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Attracting Hair Loss Patients — with Alan J. Bauman, MD (Ep. 209)

Hello, and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery, and attracting hair loss patients.

I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of Your Aesthetic Practice – What your patients are saying, as well as consultant to plastic surgeons, to get them more patients, more profits and stellar reputations. Now, today’s episode is called “Attracting Hair Loss Patients — with Alan J. Bauman, MD”.

It’s very common for surgeons to want to expand and grow their practices. Actually, it’s human nature to want to progress and there’s nothing wrong with that.

So, they go to conferences and listen to speakers and vendors talk about the latest technologies and how to use it to grow your practice. 

They have great stories and case studies about how this investment offers a new service to attract a new demographic of patients.

A common new service to offer is hair loss technology. It makes sense. You can just look around and see how big a problem it can be for a ton of people.

But what you can’t see is the time, money and effort that goes into marketing this technology to consumers who see their hair loss as a problem and are actually looking for a solution, AND are willing to spend the money to fix their problem.

⬇️ Click below to hear “Attracting Hair Loss Patients — with Alan J. Bauman, MD”

This week’s Beauty and the Biz Podcast is an interview I did with Dr. Alan Bauman who is a full-time hair transplant surgeon in Boca Raton, FL, and an expert at attracting hair loss patients. 

He’s treated over 30K patients and performed over 10K hair transplant surgeries in his 12,000 square foot facility, due to his expertise at attracting hair loss patients.

We talked about how he manages 30 team members and several profit centers and the various, creative ways he markets to and attracts both men AND women to his hair loss center, and how he goes about attracting hair loss patients, in general.

He also had good advice for those surgeons who want to buy a machine to add hair restoration to their cosmetic practice, and how to go about attracting hair loss patients for themselves. 

Specializing in Hair Loss & Attracting Hair Loss Patients — with Alan J. Bauman, MD

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Attracting Hair Loss Patients — with Alan J. Bauman, MD

Catherine Maley, MBA: Hello and welcome to Beauty and the Biz, where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery and attracting hair loss patients. I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of “Your aesthetic practice, what your patients are saying”, as well as consultant of plastic surgeons to get them more patients and more profits.

Now, today I have a special guest that’s a little different than normal, and it’s Dr. Alan Bauman, who’s a full-time hair transplant surgeon in Boca Raton, Florida, who is an expert at attracting hair loss patients.

Now, he’s treated over 30,000 patients and performed over 10,000 hair transplant surgeries, due to his ability at attracting hair loss patients, to date in his 12,000 square foot facility called Baumann Medical Hair Transplant and Hair Loss Treatment Center. Now, Dr. Bauman’s, the author of numerous articles and textbook chapters on the science of Hair transplantation, which is a testament to his ability at attracting hair loss patients, including eyelash transplant surgery, and he’s a frequently invited faculty member at scientific meetings, live surgery workshops and major beauty industry events.

Now, interestingly, and we need to talk about this, he was named, top five transformational CEOs and one of the top 10 CEOs transforming healthcare in America by Forbes. How’s that?

So, Dr. Bauman’s also a founding member of the Bauman Philanthropic Foundation, focusing on assisting active US military veterans to improve mental health, physical health, and preventing PTs D related suicide.

Dr. Baumann, welcome to Beauty and the Biz. It’s a pleasure to have you.

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Catherine, it’s great to be here. Thank you so, much for having me today.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Absolutely. So, we just have to start with how and when did you decide to go all in on hair restoration? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Well, it’s a, it’s a great story. Now remember that if you ask my grandmother when I decided to go to medical school, as she would’ve said when she was alive the day he was born.

So, you know, the story starts pretty early, but I never thought I was going to go into hair transplantation through medical school or even the beginning of my residency training. I always thought plastic surgery was going to be my first love. It was my first love. I first got introduced to surgery.

Through a plastic surgeon in Manhattan who was a close friend of the family. He let me watch procedures and see patients with him. I shadowed him for many, many years off and on, and he really introduced me to the psychiatry with a knife side of medicine, which is really what cosmetic surgery is all about, making people look good and feel great.

I loved the work that he did, the way he handled his patients, the surgical skill. It was all just fantastic. But I didn’t really think about hair at all until I met a hair transplant patient. And I didn’t know he was a hair transplant patient until I was looking at his medical history. And so, I was doing an intake for a plastic surgeon at that time.

And he was getting some other procedure and this patient had hair transplantation listed on his previous surgical history. And I’m looking at him trying to figure out, Where are the plugs? Because in the mid 1990s, I thought all hair transplants were supposed to be plugin. Like, why would you ever bother with that?

And so, that’s kind of what I was expecting and, and obviously his results were far different. And so, it was a brief conversation I had with him. He told me about first of all, he was super excited to learn that I didn’t know he had a hair transplant or that I couldn’t detect it. And then he was also super excited to tell me about the technology that was used at that time, which was just coming of age, single follicle implantation, follicular unit transplantation to create artistically.

Beautiful, aesthetically pleasing hairlines that looked a hundred percent undetectable and certainly fooled me. And he was excited too, know that. And then the other thing that struck me was really how it changed his life. So, he began to tell me how his whole life turned around socially and professionally.

After he had his hair transplant. So, that kind of started me on my journey you know, which led me basically a globe-trotting and, and practice trotting around the world to different conferences and to different experts in the field the, you know, and everything from reading textbooks to journals and things like that.

And then finally finding a mentor in hair transplantation. And I finally opened up my own practice. Well, obviously I got bit by the hair bug and I did not go through completely with plastic surgery. And I did 100% full-time board-certified hair restoration surgery for the past 25 years. So, in the mid 1990s, I came down to Florida, opened up my practice.

I moved my furniture my wife, we were engaged at the time, and I opened up the practice here in Boca Raton.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, how important was location for, for hair restoration? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Well, I thought I was going to be either a plastic surgeon or maybe even that hair transplant surgeon on the upper East side of Manhattan.

