MAY-JUN 2017

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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56 MAY/JUNE 2017 | Med Esthetics Dr. Vanek worked as an emergency medical techncian while attending Haverford College in Pennsylvania. "I re- ally loved trauma," he says, noting that he became more engaged in the area during medical school at the Univer- sity of Rochester in New York. He trained as a general surgeon and then entered a plastic surgery residency at the University of Michigan. "I was very interested in saving lives and patching up people who were traumatized—hav- ing an impact on their lives and reconstructing them. "I worked in a level 1 trauma center in Rochester, and while I was training I got to see these magical people called plastic surgeons," he continues. "They would go into a room with a patient who had some very serious problems, and they'd emerge 6 or 8 or 10 hours later, and the patient would be transformed." After completing his residency, Dr. Vanek joined the Lake Health System in Lake County, Ohio, where he prac- ticed for one year before striking out on his own. "I always thought it would be best for me to be self-employed. The hospital facilitated me to get my practice going, and I opened Vanek Plastic Surgery in Mentor, Ohio, in 1997," he says. THE WILL TO THRIVE An entrepreneur at heart, Dr. Vanek has owned or man- aged several businesses throughout his life, beginning with a paper route as a child. He worked as a contract trumpet player during high school, college and medical school; ran a landscaping business in high school and college; and founded his own medical billing company, HealthMaxx, in 2001, which he sold as a new attending in 2007 to focus on plastic surgery. "When I was training to be a physician, I also did research at Columbia Presbyterian and New York University—I regularly had academic jobs at that time," he says. "I've had other ventures along the way, but I always wanted to have practice autonomy. Even though I'm a collaborative soul, I knew I'd be best served if I was able to run my own business." The most challenging aspects of practice ownership have been keeping up with compliance issues and the day-to-day management of personnel. "Surgery is the fun and easy part of my day; the challenging part is the mas- sive amount of compliance that goes along with being a physician in the U.S.—negotiating contracts with insur- ance companies, keeping up with the administrative state requirements of being an employer—as well as handling all the moving parts of a busy offi ce," says Dr. Vanek. "But I love it because of the relationships I've formed. I have people who have worked for me for 14 years—long-term employees who I value." He has found that retaining personnel requires more than just logistics and numbers, and he strives to nur- ture his staff emotionally as well as fi nancially. "People come and go—they get married and divorced and move around, and the only way to keep them is to know what FRAME: © GETTY IMAGES An entrepreneur from an early age, Dr. Vanek always knew he wanted to have practice autonomy, so he launched Vanek Plastic Surgery in 1997. FAITH IN SCIENCE

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