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How to Keep Staff for the Long-Term with Mark Beaty, MD (Ep.155)

Hello, and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery and how to keep staff for the long-term. 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 and more profits. Now, today’s episode is called “How to Keep Staff for the Long-Term with Mark Beaty, MD”.

It’s so interesting to learn how each surgeon runs their own practice given their interests, personality, and goals.

There is no one way to grow a successful practice, although there are fundamentals. So, I interviewed Dr. Beaty, a cosmetic and facial reconstructive surgeon in private practice with 2 locations in and near Atlanta, GA.

⬇️ Click below to hear “How to Keep Staff for the Long-Term”

Dr. Beaty has been in practice for over 40 years and he shared so many pearls such as:

  • How he manages to keep staff for the long-term, even during this time of staff shortages
  • Working with his wife of 22 years who is also a physician in the practice
  • Bringing on an associate this past year and what to watch out for
  • His biggest mistake that set him back 5 years

And, listen to the last 10 minutes where I asked him to tell us something we didn’t know about him and I was not expecting the answer he gave!

how to keep staff for the long-term and if two locations are a nightmare or a dream with Mark Beaty, MD

Enjoy this week’s podcast on how to keep staff for the long-term with our special guest, Dr. Mark Beaty!


How to Keep Staff for the Long-Term with Mark Beaty, 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 how to keep staff for the long-term and if two locations are a nightmare or a dream. 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 new patients and new profits. And I’m very excited about today’s guest because it took me a long time to get him on here.

And it’s Dr. Mark Beaty, he’s a cosmetic and facial reconstructive surgeon in private practice. With two locations in and near Atlanta, Georgia, which he’ll be discussing if it’s indeed a nightmare or a dream. He’s also done a great job on figuring out how to keep staff for the long-term. Now, in addition to performing facial surgery, he also offers nonsurgical face and body contouring, laser services, skincare, specialty, genetic testing, which we’ll have to learn more about and wellness medicine.

Now, Dr. Beaty is a frequently invited speaker, both nationally and internationally for facial surgery and he’s even trademarked ProLift™ facelift technique that we’ll talk more about because that’s designed to ensure a great result with the least intervention, which I assume that means downtime. Now he’s also widely published and is actively participated in the development of several technologies for non-surgical enhancement of the face and body.

Now, Dr. Beaty and his wife, Laura, who’s also a physician in the practice, which we’ll have to talk more about. They’re very active in the community and they support organizations, including Face-to-Face Domestic Violence, Cool Girls (that sounds great), Planned Parenthood, and several art organizations. So, Dr. Beaty, welcome to Beauty and the Biz.

It’s a pleasure to have you.

Mark Beaty, MD: Great. Thank you, Catherine. Nice to be here. Glad we could connect and spend some time together.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Absolutely. So just briefly, how did you end up in Atlanta? Are you from there? How did you get there and be sure to also tell us how you’ve managed to do so well at keeping staff for the long-term?

Mark Beaty, MD: Yeah, so I actually did my fellowship year here, so I trained, did my residency training at university of Iowa from the Southeast.

Most of my family’s from the Southeast and fellowship year in Atlanta. And it just worked out for us. I mean, We were comfortable here. And my wife, Laura was enjoying what she was doing and we had an opportunity to stay in town and did.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Fantastic. So, what’s the makeup of your practice? How many team members, service providers, that kind of thing?

Mark Beaty, MD: Yeah. So, we are currently five service providers and a total of 10 team members; staff we’ve mostly been able to keep for the long-term. And that has been actually interestingly, a significant expansion over the last two or three years. You know, I started out as a solo surgeon and our practice had been, and still is. Focused on the core surgical portion of the practice.

But about four years ago, we started making a serious effort to scale up. And so, we gradually added a nurse practitioner. Followed then by my wife, Laura, to help with our wellness medicine and some of the non-surgical aspects of the practice. And then we just brought on a second surgeon about eight months ago.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Wow. Has that, do you think in today’s world, can you live on surgery or do you feel like you do need to bring in the other services that then feed the surgery? Or could you live with.