That’s just where my mentor was and that seemed like a good spot. He did well. I thought maybe I would be joining his practice and I just always thought that that’s where I was going to be. My parents lived in Jersey. I grew up on the East Coast College in California Medical school in New York. That’s where I did all of my training, hair transplant training out on Long Island and other places.

And I just thought that New York City was going to be where I was going to be. And I had a business plan. I was ready to, to take action, take a loan, and get it started. And I, I blamed my mother-in-law because I was on vacation with my wife, my fiancé at the time, And we were staying at her mom’s place.

She had just recently been remarried and moved to Boca and. Karen’s stepfather was a financial planner and he asked me what was I intending to do both in marriage and also in business. And we got to talking about. What was good about South Florida, and I said, well, tell me more about this retirement community.

And he says, well, it’s, you know, it’s not exactly like that now anymore. And remember this is in the mid 1990s. And so, he challenged me to put a few different numbers from the you know Hypothetical situation into the business plan. And of course, it was the middle of winter and the palm trees were swaying and the ocean breeze was blowing and the sun was shining.

And so, you know, there were a couple of different things that happened in that short vacation. But basically, once I crunched the numbers, I could see that, especially taking a personal loan, a business loan, It would be a lot easier to do it in Boca. And my research included opening the phone book, remember those?

Yeah. And seeing all of the cosmetic procedures and, and surgeons obviously that were being you know, promoted down here in south Florida. I knew it was a vanity capital for sure, so, it wasn’t like I would have to, and, and also hair transplant capital was probably the busiest, most competitive. Area per capita in the country for hair transplant surgery.

I mean, there were literally pages and pages and pages in the phone book of hair transplant surgeons. And so, I figured actually that was a good thing, that I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel, that people kind of knew what a hair transplant was. I was confident in the technology. I was confident in the in the weather.

And we, we packed the car and moved down six months later.

Catherine Maley, MBA: That’s fantastic. So, how do you enter the marketplace? It was, it’s a lot different now, but how did you enter it then? Did you go solo right away? Did you buy a building, rent it, go in with someone else? How, what was that like? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Yeah, so, you know, I didn’t really know which way was more appropriate or not.

I knew that I really didn’t want to be a part of another practice. My dad is a dentist and he always said, you know, you should be autonomous. You should be your own boss. And so, I always thought I would be not with another practice, but, but opening up my own individually. And so, that was my goal.

And I started out with a thousand square foot facility. It was sublease rental space and, you know, restaurant on one side and an ob/gyn upstairs and a hair salon around the corner overlooking the lake in Boca. It was, it’s a beautiful location, still is a beautiful location. At the time it was called Wharf Side.

I had zero employees. My wife, who’s a, has a degree in marketing but never used it. And the degree. In Education? No, she never used it. Oh, she had a degree in education. She was a teacher professionally. I said, listen, I need your help to answer these phones because I can’t afford any, any staff at this time.

So, she would man the phones and I did the consultations and we brought in the teams to do, help me do the procedures when we booked them that first year. And so, I would say that to get the patients going the patient flow was not an easy task, and I didn’t really understand before I got into it how hard it was going to be.

You know, I, I had many discussions with my dad who was an entrepreneur and my grandfather also, and my dad said, join the Chamber of Commerce. And I said, well, what do they do inside the chamber? So, eventually I learned that it was obviously networking. And so, I became just, you know, commonly appearing at all different charity events.

I became embedded into the volunteer organizations here in Boca Raton. I became well connected with the business community. I. Early on and you know, I, I didn’t have a budget for advertising, so, I had to go literally door to door to explain to people what hair transplant was and, and what I thought I could bring to the table.

And I, I worked with many plastic surgeons locally because the ones that didn’t do hair transplants, sometimes they were causing more hair loss. So, I got them out of a lot of trouble and I became a resource for plastic surgeons and dermatologists didn’t really know what to do or how to handle hair.

Hair loss patients at that time. So, I became a resource for the prominent dermatology clinics here locally. I became a resource for hair salons, stylists, barbers in the men’s side and also in the women’s side. They were referring people who were complaining of thinning and shedding and breakage. And I would handle those cases and then return them, obviously back to the salon or the barbershop with a heck of a lot more hair.

And so, the practice built slowly but surely. I guess I would say I’m always been kind of a, a puzzle. Puzzle person. You know, I like solving problems, so, trying to solve the problems of, of, you know, gaining more patients at the time, you know, attract, educating and attracting patients to the practice who were good candidates for our procedures and treatments.

I was lucky that the local large clinics were doing infomercial radio or infomercial and radio advertising, like nonstop, so, people knew that hair loss and hair restoration was a thing. I just had to prove how different it was. And my skillset. Wow.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, how much patience did you have to have? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Like how many years did it take for you to get to the point where you were comfortable with what you were doing? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Well, comfortable well, I was already comfortable obviously with the technology that I had. My two hands, no financial, not open up the practice, but yeah, so, financially we broke even in less than five years.

So, I had the loan paid back. We expanded from a thousand square feet to 3000 square feet. I was able to go from one operatory to two operatories. I built the second one, and then my team expanded from a part-time team to a full-time team. And then we expanded to 5,000 square feet in the in that same subleased space.

And this was prior to the, to the market crash of 2008. And I just knew right around that time. Maybe it was just the way I was being treated by the landlord. Maybe it was just the, you know, the market and such. But what I realized was that I was paying a heck of a lot of rent. Yeah. I was dealing with a lot of problems with the parking.

I was dealing with crazy things. Like they put a pill mill into the center where I was located, which was crazy. And I just felt like out of control, like it wasn’t under my control. And I said, you know what? Maybe this is a sign that I need to look for my own space. And so, I took that opportunity. To start saving for essentially what would be the down payment for a building.

And it took me a couple of years to save that you know, actually many years to save it up. I knew I had the, the cash flow to support the mortgage payments. I. And I went shopping. So, it took a couple of years. I found a beautiful building that we’re in right now. Not without some trauma and some difficulty, but you know, and that’s probably a whole another story for a whole another podcast of how I got my education in real estate.

