MAY-JUN 2014

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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SOUTHERN COMFORT 66 MAY/JUNE 2014 | Med Esthetics A s a native of the state in which he practices, Dr. Munavalli knows that his Charlotte location— close to the city's bustling downtown—has a direct relation to the patients that walk through his door and the types of services they desire. "The Charlotte workforce is the second-largest bank- ing center in the country, so we get a lot of young pro- fessionals," he explains. "Their biggest concern is going to be: what is the downtime for me? So we have to get that out of the way up front." The southern climate also plays a role in his treatment options. Many of Dr. Munavalli's patients seek treatment for concerns related to sun damage and photoaging. "Sun exposure, which prematurely ages skin, we see a lot of that," he says. "It shows up on the patients in fi ne lines, wrinkles, brown spots, all those things that come along with decades of exposure to the sun. You don't realize it, and then one day, you're like, 'Wow, I look older than I am. I'm going to compete for a job in a younger market- place and I don't look as young as the other people.'" To meet this demand, lasers have become the prac- tice's forte. "We have probably 35 to 40 lasers in the offi ce, and we can tailor treatment to the patients' needs in terms of how minimally invasive or more invasive we need to be," he says. "In modest cases, you could take 10 years off their appearance. It's a very powerful thing." A Strict Environment Dr. Munavalli fi rst developed an interest in laser treat- ments more than a decade ago when he was completing a phlebology and advanced laser surgery fellowship at the Maryland Laser Skin & Vein Institute, run by Robert and Margaret Weiss, whom Dr. Munavalli considers mentors. In addition to gaining medical experience, he learned a great deal about running a practice from the Weisses. "They had a huge offi ce," he recalls, "And I got to see the level of commitment that was required to have a successful and effi cient practice. I learned the importance of a good administrative team and delegating. But I also learned the importance of not delegating things, like procedures and treatments." He has since applied what he learned to his own 45-employee private practice—including four full-time physicians—which he opened in 2005 with 18 employees. From hiring and training staff, to run- ning his in-house research and clinical trials, Dr. Mu- navalli maintains a "strict environment," he says. "We have an entire vein department with vascular technology. We have a whole aesthetics area with two full-time estheticians, and a product store built into the offi ce, with its own staff. Because we still do a lot of skin cancer, we have a pathology lab, so we can process biopsies in-house. We do Mohs surgery, and we have a large clinical trials department, where we do fi ve to 10 clinical trials a year." To keep all of the elements of the practice run- ning smoothly, Dr. Munavalli has created detailed job descriptions and protocols, including guidelines for hiring support staff. New employees come in and complete a probationary period, during which they shadow other staff members. "We don't give them responsibilities for several weeks," he explains. "Everybody has a buddy assigned to them, and they kind of pick their area where they're going to be. We try to do reviews pretty early into the process; it's important to give feedback." Although he seeks employees with medical of- fi ce experience, he's found that some of his best staff members have had no medical experience at all. "They've just changed their careers. They didn't have any dermatology or cosmetic experience per se," he explains. To ensure that the knowledge is "transfered to the staff, we do quizzes and hand out packets with © MITCHELL KEARNEY Dermatology, Laser & Vein Specialists of the Carolinas features a staffed retail store and two full-time estheticians. S o u t h e r n C o m f o r t M E D 5 - 6 1 4 . i n d d 6 6 Southern Comfort MED5-614.indd 66 4 / 1 6 / 1 4 4 : 5 2 P M 4/16/14 4:52 PM

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