In our interview with Dr. Mohiba Tareen, she shares her views about staffing and running a successful dermatology and cosmetic practice.
Name: Dr. Mohiba Tareen
Clinic: Tareen Dermatology
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Dr. Mohiba K. Tareen is a board certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon. She serves as medical director for Tareen Dermatology, a full service medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology practice located in Roseville, Minnesota. Dr. Tareen is proud to be the mother of 4 young and active sons.
About Tareen Dermatology:
Since its inception in 2011, Tareen Dermatology has provided high quality dermatologic care to thousands of patients in the Twin Cities and suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Dr Tareen trained at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Columbia University and also worked at a number of high profile New York City Dermatology practices prior to relocating to Minnesota. The Tareen Dermatology aesthetic practice began as a natural extension of the dermatology practice. It has now grown to employing 5 aestheticians in 2 different locations as well as a total of 4 physician assistants and 40 support staff members (clinic administrator, receptionists, clinical assistants, pharmacy staff, etc).
As a dermatologist, what sparked your interest in cosmetic medicine?
Dermatology and aesthetic medicine are complementary. I trained and worked in New York City for several years before moving to Minnesota. Patients in the midwest were surprised by the minimal and natural approach that I brought to toxins, fillers, lasers and skin care. The practice has grown tremendously as patients know that I will recommend simple and cost effective interventions that will enhance their youthfulness and beauty, while keeping them natural.
Tareen Dermatology prides itself as a comprehensive practice that cares for all aspects and ages of skin and health. I am proud to care for 3 and 4 generations of patients. From a cosmetic perspective, this may translate to chemical peels for a teenager with acne, filler/botox for a middle aged parent, and full face laser resurfacing for the grandmother to rejuvenate the skin. I also care for all of their medical needs.
As the physician, I form the center of the wheel. My four physician assistants work with me to provide excellent medical care. Our aestheticans perform procedures and consults. Our medical assistants make sure patients are comfortable and all their needs are taken care of. I surround myself with the best- a patient recently remarked that Tareen Dermatology is like "Dermatology Disneyland" as we really have such a happy office!
Can you tell us more about you think of and use your staff?
My rule is to always over-staff. My job is much less stressful if we have enough staff. When I enjoy my job, everything always runs more smoothly! Also, I have learned that, these days, most staff only work at any given place for a few years. I used to take it personally when staff left, but now I have changed my perspective and try to feel fortunate that I was able to have a skilled individual for a few years. Most of my staff keep in great touch and it is exciting to see the great things that they go on to do.
You've got a number of lasers, and in some cases more than one of the same kind. Can you give us a run-down of the technology you're using?
We have three Excimer lasers for Psoriasis, three vascular specific lasers, 2 Candela Gentlemax units for hair removal and deep vascular lesions, a fractional and non fractional CO2, 2 coolsculpting machines, and we just purchased an Enlighten laser for tattoo removal!
In general, I prefer specific lasers, not IPL modaliies, as I feel they deliver safer and more predictable results
Most of your marketing is word-of-mouth and based on your exisiting dermatology patients. Is that so?
Our marketing is almost completely internal. We are fortunate to have an audience of 150- 200 dermatology patients who trust us who come into our office every day as well as patients who spread the great work that we do.
My time is money- so the services that I do not have to perform directly- coolsculpting, vascular laser, laser skin tightening, and laser resurfacing- are the most profitable. I still do filler and toxin personally so I always struggle as I likely could make more money seeing medical patients during the time it takes me to do these procedures. However, I do enjoy the artistry and patients love my natural approach!
As a dermatologist whose practice is not entirely cosmetic, what have you learned about practicing cosmetic medicine?
In a medical and cosmetic dermatology office, often the lines can be blurred. Several years ago, we did a full face CO2 on a wonderful patient who had many medical and cosmetic procedures in the past. As she was checking out my assistant presented her with the $2,500 charge. She was confused and said, "Oh, I thought this was medical and we were doing it for my pre-cancer spots!" This taught me that I need to always draw a line between medical and cosmetic. Now, PRIOR to procedures, patients sign a form delineating their charges.
What advice can you impart to your fellow dermatologists or physicians?
Ironically, I was against the significant growth of my aesthetic practice. I thought that it would take away from the legitimacy of my very successful medical and surgical dermatology practice. I resisted the growth and purchase of expensive lasers. My husband, a urologist and my business manager, encouraged me. He said "Mohiba, people know you do good work. They are going to other places now and not getting the results they desire." My husband was correct, and our practice has grown exponentially. I think that if people know you do great work medically, aesthetics is a natural extension. I wish I would have grown my aesthetic practice sooner!
About Dr. Tareen
Dr. Tareen completed her dermatology residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, New York. During this time, she also lectured extensively and had her work published in a number of prestigious medical journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine. In addition, she was awarded the Conrad Stritzler Award of the New York Dermatological Society while a second year resident.