Right. But let’s just, let’s just say it was not a simple process to. Acquire the building to refurb the building and then to get the approvals from the city to allow me to use the building for medical use, even though it was zoned for business. So, I got a legal education. I got a political education.

I got a real estate education all on the side. As a part-time gig in addition to running a full-time hair transplant practice. Yeah. What? But here we are today. So, 12,000 square feet facility. I have five fully operational ORs. Some of those ORs are used for regenerative treatments and procedures.

I have three providers. It’s myself plus, Another hair transplant surgeon, plastic surgeon, who’s been around for 30 years. I have a nurse practitioner. We’ve just added another nurse practitioner who’ll be joining us within the next couple of weeks, and I’ve expanded the practice to include not only hair loss and hair restoration, but also scalp health.

So, I have an entire department and a certified psychologist specifically for scalp health. We have a head spott, a triology lab. We also do cranial prosthetic devices for those who are not candidates for hair transplants. As I mentioned, a lot of regenerative treatments like P r P and other therapies like exosome treatments, PDO grow, and stem cell type therapies for hair loss has been a part of the practice for many, many years.

And you mentioned in the intro, eyelash eyebrow transplants, scar coverage. The pro bono work that we do with Grey Team and such has been you know, some of the shining stars of, of what’s been done as well as innovate. The technology, like minimally invasive hair transplants which is exclusively, exclusively what we do today in the practice.

We don’t do any linear or strip harvesting whatsoever. It’s all f u e and we dovetail that with a functional medicine analysis, a holistic approach to hair loss. 50% of the patients are women, 50% of the patients are men. Not every woman is a good candidate for hair transplants, obviously, but we do have other pathways for them to grow thicker, stronger, healthier hair, and you know, being able to tap into even longevity.

An aesthetics is something that we are doing now. So, I have a full-time aesthetician who does some body contouring treatments, skin tightening treatments, laser hit removal, and the, and the like. And that’s been extremely successful for us just with the in, in-house patients that we are treating.

And the, and you know, the functional medicine part of the practice, you know, in longevity is also you know, coming up to speed.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Who’s managing all of this? Because you, I mean, not only did you get legal and real estate experience, but now you have to get leadership experience. How are, how, gimme some tips about like how you’re hiring, how you’re managing, how you’re keeping everyone motivated. How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

You have a lot of pieces, you know, talk about a puzzle. How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Yeah. You got a lot of pieces there. So, Mo Yeah. M moving from a 5,000 square foot office space to a 12,000 square foot building was definitely a challenge for us initially in terms of communication. Making sure that the administrative side was communicating well with the surgical side and patient flow was not being interrupted or bottlenecked in any of the specific departments.

It just, traffic control was literally a, a, a problem in the, in the office with being so, separated. I mean, I went. 3000 square feet, 5,000 square feet, I could hear the patient entering the front door and I could hear from most of the places except the, or what the conversations were. So, I kind of already knew what was happening without having to have any kind of additional electronic communication.

So, when you have a 12,000 square foot office, one of the first things we had to do is get headsets, which, you know, we didn’t even think about until we moved into the building. We’re like, oh my God, we need like traffic control. And so, you know, today it’s like, of course we do. But so, I a couple of years back I hired a COO, a Chief Operating Officer, and he worked you know, I guess it was, he was a full-time for several years and he was a well-established kind of coo o for hire.

And he was referred by a number of people here locally through my connections in the business world, specifically in, in the world of healthcare. He did a couple of turnaround projects and he was just a, a seasoned. Professional in the world of business. And so, that was really, really helpful to have him on hand to kind of help get us organized.

And what we did at that moment is we elevated. Leaders in each of the different categories and, and I would say departments, if you will, in the practice into a core leadership team or a leadership team that could meet on a regular basis and help manage and communicate with each other about the problems and work on solutions.

So, it didn’t always, so, it wouldn’t fall on my shoulders. To deal with HR, to deal with the scheduling, to deal with surgical, to deal with the patient flow. And that was one of the main things that we changed. Pretty quickly. With the COO, he’s, no, actually, he’s, he’s passed away since he’s no longer with the practice.

He retired back to his hometown and then, and passed away. He had a, a chronic disease, but the point is, is that it was a, a critical step to have someone, and he was certainly a coach to me. He was a like I said, had a lot of experience in the world of business and so. I didn’t know that I needed it at the time, but it was super helpful and he organized so, many different things that are still in process today.

Maybe evolved, but, but, but certainly initiated a lot of those programs and procedures that we have.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Did you replace him with another COO? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: I didn’t the leadership, the leadership team is managing things in a, in a, in an expeditious fashion right now. So, I’m very happy with the way the leadership team works.

We’re very transparent in those meetings. My director of finance presents all of the data and financials to the team, and they report on each of their departments on every, you know, problems from logistics to budget, to Physical facility and things like that. And we’re actually going to be starting another phase of construction again, I swore I would never do it after the original one.

But you know, we’re going to, we’re going to reconfigure some of our spaces to accommodate more patient care areas. And those other, some of those other departments are expanding that I had previously mentioned, like the aesthetics and the salon trichology department and our functional medicine department.

So, each of them needs a little bit more space.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Dear Lord. So, what are your plans to grow? Because I’m hearing aesthetic, but it’s a completely different animal than the hair restoration. So, how are you, how are you going to manage all that? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Well, my, my aesthetician is also a very, a seasoned veteran in the in the sphere.

So, you know, I mean, she’s gotten busier. Certainly. We’re not looking to be all things to all people, but certainly patients who come to us for hair restoration understand our patient-centered point of view. And our focus on results and the latest technology and patient comfort and safety. So, that kind of encapsulates what it means to be at the Baumann Medical Facility.

And if I, you know, a patient comes in and says, oh, Yeah. Well, hey Doc, do you know somebody to help me out here? I need a little, you know, maybe some tightening in my Turkey neck. You know, we’ll, hey, go talk to Blanca, my aesthetician and see if there’s something that we can do with RF micro needling or some other treatments that she might have under her belt.