Mark Beaty, MD: I think you could live without it. I mean, I think the model of having a small shop surgically focused practices, still a very valid one.

What we wanted to do was to be able to provide a broader array of services for our patients so that we. You know, they’re always asking you about the other things that you know, that they need. And while we had a great set and still do have a great set of partnerships here in the Atlanta Metro for some of those services, we felt like bringing them in-house and being able to offer patients the ability to do more of a one-stop shop.

Well, it’s a win for everybody. So that’s what motivated that change.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I completely see the pros and cons of doing that either way it keeps it easy and just do the surgical, or you can ask for more services to your current patients, but then you also, there’s some complexity to that. Or there can be are you a dictatorship or like, are these people partners?

Are they contractors? How is that working after learning how to keep staff for the long-term?

Mark Beaty, MD: So, everybody has a little bit different deal and how that relates to long-term staff. And you know my new associate has just joined the practice, but our anticipation is that she will be joining us partner and you know, the other, other arrangements with ours. Nurse practitioners and other certified providers that are non-physicians.

Of course, those are our different long-term staff.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Bringing somebody on board. I get this question all the time. How do you do it without creating absolute chaos in the practice when you choose when the two of you don’t get along on any pearls on how you went about finding that person?

Mark Beaty, MD: So, I was quite fortunate.

My associate is Dr. Celeste Nagy. She’s just out of fellowship with Dr. Steve Perkins from last year. Anyway. She did her residency here in Atlanta, so I actually had known Dr. Nagy for a few years. Prior to her doing fellowship learned when she was a R-3, I guess, that she was interested in facial plastic surgery.

So, we kept in touch. I worked with her on some of her pre fellowship efforts and then, you know, entered it came up as discussion that she might be interested in coming back to Atlanta. So yeah, we were able to, we were able to work it out and thus far it’s been a, it’s been great and so she’s been long-term.

Catherine Maley, MBA: That’s fantastic. I, and I hope it works out. You know what I always wonder though, you, facial plastic surgeons always add another facial plastic surgeon, and I get that, you know, you probably want them to take over the practice, you know, and, and in your facial plastic surgery patients, but I always wonder why wouldn’t you bring in a plastic surgeon and then you could be neck up and their neck down.

Was there any question about that?

Mark Beaty, MD: That has been an open discussion within our practice for a while. I would say the answer for us anyway is that while we’re not. Actively pursuing a general plastic surgeon that is absolutely on the radar. And would we consider and make available the physical plant to bring on a general plastic surgeon?

Absolutely. Have I found the right person at this point? No. I haven’t. So, you know, it just, the order that it occurred was in this case, largely person dependent, you know, I have what I’ve felt to be the, the right facial plastic surgeon to join the practice come along. And that happened first.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Gotcha. Now, apart from discussing how to keep staff for the long-term, let’s talk about your wife. She’s lovely. She’s been with you forever. And she’s doing the non-surgical services in your practice and the wellness for females. How is that working out the pros and cons of working with your wife?

Mark Beaty, MD: Yeah, so Laura and I very intentionally did not work together for many years in our careers and actually had.

Had this discussion many times that we really like our marriage and therefore we really did not want to practice together. But about six years ago, five years ago. She was in a, at a transition point in her practice. And we decided that, you know, after, after 22 years that we would be able to make it work and we could actually work together (which would also help us keep staff for the long-term) as well as be happily married.

So., We brought her on and you know, it just worked out great. She obviously is a huge addition for the practice. It opened up a whole new avenue of services that we could offer. Not to mention the support of having a highly accomplished. General medicine, doctor, family practitioner to, to help us surgeons with the, with the medical end of things.

And she had been doing, she learned quite some time ago. Quite a bit about technology-based solutions. So, she has, has quite a lot of laser experience and radio frequency technology experience. And so that’s the majority of what she does on a procedural basis within our branch.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And then do you have pretty good boundaries like at home?

Are you allowed to talk about work or is it all, is it all work?

