Medical Oversight and Scope of Practice of Medical Spas (Med-Spas)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The regulation of medical spas (med-spas) in the United States varies considerably from state to state with important ramifications for patient safety. OBJECTIVE: To describe the current state of med-spas in the United States and degree of medical oversight in these facilities. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Descriptive study based on web search and standardized phone interviews of med-spas in the most heavily populated cities in each state of the United States. Information obtained included the following: whether medical directors were listed; if so, whether they were advertised as being on site; medical directors' training and board certification; and services offered. RESULTS: Of 247 medical spas reviewed, 72% advertised a medical director on their website, and 6.5% claimed that the director was on site. Of listed medical directors, 41% were trained in dermatology and/or plastic surgery. In phone interviews, 79% of med-spas endorsed the medical director to be board certified, and 52% stated that the medical director was on site less than 50% of the time. CONCLUSION: There is significant variation in medical directorship and oversight among medical spas in the United States. Appropriate regulation of medical directors' training and the degree of oversight provided are warranted to optimize patient safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-587
Number of pages7
JournalDermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.]
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

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Physician Executives
Patient Safety
Interviews
Certification
Plastic Surgery
Dermatology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology

Cite this

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title = "Medical Oversight and Scope of Practice of Medical Spas (Med-Spas)",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: The regulation of medical spas (med-spas) in the United States varies considerably from state to state with important ramifications for patient safety. OBJECTIVE: To describe the current state of med-spas in the United States and degree of medical oversight in these facilities. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Descriptive study based on web search and standardized phone interviews of med-spas in the most heavily populated cities in each state of the United States. Information obtained included the following: whether medical directors were listed; if so, whether they were advertised as being on site; medical directors' training and board certification; and services offered. RESULTS: Of 247 medical spas reviewed, 72{\%} advertised a medical director on their website, and 6.5{\%} claimed that the director was on site. Of listed medical directors, 41{\%} were trained in dermatology and/or plastic surgery. In phone interviews, 79{\%} of med-spas endorsed the medical director to be board certified, and 52{\%} stated that the medical director was on site less than 50{\%} of the time. CONCLUSION: There is significant variation in medical directorship and oversight among medical spas in the United States. Appropriate regulation of medical directors' training and the degree of oversight provided are warranted to optimize patient safety.",
author = "Gibson, {Juliet F.} and Divya Srivastava and Nijhawan, {Rajiv I.}",
year = "2019",
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language = "English (US)",
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pages = "581--587",
journal = "Dermatologic Surgery",
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AU - Srivastava, Divya

AU - Nijhawan, Rajiv I.

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Y1 - 2019/4/1

N2 - BACKGROUND: The regulation of medical spas (med-spas) in the United States varies considerably from state to state with important ramifications for patient safety. OBJECTIVE: To describe the current state of med-spas in the United States and degree of medical oversight in these facilities. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Descriptive study based on web search and standardized phone interviews of med-spas in the most heavily populated cities in each state of the United States. Information obtained included the following: whether medical directors were listed; if so, whether they were advertised as being on site; medical directors' training and board certification; and services offered. RESULTS: Of 247 medical spas reviewed, 72% advertised a medical director on their website, and 6.5% claimed that the director was on site. Of listed medical directors, 41% were trained in dermatology and/or plastic surgery. In phone interviews, 79% of med-spas endorsed the medical director to be board certified, and 52% stated that the medical director was on site less than 50% of the time. CONCLUSION: There is significant variation in medical directorship and oversight among medical spas in the United States. Appropriate regulation of medical directors' training and the degree of oversight provided are warranted to optimize patient safety.

AB - BACKGROUND: The regulation of medical spas (med-spas) in the United States varies considerably from state to state with important ramifications for patient safety. OBJECTIVE: To describe the current state of med-spas in the United States and degree of medical oversight in these facilities. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Descriptive study based on web search and standardized phone interviews of med-spas in the most heavily populated cities in each state of the United States. Information obtained included the following: whether medical directors were listed; if so, whether they were advertised as being on site; medical directors' training and board certification; and services offered. RESULTS: Of 247 medical spas reviewed, 72% advertised a medical director on their website, and 6.5% claimed that the director was on site. Of listed medical directors, 41% were trained in dermatology and/or plastic surgery. In phone interviews, 79% of med-spas endorsed the medical director to be board certified, and 52% stated that the medical director was on site less than 50% of the time. CONCLUSION: There is significant variation in medical directorship and oversight among medical spas in the United States. Appropriate regulation of medical directors' training and the degree of oversight provided are warranted to optimize patient safety.

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