And if not, we’ll refer you on. But let’s see if we can do something less invasive. Gotcha. Even though I, I have an associate who’s a plastic surgeon, he’s not going to be doing any plastic surgery work here. You know, maybe short of Botox or injectables, things like that if we do that. But probably nothing more than that.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Is there a plan to add more services because you had 12,000 square feet. I can’t imagine how many people you need to fill that thing up and the revenues you need to make all that work. Are you thinking about other profit centers? I, it sounds like you are, you have a lot of different profit centers, right? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Is the point to take that hair restoration patient and introduce more services to them or try new markets? Like what’s your strategy there? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: No, I think I just, what, what I’ve found over the years, like for example, treating many women who are dealing with hair loss, for example perimenopausal post-menopausally or other hormone imbalance while they’re of childbearing age, you know, we’ve come across a lot of endocrine abnormalities and a lot of issues really in terms of lifestyle.

So, it’s nice to be able to have someone to refer to for that. And it’s also nice to have a little bit of that in-house. And so, my nurse practitioner has handled a lot of that here in the office. She handles a lot of our female patients who are dealing with some of those issues and bringing on another nurse practitioner who’s specifically trained.

In endocrinology and functional medicine, I think we’ll be able to handle that. So, it’s, it’s kind of like, we’re not really like looking to break new ground. I’m just looking, you know, these are things that are happening, we just can’t even ignore. You know, patients come in, for example, with a side effect from monoxide.

They have a little bit of extra, you know, a little bit extra hair here or there. Most guys are tuning up their hair for their scalp, but they may need a little bit of hair removal on their neck or their shoulders. And so, it’s natural as they’re putting on their. Gallon for the procedure. Hey, you know, did you ever think about doing some laser hair removal in that area?

Or are women who are having maybe a side effect from the treatments that are growing amazing hair on their scalp and they have a little bit of extra hair, you know, in the sideburn area, you know, or on their arm or they’re already been doing laser hair removal and having that in the practice. They know they’re going to get that in the Bauman way.

You know, all the things that we said, you know, in the core philosophies of how we do things. And so, they feel very comfortable with us and the team. You know, we have a very cohesive team at the practice and you know, and that’s one of the things that makes some of these 11-hour days go so, fast is that the team is amazing.

And I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the team. I mean, I had 30 team members, so, it’s, it’s just an amazing family that we have right now.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Oh, dear Lord, that that’s a lot of people. What, so, let’s, what’s up with the Forbes calling you the, one of the top 10 CEOs in that are going to transform the healthcare industry in America? What’s that all about? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: So, that’s a great question. You know, why would they give me that designation? Yeah. I became a trans, I became in their radar as a transformative c e o because what I was doing was different than what had come before. You know, they’re looking for business leaders, just like, you know, when I was awarded a small business leader the year from Book Raton Chamber of Commerce no physician or surgeon had ever won that award previously.

In the history of Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. And so, I was proud to receive that award and still proud to be acknowledged by Forbes because you know, you, you never think that going to medical school and getting an MD that you’re going to be featured in Forbes Magazine. So, certainly my mom was pretty happy about that.

Hi mom. But so, what I was doing, I think, and you can read it in the articles, certainly up there online was something that was a little bit different and out of the box. And so, when they’re talking about transforming industries or trans transforming, I, I always thought about it as transforming patients, right?

Because what we are doing at Baler Medical when we restore someone’s hair is we’re transforming their life. Because if you have hair loss you know, a, a bad hair day turns into a bad hair, weak or bad hair year or bad hair life. And so, when you restore someone’s head of hair, they look great and they feel great.

And they’re eternally grateful for that as long as it’s done properly and you’re helping them maintain the look. So, being transformative according to Forbes has a lot of different meanings, and so, I was a top five transformative c e o because I was transforming patients, I was also transforming the industry.

A lot of the technologies that I brought to our patients were things that the traditional hair transplant surgeon may not have thought of when they were undergoing their training or even in their days of practice. For example, I brought red light therapy, low level laser light therapy photo biomodulation devices, even though they weren’t called that at the time into the practice in 1999.

And my patient results from laser light therapy were the first results ever presented. The first “before and afters” ever presented on laser light therapy at the International Society of Hair Surgery. And so, bringing technology like that today, it’s common knowledge that the meta-analysis of the double-blind randomly clinical trials for red light therapy and hair growth, you know, it’s kind of signed and sealed and if you don’t believe it, it just means you didn’t read the papers or haven’t seen them, you know, because you’ve been in your silo.

But red-light therapy has a powerful effect on skin anti-inflammatory, pro healing, pro hair growth, of course. So, we’ve known that for decades now in the practice, but many surgeons blew it off. They thought, how could red light do anything? We didn’t learn about that in medical school. And I’ll be the first to tell you, neither did I, but I knew about the physics and I did the research, meaning I dug into the technologies and I got the in contact with the Russian researchers who did the, did the research and I was able to have their research translated into English and I read it and I understood how biochemically this worked.

And I spoke to the people who were getting results. And the rest is history on that. And obviously, you know, today you can go on Amazon and get a red-light device for hair growth. All of the devices that we use in the practice are medical grade ones, but there’s other things that we’ve transformed the industry as well, like how we take care of patients after their procedure with postoperative washes.

You know, thousands of patients go to Turkey every single day for a hair transplant, and then they’re home on the plane bleeding in their bandages. Well, that’s not something that we’re proud of in the industry. Most of those clinics are not run by physicians or surgeons. They’re run by, you know, folks that were, you know, planting rice just you know, a couple of months ago.

So, at the practice we take people from the start of their procedure all the way through their healing phase. So, we get them healed in less time than ever before. It’s 50% of the time, it used to be 10 or 15 years ago, they’re basically completely healed four or five days out from their procedure. So, we’re transforming the way that the technology is being used.

We’ve transformed the way that Harris harvested. We’re not using linear harvesting anymore. As I mentioned before, all minimally invasive hair transplant surgery. And yes, we’ve used robotic instrumentation and other instruments in the newest, latest, and greatest handheld mechanical devices to do that.