Mark Beaty, MD: No, it’s neither. I don’t think we don’t really draw boundaries. So yeah, we do talk about work at home, but we don’t fixate on that. And you know, I think we have pretty, pretty rich and diverse lives outside of work. So at least, you know, at least the less far, it hasn’t proved to be.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Terrific. Of your practice, how much would you say is surgical versus the nonsurgical? Because you’re doing quite a bit of non-surgical body contouring. And what is the, the wellness section? What is that and how does that pertain on how to keep staff for the long-term?

Mark Beaty, MD: Yeah. So, we’re two third surgical, one third nonsurgical. And you know, the focus is very much on what we do is as facial plastic surgeons, as far as the wellness aspect of the practice, you know, we have many of our patients are coming to see us because they’re…

They’re not just wanting to enhance their appearance. They’re looking to enhance their overall lifestyle and they feel great and they want to, as best they can maintain their vitality in every way going forward. So what Laura is able to offer is it’s mainly set up as an advisory service. It’s not intended to replace.

The patient’s primary care relationship, but rather to augment it with things like specific specialty genetic testing that we do, you know, we do a little bit of work with hormone management and women’s health things. So, you know, it again, more as a supportive role. Okay.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And does that feed into the surgery or is it basically like just a separate profit center for you?

Mark Beaty, MD: Yeah, actually it goes both ways. So certainly, there are people who enter into the practice through that in end of things either the non-surgical procedural end or through. The wellness advisement, young that end up becoming surgical patients. But it, likewise is a fantastic resource for our surgery patients to be able to take care of some of their other concerns.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Okay. And then let’s talk about staff and how to keep them for the long-term. Most of the time they are the biggest challenge you have in a, in a cosmetic practice. I don’t know if you’d agree with that, but any pearls about. Hiring firing motivating.

Mark Beaty, MD: Yeah. So, I’ve been quite fortunate in having an excellent and very stable staff, which we’ve managed to keep for the long-term. And that is, as you mentioned, hugely important and is a big problem.

A lot of times in these practices you know, the whole aspect of training, an incoming person, not just how to keep them (being the staff) for the long-term. The culture and the day-to-day bones of how the practice works, but the whole process of integrating that personality into the rest of your staff is a tremendous expense of both time and resources.

So, when you’re in a situation like we are where really all of our all of our staff members have been with us for multiple years for the long-term. And we pay a great deal of attention when hiring. To making sure that we have, that we are hiring not just for a resume or a skillset, but for a good fit with the entirety of our practice as a general rule.

All new employees are to the extent possible interviewed by everybody. Within the practice and those opinions are taken into consideration when we you know, when we consider hiring, I think to get the best quality people, you know, you, you have to, you have to compensate people. Well, you have to treat them fairly if you want to keep your staff for the long-term

And one of the most important things on how to keep staff for the long-term is I think you have to provide clarity. Number one, what the vision goals and mission of the practices, and also clarity about what the job that you’re expecting them to do entails. You know, too often it’s easy to expect people to, oh, well, they should understand that, but you know what folks aren’t mind readers and I think providing that clarity and fairness of expectation and evaluation is super important and acquiring and maintaining a solid, long-term staff.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I think you must have taken my MBA course, because you’re saying exactly what I would have said as well on how to keep staff for the long-term. And another huge Pearl that you mentioned that I hope didn’t escape. Anybody was having more staff interview the candidate to find a long-term fit.

I, so many practices just plop somebody in there and say, okay, here’s your Sarah. And no one had input. And if you want some staff drama, that’s how you. You get no feedback, don’t let them be part of the process and that’s where trouble ensues. So, I love that. And plus, you know what everyone is different.

We all have different personalities and you’ve got to figure out if they have a good personality for the long-term. They could have a great personality, but just not for your practice or for your culture.

Mark Beaty, MD: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think that’s kind of what I was alluding to. That’s one of the reasons that we started having everybody interview with everybody to get a sense of how personalities might match so that we could retain staff for the long-term.

