The Art, Science, and Big Data of Aesthetic Injector Careers
Multidisciplinary business owner Scott Melamed’s take on getting hired.
Scott Melamed is quite the multitasker. He is the president of five Baltimore-area businesses, which range from a med spa to a software platform designed for healthcare providers. His multidisciplinary business expertise, experience, and passion give him a unique perspective on hiring and training for success in the Medical Aesthetics field.
What he’s looking for in all new hires.
You may be surprised to hear that for every role on his staff—from aesthetic injectors to administrative positions—not only does Scott look for a background in customer service-oriented fields like retail or hospitality, he also values potential employees who have recreational interests in the arts or problem solving. “I find that the best new hires also have some kind of artistic hobby that they enjoy like painting, pottery, puzzles, something that's both visual and tactile,” he says.
When it comes to more traditional medical experience, Scott and his partner, Dr. George Gavrila, MD, both look for people who come in with a fundamental understanding of facial anatomy, regardless of their background. A potential candidate should also know about the products that are out there: how they work, what the adverse events are, what the potential pitfalls are, what the products do, and how to sell them.
“I find that this combination of qualities is always going to be somebody who warrants a conversation, if not a full interview day,” Scott continues.
A unique interview process.
Scott’s perspective on hiring is unique in that he prefers to hire injectors without prior experience. While many other practices may look for experienced candidates, Scott and his medical team believe in the power of being able to shape and mold an injector from the beginning. This approach also paves the way for new professionals to enter the field of Medical Aesthetics rather than moving existing practitioners around from one workplace to another.
“We prefer to train green because our goal is to grow the industry.”
“By bringing on new providers, we hope to meet the demand for the growing industry, rather than poaching from a competitor or bringing in someone with prior experience. The industry is growing, the consumer base is growing, so the number of capable practitioners needs to grow with it,” he explains.
A good cultural fit is also important to Scott and his team, so candidates are tasked with projects and personality testing to help determine how they might fit in. It’s imperative to him that his practice is a place where a candidate wants to be, and that his injectors are well-suited to the uniqueness of the Medical Aesthetics industry. He calls his initial interview an “airport test.”
“Everybody has to pass the airport test if they want to work with us. What that means is, if we were snowed in at an airport, would we throw you out or want you to stick around with us. It really helps cement whether or not it’s a good cultural fit,” he explains.
Scott looks for candidates who embody an approach to Medical Aesthetics that synergizes artistic vision, scientific skill, and an understanding of patient psychology. “There’s the artistic side, which is the ability to visualize and see the change. Being able to answer what you’re trying to achieve for the patient, what their objectives are. And then, the clinical and technical component of having the right skills and the right hands to deliver the desired treatment outcome.”
A training process that truly establishes trust.
One of Scott’s oft-used quotes is, “Nobody has time to do it right the first time, but everybody makes time to do it over.” This is something he keeps top of mind when training an injector or any other member of the practice, and part of why the practice prefers to hire and train staff without prior experience.
Being able to take the time upfront to learn techniques safely and the right way is important, especially now with the rise of social media “training” videos and content that may not be affiliated or accredited with a reliable source.
“It's much better to take the time to learn the good habits taught by Dr. Gavrila and the medical team from the beginning than it is to spend time later trying to unlearn bad habits. These bad habits can come from a variety of sources: rushing through a training instead of watching the whole thing, a less-than-credible source on social media, or because you didn't do your homework to identify the best injectors to learn from,” he explains.
Scott is also willing to volunteer himself or his partner as a test subject for injectors-in-training. “They have to inject either myself or Dr. Gavrila with saline to see if we trust them. Because I'm not going to put a provider out there to inject anybody else unless I absolutely trust them to inject me,” he says.
Broadening the scope of the art/science relationship.
Part of why the Medical Aesthetics industry is so unique is that it is a field of medicine that seamlessly merges science and technology with aesthetic artistry. For Scott, there’s an additional dimension on the science side of the equation: data.
Other industries have embraced Big Data as part of their business models and processes, and Scott brings that same attention to analytical science to the field of Medical Aesthetics in some interesting ways.
When it comes to harnessing the power of data in his daily practice, Scott turns to the numbers to help uncover the psychology behind patients’ purchase decisions. With the help of both his Marketing Director Abby Ramos and his Chief of Staff Safa Aljuboori, he looks to get to the root of the patient's postprocedural feelings. “Most of the issues are expectation-based, which hasn't usually been covered in medical training,” he explains. “Making aesthetics a team sport, where the patient is also a member of that team, has really revolutionized the way that we serve our patients in a truly outcome-focused manner.”
By making tweaks to how procedural outcomes are communicated, Scott and his team can set more realistic patient expectations, even if it’s something as simple as tweaking the marketing language used to talk about different procedures.
Scott is also excited about the future opportunities data and AI may provide. “I'm looking forward to the way that the intersection of data and artificial intelligence comes to Medical Aesthetics,” he said. “Right now, when we're speaking about certain treatments we advise patients to come back on a pretty set schedule. I think, in the future, advances in AI will help us predict those schedules based on a specific patient's biodynamics and physiology. It’s pretty exciting, and it will also help us better serve our patients and put them first.”
Some parting advice for anyone hoping to join the field.
Scott emphasizes that gaining access to the field is the first and most important step. “Try to get your foot in the door by shadowing someone or seeing if the place that you think that you want to work is a good fit for you, in addition to a good fit for them.”
Finally, Scott advises newcomers to have fun and embrace the journey. “When you're just learning, enjoy those first few weeks. You're pretty much free to make any error, to learn the proper hand position technique. There will be lots of practice, injecting oranges, all the crazy things that we do in this space to make sure that practitioners are medically sound and technically proficient. Enjoy that process. Don’t rush through it. Your trainers will be impressed, and your patients will eventually be impressed that you’ve taken the time, in the beginning, to really hone your craft.”
About Scott Melamed, MS
Scott Melamed, MS, is a born entrepreneur. He’s currently the owner or president of five Baltimore-area businesses, including a med spa, medical group, tattoo removal business, and telemedicine service. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Science degree in biotechnology and serves on multiple advisory boards in both the Medical Aesthetics field and for Baltimore-area philanthropic initiatives.