Harvesting the latest and greatest instruments to make tiny incisions in the scalp. To implant. The hair follicles are not made with steel. They’re made with sapphire glass today. So, you know, these are all things that we’ve added as well as cell therapy, regenerative medicine, exosome therapy and quickly we’ll have micro-RNA and mRNA and, and, and slow interfering RNA to help with hair regrowth as well.

All of that technology is coming of age and we plan to use it and improve it.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Wow. Okay, so, you are on top of this hair situation and what, like, what’s the stat for baldness, male baldness? Like how, what’s the stat? Because it’s really good right? For your, for you. How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: So, I mean, what they’d say is that there’s probably 80 million Americans out there who are struggling with hair loss.

50, 50 million men and 30 million women. I think it’s probably undercounted. Those are statistics from the American Hair Loss Association. But, and there’s many, many others that have hair thinning or other scalp issues, right? And that’s why, you know, we have scalp treatments in the office and things like that.

I have an entire department to keep scalp health on point, but 20% of men in their twenties, 30% of men in their thirties, 40% of men in their forties, 50% of men in their fifties are going to have some visible signs of hair loss. And by the time you’re age 65, 80% of all people are going to have hair loss and you’re going to have it at some point in your life.

In most cases at war, some kind of scalp health issue. So, the, I think if you’re looking at the marketplace, it’s huge. And if you believe any of the, the market analyses that you see on Google, I don’t know if you can or not, but they all show, you know, a very, very huge increase in the average rate of return and of, of course on the on the growth rates in those, in those categories not just here in the United States, but also globally, you know, and they, and some of the estimates are between 18 and 24% C A G R.

So, It’s a, it’s an exploding industry. It’s exciting to be in the field at this time. Of course, we’re in the post pandemic zoom and boom era, so, everybody who’s working from the neck up is busier now than they ever were. And it’s just a weird thing that now everybody’s looking at themselves on their phone or on their TV screen or on their computer screen and are seeing themselves in the mirror, whereas most guys probably, you know, got dressed in the dark, combed their hair and went out the door, you know now they’re seeing themselves live and in person on a screen.

Maybe they may not be so, happy about it.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, that leads us into marketing and the competition because you do have a huge demand. But when there’s a huge demand here comes the supply. So, a lot of people jump in to take advantage of that. So, what’s your marketing strategy? How are you, how are you differentiating yourself from everyone else? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Yeah. So, in the early days, you know, 25 years ago the marketing strategy was based on a $0 budget. And so, I, I couldn’t do much, you know, And so, I had to leverage time and the dollars that I had to get exposure to the practice I to educate patients about what we were doing and how we were doing it.

And that’s why I pounded the pavement because I basically, you know, couldn’t pay for a, a magazine ad at the time, which w you know, I. Eventually we did it. But I would say that the best advertising for my pa, for my practice are my patients. Because most of our patients today come from word of mouth.

They don’t come in from some, you know, clever marketing campaign or some ad campaign. We do like to keep our name out there. I’m excited about what we do. I write. Two to three emails a week to my patient base. I have, you know, a database of, you know, 30 to 50,000 patients that re and others that receive my emails as well as all of our certified hair coaches that we’ve trained over time.

And you know I’ve worked very closely with the media to get the word out. I felt that that was a force a force multiplier, if you will. So, you know as you read in the bio, I’ve been featured on hundreds and hundreds of news stories hundreds and hundreds over the years. Every major morning news show live on the air I’ve been on Dateline NBC, I’ve been featured in Men’s Health Magazine when it was actually a magazine.

Maxim obviously, and things like that. The local news has been great be why do they come to me asking what’s new? It’s because I’m known for knowing what’s new and I’m known through my patients and the word of mouth that we get excellent, exceptional results and we do it with great care and great quality but also great compassion.

And I think that’s been the key, but certainly we, you know, we have our fingertips in social media. You know, I always think we could be doing better there. You know, I’m not so, consistent on my own. Instagram accounts. I have a I have a, a coordinator, a communications coordinator in-house full-time obviously.

And also, we have a new social media coordinator. So, that’s, she’s very new in the practice, but, so, I think that we’re going to kind of be getting that up to speed a little bit more consistently. But You know, just about, just about everything that you can think of. You know, we have something there. I even do cable TV ads, to be honest.

And I thought I would never, ever do a cable TV ad because I was born and raised on the Bosley infomercials and I always thought, oh, that’ll never be me. It’s not a neighborhood.

Catherine Maley, MBA: When I first got into this industry 23 years ago, I lived in San Francisco right off of Union Street and Bosley was there and I thought, and he had the hair plugs and I thought, I don’t think those looks very good. How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

And it’s, it’s amazing how much this industry has changed. How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Oh yeah.

Catherine Maley, MBA: But you know what I mean? I, you, you surprised me by saying word of mouth because I mean, I just, my, my belief is men don’t talk about it. And obviously I’m wrong. Then they must be talking about it because I’ve always thought it’s a tough, that’s a tough one and done kind of guy. How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

You know? My belief is, and apparently, it’s wrong. How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: But what, what do you think? Yeah, I’ve got, I’ve got one sentence for that. And that’s not 1999 anymore. These guys are not a hundred percent public about it, but they will share with their friends and their family a lot more than they ever did. So, I think it’s a lot easier now to talk about it and I, I have a patient today who is finishing off his procedure.

We had a small little bit of work extra to do this morning, so, it was a short day for him and he was, he says he has a big business meeting in a week and I assured him that he’s going to be clean and ready for that. He’ll be able to get a haircut right before, and he says, well, do I need to wear a hat?

During the next couple of days, I said, well, if you don’t want anybody to know, of course you’re going to have to wear a hat. And especially if you’re outside in the sun. And he says, well, no, I don’t care. I said, well, what do you mean? He’s like, well, I, I’m, I don’t care if anybody knows, I’m going to tell everybody.

Wow. And so, I hear that more often now than I ever did before. And I don’t know if it’s just because there’s such a plethora of information out there on social media or that it’s just okay to talk about hair loss now and. You know, back in the early days, that was the whole point of getting out there on the TV news and you know, and the radio shows and, and now even the podcasts telling guys, Hey, this is okay.

