MY MEDICAL SPA CONSULT- WHAT TO ASK? WHAT TO EXPECT?
Bill Murphy MD, Medical Director Turquoise Springs Medical Spa
Each of you will have a unique reason for making your first appointment. Perhaps you will call out of curiosity, or maybe just due to a general desire to take better care of your skin. You might tire of aging (gracefully) and wish to find out what is possible to restore, refresh, and revitalize your skin. Or maybe you are simply beginning to notice some changes, and you have a specific issue that bothers you, and now is the time to take action.
Oftentimes, that first appointment is made after a brunch out with friends. The whole group is now swearing by the latest treatment they received. You feel like you are missing out and want to know if it might be right for you. Sometimes, you don’t even know what you want before the initial consultation other than better, healthier skin. Your visit can be a directed, limited consult or an extensive, comprehensive evaluation to address all that concerns you. The Medical Spa experience is always tailored to your skincare needs.
So you made it to the first appointment. Now what? It is time for your questions to be answered, and the medical professional should be ready, willing, and prepared for your distinct needs. It is not uncommon for my patients to come with a list of questions they would like answered. Like, what is the difference between a medical spa and a day spa? I know I don’t love what I see, but I’m not sure what to do about it. Are these procedures safe? Are the staff well-trained? Are the supplies and equipment medical grade and of the best quality? And an all-time favorite: Does it hurt? All of these are fair questions, and you should ask and expect answers at your first visit.
A complete consultation should include an assessment of your skin’s texture, pigment, types of lines or creases, level of moisture, and volume. Many of these questions are asked on the intake form, but formally discussed in person. Other areas of concern for you might include nutrition, weight loss/gain, and other body regions such as the neck, hands, arms, and décolletage. You will be given a chance to check any area of concern you would like to discuss. That being said, we always love a patient who knows what she wants!
Should you desire a limited evaluation or a directed treatment, don’t be afraid to say so during that first visit. If you have had past experience with other aesthetic treatments, let us know what worked and what needs more attention. Your medical issues, medications, allergies, and supplements will be considered so the plan will be safe and appropriate for you and your specific needs.
What else takes place at an initial visit? I, personally, enjoy teaching about what is to be done and why. I want my patients to understand the what and why of each treatment tailored to their skincare plan. For a product like Botox, I like to discuss how the product works to relax the muscle, its safety profile, and how the face is the only part of the body where muscle is attached to the skin. For a more extensive consult or treatment plan, I discuss how time and environmental issues affect the layers of the skin, and I give you time to explain the results you wish to attain.
Upon leaving the medical spa, you should feel you were treated professionally, leave with your questions answered and have a specific treatment plan based on your personal needs. There should never be pressure to purchase anything. And lastly, I want you to leave with hope. The unique reason which stirred you to make the call in the first place should now have been replaced with an action plan. And so, with a plan, our journey together can now begin.