager gets our reps and companies we do business with to donate door prizes, sponsor raffles, food/drinks. They are all happy to that. We have a great relationship with most of our reps, and we offer them free treatments at times, they have become our friends, not just business partners.
I do not advertise in a newspaper, radio or TV – I’ve tried that few years ago and could never really tell what the ROI was. It’s just a waste of $$ in my opinion. We run occasional ad in the paper to advertise our Open House, but that’s all.
What we do for marketing right now works and I will continue doing it.
What treatments or services are most profitable for you?
Most profitable is my injectable practice (I offer neurotoxins and most of the fillers on the market) and laser treatments (Ulthera, CO2 resurfacing and IPL), liposuctions/body shaping and lastly weight loss programs.
Weight loss is probably the most popular part of my practice, but not the most profitable. I like to offer affordable treatments and make more people happy. Besides weight loss bring in a lot of new people.
Some treatments are not very profitable but I continue to offer them because I like to have a full spectrum of everything and it maybe there will be this one person a week who will benefit from it. As long as we don’t lose money on it, I have no objections to low profit on certain things- especially they may attract new patients.
I always have my eye on new technologies/treatments – some which will benefit me financially and the other ones, which will add to the pt. benefit but not to my profit, example: finer (and more expensive) injectable needles, blunt cannulas, Artiste automated injection system.
I’d love to add few more skin care lines, but more products on the shelves doesn’t equal more sales. Besides we have expanded so much that a space/storage is sparse now. Instead of adding whole new lines of skin care I’ve been carefully selecting single products from different lines and incorporating them.
I’d love to have a full color spectrum tattoo removal laser (we currently offer only 1064/532nm QS laser) with ruby, the one I’m interested in is Quanta QS laser from Italy, also my wish list includes MiraDry for axillary hyperhidrosis, newer generation RF body shaping (Exilis) jut to prove to myself that RF can be more predictable, Thulium wavelength for pigment treatment from Solta. I am also interested in possibly adding Cellulaze laser but after it proves itself, so maybe next year.
We seldom drop treatments- almost everything I’ve ever decided to offer works well- it may have to do with careful selection and thorough research prior to purchasing given technology or adding new treatments. Or maybe just pure luck.
What have you learned about practicing cosmetic medicine? What stories can you tell?
My patients appreciate me constantly going to different meeting, seminars, bringing in new info and treatments. They always ask what I’ve learnt in the most recent meeting, which I let them know I’m going to through my newsletter.
They always want to know if I tried my treatments myself- and yes, I do that. They appreciate the fact that I usually have a treatment done myself (prior to introducing it to my practice) to know if it’s worth it to offer in my practice.
Once I had an aggressive CO2 laser resurfacing done by my laser tech around my eyes to treat fine lines – I kept working but I looked horrible for a few days, like a burn victim with oozing, crusting, erythema – my patients have booked several CO2 treatments after seeing me looking like that because “I’ll have what she’s having”!
About: Originally from Poland, Dr. Rosinska completed Medical School and Dermatology residency in Warsaw, Poland in 1993. Then in 1994, she came to US, did residency in Internal medicine in St. Barnabas Hospital, New York. Board Certified in 1998, she moved to West Texas and started private practice in 1998 right after the residency and she's been here ever since. Dr. Rosinska received specialized training in mesotherapy and weight management, the use of lasers, administration of Botox and dermal fillers, photo rejuvenation, sclerotherapy and other areas of aesthetic medicine. She has also trained in Women’s Care, Bio identical Hormones, Allergy Testing, Anti aging Medicine and Longevity.
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.