You can, you can, like, we can talk about this. I mean, you know, women have all kinds of makeup and camouflage to fix themselves, to make them look different. What do we have? We don’t have anything, you know, we got to wake up and come to work. And so, hair is an important bit of business and but let’s talk about that.

And so, I think, you know, I can’t say, I can’t say I take responsibility or credit for that, but certainly it was in my goal back in 1999 when I was thinking about these you know, the shows and, and what to say and what to do on the air and, and the interviews and even in front of my patients, you know, and, and lectures and seminars that I’ve given, like, Hey, look, let’s, you know, this is, this is really not taboo.

Let’s talk about hair loss and hair restoration, and. You know, I mean, that’s just the way that it is. So, there’s been a lot of really nice changes in that regard. So, a lot of men are talking to their stylist about it. They’re talking to their barber about it. And women as well, of course, have always shared the secrets of beauty with each other.

So, I think that’s why we had so, many women in the practice in the early stages of, of the. Of the process, not just that we had good results with them, with our medical therapies but that we were careful and compassionate with them and got them to good results, you know, without maybe having to do too much surgery.

And they told a lot of friends and so, it’s always been like kind of a 50 50 thing, but I think, yeah, word of mouth. Absolutely. And today, 25 years in our patients are sending in their 20-year-old you know, sons and daughters.

Catherine Maley, MBA: What’s the marketing message? Because I, in the old days, they used to talk about it was always like the red four show with the gorgeous blonde that you’re going to get when you get hair. How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

You know, it was all about sex appeal. What do men really want? Why are they doing this? Do you know? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Well, for sure the sex appeal is a big portion of it. Many of our men are coming in maybe recently divorced or they’re, you know, in a new chapter of their life. I was on a virtual call.

About 50% of my patients come in virtually, meaning I see them on Zoom before they physically come into the office for a surgical or regenerative procedure. So, yes, definitely a change in life status certainly is a trigger. You know, just around the same time that they’re buying their red Corvette maybe they’re thinking about their hair.

If they’re reentering you know, the wild, so, to speak, and getting out there on a Friday night. But, you know, most guys today, I think that they just want their profile picture to look different because, you know, they’re not going out to the bar. It’s, it’s a totally different world from what I’ve heard.

I don’t know. But that’s just what they tell me. They want to look good and feel good about it. And so, it’s, it’s a lot more about self-confidence. And that confidence is what’s sexy if you think about it. Right? Because if you did something, whether it’s, you know, Working out at the gym, you lost that extra 10 pounds.

You know, you even get that nice new haircut or a little bit more color back into your hair with a rinse. You know, you, you’re just walking on like another inch taller at that moment. And that’s what hair does for guys. They just look good and feel great. I know I feel great after a haircut. I feel like I’m walking on air.

So, you know, having not to struggle with your hair I think is a big thing that a lot of these guys say. But yes, also professionally, so, I was talking to someone yesterday on a virtual consultation who mentioned that he was in a technology field and he’s in the boardroom physically now in the boardroom with a lot of guys who are.

Age wise, a lot younger. And you know, he doesn’t want to look like that aging guy. He doesn’t want to look like the guy who’s the oldest guy in the room, you know, because in the world of tech whether it’s biotech, FinTech, whatever you want to call it, You know, you don’t want to be like the next guy on the, on the plank, you know, jumping off into the, into the sharks.

You know, you don’t want to look like that guy and you don’t want to be that guy. And even though your, maybe your ideas are worthwhile, you want to make sure you have the confidence and the skillset to exude that youthful vigor. And honestly, that’s, that’s a big part of it as well. Guys want to look the part.

Catherine Maley, MBA: A lot of surgeons that I know. We’re talked into or wanted the laser, and I won’t say which one, but it, you know, hair restoration laser. And they’re told, oh, this is going to sell itself. The marketplace is huge. You’re, this is going to be fantastic. And what happens is it’s a completely new market for them. They’re used to the cosmetic female patient who shares and they understand them better. How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

And now they’re opening up a whole new market. And I say to them, Just please have a marketing plan because they’re not just going to show up. Some of them will come because their wives want them to come. But otherwise, I think it takes mass advertising efforts to find that group who now has to come to your practice and it, but it’s a female practice and now they’re uncomfortable. How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Its kind of thing. Like what would be your advice for somebody who wants to get into this kind of as a hobby or as just another profit center in their typical cosmetic plastic surgery practice? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Right. So, if you’re in the world of cosmetic procedures and treatments whether you run Medi spas or whether you’re a plastic surgeon doing procedures on women or men, it may seem super attractive to work into the field of hair restoration.

It may seem super attractive to you to work into the field of erectile dysfunction, but of course you can imagine more easily how many barriers to entry. Erectile dysfunction might be you know, if you’re running a cosmetic practice for women and now you have to switch gears and talk about that bit of business.

Hair is very much the same in those ways. You know, if you, if you have been sold a bill of goods by a laser manufacturer, for example, or even a robotic hair transplant device manufacturer, you know, you have to be very careful because hair restoration, there is a lot of nuances. And this is not something you can just run and jump and add on, like a bolt on thing on your practice, you know, like an extra horn on your car and you’re off and running.

This requires some effort and energy and, and just like you said, many practices are just simply not geared up for that. So. I would encourage you to at least take some kind of class and we, we offer hair coach classes. And hair coach classes could be tailored to the beauty industry. They could be tailored to estheticians; they could be tailored to Medi spas.

They could be tailored to surgeons. People who have been in practice for 30 years doing one thing are now taking hair coach classes because they want to learn how to add, for example, P r p that works into their practice for hair growth and what they’ve tried hasn’t worked. You know, so, I think that taking a class like that and we offer that, like even just the Bauman p r p class and you know, Bauman PRP class.com is where people go to get information on that.

