June 28, 2023

How to find a medical director for a med spa & how much does a medical director cost?

Moxie Team

Finding the right medical director for your med spa is more than just checking a box. It’s also not easy. Partnering with a medical director is an important decision that impacts your med spa both financially and legally.

Read on as we share tips for how to find a medical director for a med spa, how much it costs to hire a medical director, and why you need a collaborating physician in the first place.

Why Do You Need a Medical Director?

A medical director is a trained collaborating physician who lends their expertise, guidance, and oversight to a healthcare facility. In essence, they are the bridge between the admin and medical aspects of the facility, upholding legal and ethical standards, implementing quality assurance, and promoting superior patient care.

In short, medical directors for med spas are not merely playing a vanity role—they can have significant control over your business. Their decisions influence the type of services your spa offers, the methods and standards of service delivery, and even the overall reputation of your spa.

They also contribute to your facility’s reputation as a professional, safe, and trustworthy space. 

Below are some of the typical roles and responsibilities of a med spa medical director:

  • Take legal and medical responsibility for procedures performed within the spa
  • Ensure procedures are carried out with a high degree of care and safety
  • Schedule medical audits and evaluate the quality of care
  • Craft, approve, and update the med spa’s policies, procedures, and protocols in alignment with state regulations
  • Sign off on medication orders, patient charts
  • Protect against malpractice complaints and maintain necessary malpractice insurance coverage.

Who Needs a Medical Director? 

While med spas regulations vary from state to state, it’s generally required that a collaborating physician partners with the nurse, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant who owns the clinic. These medical directors must have relevant experience or training in medical aesthetics. 

In some states, the physician must own or be a significant legal and financial partner in the medical med spa practice. For non-doctor med spa owners, this means setting up a compliant organization structure with a management services organization (MSO). However, select states are more lenient on the requirement of a collaborating physician’s oversight. 

Read all about MSO’s in your state and whether or not you need to set one up.

As an RN (Registered Nurse), you can open your own med spa without a medical director in the following states: 

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming

Nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) have full med spa practice authority in even more states. Check out the state by state listing for NPs and PAs and how to find a medical director for a med spa, here

How to Find a Medical Director for a Med Spa: Step by Step

Finding a medical director requires networking, research, contracting, and occasionally, some negotiation. Before you start your search, be clear on the necessary licenses, qualifications, and credentials your medical director will need. 

Once you’ve got that covered, here’s how to find a medical director for a med spa: 

1. Start with Your Network

As a medical professional, you’ve already got a solid professional network. This is always the place to start. Reach out to colleagues, fellow med spa owners in your state, and doctor’s that you’ve enjoyed working with.

You’ll never know—that favorite doctor just might have plans to diversify as well. Plus, with the growing field of aesthetic medicine, you may have more qualified and interested doctors than you think!

If you’re seeking outside your network, we recommend checking doctor directories within your area:

As part of helping you launch your own med spa, Moxie can also help you find a medical director that’s right for you!

2. Tap Recruitment Agencies and Medical Director Groups

Recruitment agencies specializing in healthcare have a vast network of professionals. Some even specialize in pairing medical professionals with medical directors.

Here are some medical-specific and medical director recruitment agencies worth checking out:

Popular job platforms, like LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and Monster let you post your own job vacancy. Let the medical director candidates come to you with this proactive approach!

3. Check Med Spa/ Aesthetic Nursing Social Media Groups

Cosmetic nursing and med spa social media groups are vibrant communicates with troves of  helpful information! With some communities in the tens of thousands, chances are other members have found medical directors in your state, have invaluable tips, and can even make a  recommendation.

Here are some helpful social media groups or threads to follow:

You can also join virtual events like the American Medical Spa Boot Camps and The Medical Spa Show to meet other aesthetic professionals who may have a medical director to recommend. 

How to Evaluate Potential Med Spa Medical Directors

Once you have assembled a shortlist of medical directors for your med spa, here are some to-dos before bringing them on board:

  • Verify Their Credentials: Cross-check their qualifications with medical licensing boards to ensure they are valid and up-to-date.
  • Perform Compliance Checks: Ensure they meet the legal and medical requirements necessary for the role in your state.
  • Track Record Investigation: Look into peer and patient reviews to get a sense of their professional reputation and work ethic.
  • Consider a Working Interview: This can provide valuable insights into their skills, communication style, and fit within your team.
  • Agree on Payment Structure: Whether you prefer a flat rate or a commission split, ensure it’s mutually agreed upon and legal in your state.
  • Ask for Legal Counsel: Consult with a lawyer to help draft a comprehensive medical director agreement. You can bring in a sample contract for a med spa medical director and modify it based on your needs.
  • Watch Out for Red Flags: Beware of potential directors unwilling to discuss specific treatments and patients or train their staff, which could indicate a lack of engagement or dedication.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Medical Director?

The payment structure for your medical director can depend on: the state you’re in, the ownership structure, and negotiated compensation.

Remember: Your medical director’s compensation takes into account their tasks, but also the risks they shoulder. Ultimately, their licenses are on the line if anything were to happen.  

According to Zippia, the median cost of hiring an aesthetic medical director in the United States is $1,633 monthly. We’ve seen Medical Directors charge as much as $5,000/month in certain situations, though most commonly we see them charging anywhere from $1,000-$2,500/month. 

Below are some of the common med spa medical director payment models:

  • Flat Fee: Pay a fixed monthly amount, often suitable for smaller spas with limited director duties.
  • Hourly Rate: Compensate the director based on their work hours, ideal for fluctuating monthly work.
  • Percentage of Revenue: Allocate a portion of the spa’s earnings to the director, encouraging their success. Some also ask for a certain percentage for every supply you order using their name.
  • Combination: Use a mix of models. For instance, pay a flat fee for some duties and a revenue percentage for others.
  • Per Service or Procedure: Pay the director based on the number or type of procedures they perform.

Paying a medical director commission is common (and legal in most states), but may not be preferred due to difficult bookkeeping. As such, most med spa owners prefer to pay a monthly fee because it’s much easier to manage.

Regardless of which payment model you choose, always reach out to your attorney for a contract and to get everything (legally and financially) ironed out.

How to Find a Medical Director for a Med Spa & How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Medical Director?; TLDR

Choosing the perfect aesthetic medical director for your med spa is a game-changer. This decision goes beyond legal compliance; it shapes your business’s future. Leverage professional networks, recruitment agencies, and job platforms to find the right fit—factor in qualifications, shared vision, state regulations, and fair compensation.

Remember, your medical director is a partner who’ll help steer your spa toward success.

Looking for guidance for opening your first med spa? Here’s how we help RNs, PAs and RPNs like you open aesthetic clinics across the country!
Learn More

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