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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68 MAY/JUNE 2014 | Med Esthetics The practice also uses an imaging system at all points of patient care, from evaluation to postprocedure and follow-up. "We take pictures of pretty much every- thing," he says. "We want patients to come back and look at [the images], and see their improvement." Imaging systems have become essential for his clinical trials department as well. "A lot of clinical tri- als in cosmetic procedures these days require really high-grade photography," Dr. Munavalli says. "Sometimes it's 3D photography, so we utilize that for the services as well. We're pretty big on having it available at the bedside, so our images can be transferred easily onto tablets and other hand- held devices. The best way to tell a story is through a series of images that show patients going from day 1 to day 2 to day 3. No matter how you describe it to patients, pictures really paint the perfect scenario." He advises fellow physicians embarking on their fi rst practice to "have decent space. You'll grow into your space pretty quickly, so don't think too small." He also believes that in order to keep up with the changing face of cosmetic medicine, physi- cians will benefi t from having as much diversity as possible. "If you want to be a jack of all trades, you have to be a master of all of them," he says. "You can't do things half-way. So if you want to pursue additional training, do it before you get started. Once you get started, if you want to pick up a new skill, visit your colleagues, make use of your contacts, make use of all the continuing education that you can." It was his own pursuit of a more diverse practice that led Dr. Munavalli to take ownership of Dermatology, Laser & Vein Specialists of The Carolinas almost a de- cade ago. Something that he hadn't planned on when he was practicing in Maryland. "You just never know where an opportunity is going to arise," he recalls. "I happened to be working at a previous practice and a gentleman came to visit and observe for the day, and we hit it off. He was doing some things that I was inter- ested in, and I decided to help out on the weekends. After spending almost a weekend per month at the practice for over a year and a half, I decided to make a move down here." His move back to North Carolina coincided with his parents' relocation to the same area, "so it was a very easy decision," he says. At the time, the practice was primarily focused on skin cancer and general dermatology. Although he would continue to maintain that focus, he decided to broaden the practice's scope. A shift that, he recalls, was not an easy one to make. "The practice was known for one thing, so getting out there was a combination of making services available, going door to door to let people know what we do, doing targeted marketing in the community as well as a lot of direct in-house marketing," he explains. He found radio to be a particularly strong medium for advertising and PR, as well as local TV. "And getting out in the community, do- ing a lot of screenings, letting people see what services you offer—that was important to us," he says. These efforts paid off in word of mouth referrals, the value of which is not lost on Dr. Munavalli, who prides himself on always "treating each patient as if they're going to bring you the next fi ve patients." Stacy Gueraseva is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer. SOUTHERN COMFORT "You just never know where an opportunity is going to arise." Dr. Munavalli took over an existing medical dermatology practice and grew it by adding a wide range of aesthetic treatments. © MITCHELL KEARNEY 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 8 Southern Comfort MED5-614.indd 68 4 / 1 6 / 1 4 4 : 5 2 P M 4/16/14 4:52 PM

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