But, you know, we, we run those classes more routinely prior to the pandemic. Now we’re running, coming up to speed again. But that gives someone who’s thinking about hair an introduction. To hair loss, hair restoration. What to say, what to do. I mean, I’m just boggled by how many people will do P R P treatments on a patient that they’ve never gotten a complete diagnosis on and even and without a diagnosis, and then also never measured their hair.

Much less photographed it, forget about it, but measured their hair. Like how can you put somebody on a weight loss program without like weighing them? You would never put somebody on a blood pressure medication without taking their blood pressure. How would you put them on a hair growth treatment?

Something that takes, could be a year to see the results in the mirror that they have to be compliant with without measuring a baseline. Or at least coming up with an adequate diagnosis. So, these are things that still boggle my mind. I’m not going to say that it’s simple and easy to add it onto the practice, but my team and I had a lot of success with physicians who are looking to add hair restoration treatments and procedures.

And in fact, we are developing. Payer restoration treatment and procedure protocols for a very, very large medical group in the country. And unfortunately, I can’t tell you due to a non-disclosure at this moment, who that group is, but they have six thou close to 6,000 physicians. Once we get the training program up and running, there will be 6,000 physicians in that, in that practice.

And they’re going to learn exactly what to say and what to do, what tools to have on hand to help men and women who are struggling with hair loss. And so, it’s not about the, the device or the gimmick or this p r p or the centrifuge. You have to take a more holistic approach and then figure out what works for you.

What works in your practice and what you can and cannot do, because if you’re doing breast dogs and blepharoplasties and facelifts, things like that, you’re probably not going to be able to do a 20-man hour hair transplant in your practice. At least not right off the bat. So, you better be prepared to have connections and contacts either locally or distant distantly, whether it’s me or another board-certified hair restoration physician who can help you out with some tougher cases.

You know, the neurologist refers, you know, it can take care of the headaches, but if you need neuro, if you need neurosurgery, you got to go to the neurosurgeon. If you need a brain surgery, you know, That’s just the way that it is.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, it sounds like you’re pretty entrepreneurial. Is that, like, would you, do you like the business and the marketing side a lot, like enough to step away from working in your practice? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

It sounds like you like to work on your practice. What are your feelings about that or where are you heading with this? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Well, I’m one of, probably one of the busiest two-handed surgeons in the country because I do over 250, almost 300 cases a year. I operate every day, five days a week one to three cases depending on the size and the scope of the case.

Have I worked on the practice? Well, yeah. I’ve always worked on the practice because if you don’t work on the practice, then you don’t have a practice and you learn that very quickly. I don’t see myself stepping away from surgery ever. I love surgery. I, I guess I was an entrepreneur because I went off the beaten path.

I did something that, you know, no one told me to be, you know, maybe you should consider going in with someone and building a, a patient base or something before you start your own practice. I mean, I, I didn’t think of that, you know, I was just naive and, but luckily, I had the fortitude to, to push through all of those you know barriers and stumbling blocks, right?

And but I’m a problem solver and I like to solve problems not just in the business but also surgically and also with products and devices that we’ve innovated. I have my own product line, so, I guess that’s entrepreneurial. But I developed my products because I didn’t like what was out there on the market.

I didn’t, I didn’t want to take them myself, and so, I sought out appropriate ingredients. I sought out the right mixtures, the right balance for hair loss, for men, for women. I sought out things that were needed during the pandemic. I sought out an immune booster because we treated over a thousand covid related hair loss patients.

And then don’t get me started on mRNA vaccinations. You know, it’s a big problem out there and it’s still going on. Thankfully you know, it’s, it’s waning. But the amount of hair follicle dysregulation and autoimmune conditions that have been triggered by the spike protein, I’ll leave it at that is off the charts and under reported.

I have patients, you know. But anyway, the point is, is that yes, I’m entrepreneurial, I like to problem solve and I’m also a communicator at heart. I told you I write three emails a week to my patients. And so, I do a lot of writing and a lot of do, I guess I do. So, they say when you do a lot of writing, you do a lot of thinking, and so, you can’t really do one without the other.

So, all of that is all that, that is fun. Do I wish I had a little bit more? Free time or, you know, more of a balance? Yeah, I mean, I, I try to squeeze more into less in all aspects of my life. I’ve I’m a bit of a biohacker, although that, you know, some people don’t necessarily love that term. I’m a longevity buff.

I’ve worked on my sleep patterns, my feeding schedule. I’ve worked on my supplement regimen. You know, I, I try to take care of myself as best I can. Because I have to be an optimal performance to operate at the level that I just told you. Right? 250, 300 surgeries a year, but also run the practice with over 30 team members.

And the other parts of the business are consulting business, the hair coach program, the Bauman Institute program, my nonprofit hobbies you know, and my family. Two kids. One kid graduated college, the other one in college right now. And coming up on my 25th anniversary, wedding anniversary this year.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Oh, she stuck with you. That’s fantastic. How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Yeah. Yeah.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And is she still working in the practice or did you retire her? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Karen retired at the eight and a half month point in her pregnancy with our first child. Perfect. So, so, that was yeah, that was 22 and a half years ago.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Oh my God, that’s amazing. All in all, what would you say is the biggest challenge of running your own practice? How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Gosh. Well, trying to find time. Well, first of all, I think the biggest challenge for me personally has been over the years letting go of some of the things that I used to do myself, right? So, when you’re in a thousand square foot facility with one operatory and zero employees, a 100% of everything is you.

And letting my team as it’s grown over the years, Establish themselves and to gain confidence in their own leadership and their own management, management skills. And not saying, letting them, you know, like a child, you let them fail, right? But but let them kind of work through the problems to the best of their ability before you kind of jump in and rescue them.

I think has been a, a valuable lesson for me and I, and sometimes I still do, still struggle with letting go of some of the things. You know, I probably do too much. Maybe some of things on the admin side, and I probably should just let somebody else handle that. But, you know, I also, I’m very detail oriented in that way.

I’m, I’m kind of meticulous you asked about marketing and communications, like, you know, if you’re not meticulous about that, it can drift very easily. And if you outsource some of that stuff then the message becomes off mark, off the mark. And I’ve always tried to maintain a very, very consistent. Core philosophy, developed core values for my employees and the way that we treat each other and the way that we treat our patients, and I think that was really, really important.

But I would say the challenge day to day is just trying to get everything squeezed into that regular day, you know, however long that day might be. And, and sometimes it goes very long, right? Because you, you know, I didn’t even mention the workout regimen and all of that stuff that we’re doing. But anyway, those are, you know, those are all things that you have to do as a business owner, as a human who want, I, I mean, look, I’ve done it for 25 years.

I want to do it for another 25.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Right. Well, you’re off to a very good start. So, last question, because I know you have a time delay, a time issue here. Tell us something we don’t know about you. How did this impact your ability at attracting hair loss patients?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Something that you don’t know Well, my current most favorite hobby is being a volunteer medical director for Grey Team.

www.GreyTeam.org is a 5 0 1 organization based here in Boca Raton with a physical facility that helps take care of our active military and military veterans. And it, they do so, in a way that provides not just a social space to gather. But also, what would, I would say a wellness center that includes nutrition and fitness.

Some of the other like alternative therapies to pharmaceuticals that they might find at the VA to get them out of pain, but most importantly, to help prevent P T S D related suicide. And you know, as a physician, I help you know, people’s lives by restoring their hair. But as a patriot, I get the chance to help our military veterans and our active military.

Maintain their health and wellness mentally, physically. And elevate them back into society and help sustain them and support them in a, in a way that is just being missed. I think by the current system, which is the VA, essentially. If they have a pain you know, an injury, whether it’s mental or physical, they’ll go to the VA and they’ll come back with a, a goody bag of, of medication.

So, that’s kind of like Medicine 2.0. Right. Medicine 1.0 was like before antibiotics. Right. You know, we observed and then we did something, you know, with the spirits. And then we have antibiotics that’s 2.0. And as a friend of mine, Dr. Peter Atilla says to have Medicine 3.0 is we try to take a little bit more of a proactive approach and we think maybe a little bit more about, you know, exercise and nutrition and figure out how to prescribe that more detail than like, just go exercise for X number of hours, you know?

But anyway, so, working with those veterans is a way to help me honor those in my family who have served in the military. My grandfather, my uncle, both served in the Navy. I have not served myself personally but I do know the sacrifices that they made and our military continues to make to help us as American citizens.

Maintain our freedoms and we send those guys out there. We turn young men into soldiers and put them in faraway lands and dangerous places so, that we don’t have to face that kind of effort. And then, you know, and that, and that threat here at home and sometimes I think it’s underappreciated. And so, that it’s been a blessing to be able to help those folks elevate themselves mentally, physically, and otherwise.

And also financially, because honestly, many of them, Come back, maybe debilitated they’re on some medication for pain and then get caught up in substance abuse and things like that. And, and it’s a downward spiral. So, if we can reverse that, then they become better family members, they become better citizens, they become better entrepreneurs perhaps, and maybe, you know, better part of the workforce and be contributing to society in a way.

And I think we owe them that. That that gratitude, they owe them that courtesy. And since our current system really doesn’t provide that you know, someone has to step up to do that. So, Grey Team is the way that I step up and do that. And it was founded by my very good friend Carrie Reich Bach, who is an ex-military.

He was in the Army. And when he asked me to be the medical director, I, I just had to say yes. I, I couldn’t say no.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, I congratulate your efforts because it’s, they’re sorely needed, as you’ve noted. So, crazy. If somebody wanted to get ahold of you, what would be the best way?

Alan J. Bauman, MD: Yeah, so, well first, you can always connect with me through www.BaumanMedical.com.

I mean, that’s like the central location, thousands of pages that I’ve written personally about hair loss and hair restoration over the years, all the different technologies. But if you have a question for me personally, you can go to www.BaumanMedical.com/ask and just ask anything. AMA…ask me whatever. I see all of those that come through.

So, you can ask any question. If you’re a surgeon, a physician, an aesthetician, you’re not in the medical field at all. You’re a barber, you’re a stylist you’re a hair loss potential patient, or maybe you’ve had some surgery and or hair restoration treatments and haven’t really gotten the results that you want that would be a good place to start.

Of course, you can find me on all the traditional social media, locations, platforms. I’m back on LinkedIn and I’m there on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, even TikTok even though I’m not a good TikTok yet. I haven’t got my dance moves down, but yeah; you stay too. Yeah. You’ll work on it. No, no, no.

That’s not me. I don’t think it’s going to be me, but maybe my team will help me. You know, I got 30 team members, so, somebody’s got to know how to dance. Right, right.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Dear Lord. All right, thank you so, much.

Everybody that’s going to wrap it up for us today, a Beauty and the Biz and this episode on attracting hair loss patients.

If you’ve got any questions or feedback for Dr. Bauman, you can reach out to his website at, www.baumanmedical.com.

A big thanks to Dr. Bauman for sharing his expertise on attracting hair loss patients.

And if you have any questions or feedback for me, you can go ahead and leave them at my website at www.CatherineMaley.com, or you can certainly DM me on Instagram @CatherineMaleyMBA.

If you’ve enjoyed this episode on Beauty and the Biz, please head over to Apple Podcasts and give me a review and subscribe to Beauty and the Biz so, you don’t miss any episodes. And of course, please share this with your staff and colleagues.

And we will talk to you again soon. Take care.

The fastest way to success is to model other successful surgeons who have what you want, but you can only see their results, not the path they took to get there.

So, you continue to jump from one thing to another, hoping to find something that will work for you too, but it rarely does. So, try this shortcut instead. It’s guaranteed to move you forward. I compiled my intellectual property to grow cosmetic revenues, everything I’ve gleaned over the years into one playbook of the most successful practices and what they do to win.

Go to www.CosmeticPracticeVault.com and let’s grow your cosmetic revenue.

-End transcript for “Attracting Hair Loss Patients — with Alan J. Bauman, MD”.

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Catherine Maley

Catherine is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on practice building, marketing and the business side of plastic surgery. Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying View Author Profile.

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