Another little interesting thing that we started doing is we do Myers-Briggs. On all of us. So, we and I truly believe that that helps in you know, managing how to put roles together and how to put people together for us to understand a little bit about, you know, what that underlying psychological makeup and goal setting process is for, for each so we can all grow together for the long-term.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Now, I hear you. Now, I took Myers-Briggs a million years ago and it was on, on regarding the demographics of your practice and how to keep staff for the long-term. Atlanta seems like a very diverse area. What is that make up for you? Because now you’ve got a lot of diversity in your staff, a lot of diversity in your patients. How has that.

Balanced, you know, like sometimes you don’t have that. They, they very homogeneous kind of group. How are you handling that?

Mark Beaty, MD: Fair, fair question. I think that to be successful in the entirety of the Atlanta market, which has been our goal and what and, and what we’re doing, you absolutely have to pay attention to being welcoming and comfortable for a very diverse population, because that’s what we have.

So, our two long-term staff locations are varied. The original long-term staff location is in Alpharetta, which is in the, what is now I guess the second ring of larger suburban communities outside of the city. So, it is a population that skews a little bit older. A little bit more affluent, a little bit more country clubby. Our Midtown location is literally right in the middle of Atlanta and also has long-term staff.

If you, if you drop a rock in the, on the map of Atlanta, that is where our Midtown office is. So, as you might expect that population skews younger, a more ethnically diverse. More culturally diverse. And so, they have they have very different fields, but, you know, I think we, we have always looked to hire very open and tolerant and flexible people for our staff.

And we’ve been able to, to create a great environment for, I think, anybody who comes to see.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Good for you. By the way, you mentioned the two locations, how difficult is that to manage both of them in terms on how to keep staff for the long-term? Where is your time split? I am so torn on this. I often say, why don’t you just go deeper in your own practice rather than try to go out and find some more patients elsewhere?

What are your thoughts on that and how what’s your journey been like?

Mark Beaty, MD: Yeah, so for us in keeping staff for the long-term. As I mentioned, we started in the suburban location and we really felt like with the way that Atlanta was developing and with the way we believe it will develop over the next 10 years that we needed to be in town.

And so, we were specifically looking for a way to do. When we initially made the move, it’s been seven, not quite seven years now to open the second office. And it was just me as the only surgeon, gigantic pain in the butt. You have, you know, no doubt what you have said, what. Right. Very true for me. And I was basically splitting time between the two locations.

Now, as we have expanded the long-term provider team and brought on a great nurse practitioner and now a second surgeon that has become much easier. And so. My time is not nearly as split a little bit more in the Midtown office. Dr. Nagy is pretty evenly split between the two as is our long-term nurse practitioners.

So that yeah, at this point that’s worked out quite well. I probably advice wise would agree with you. If the intent is to continue to have a solo surgeon practice, I would think really hard about trying to run two locations because it is quite, I think it is.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And then there are you managing your long-term staff when you’re not there?

You’ve got to have some pretty tight controls on things you can trust people all you want, but you’re still not there with them. Have you tightened up your numbers or your reporting or your tracking to make sure things are profitable or as profitable as they can be?

Mark Beaty, MD: Yeah. I mean, you have to do that and honestly, You have to have a solid practice manager to be able to retain your staff for the long-term, because you know, one of the things for all of us as surgeons is who are also owners and who are running a practice.

You really have these two big hats that you have to change all the time. You have the running the business hat, like how to keep staff for the long-term, but you also have to be responsible for the overall strategy and practice of taking care of all of your patients. And sometimes those two things can conflict. And sometimes those two things can really compete for the amount of time that any one of us have to, you know, to spend doing what we need to do on a daily basis. So, I couldn’t do it without having the support of my practice manager, who also is key on how to keep staff for the long-term.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Okay. The practice manager. That’s a pivotal role on helping to keep staff for the long-term. Another one that’s difficult to fill, but when you find the right one makes your life golden.

Mark Beaty, MD: No. Yeah, absolutely. And in a dual location situation, I think that would be, yeah, you absolutely have to have that.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So, let’s switch gears and talk about marketing and how that relates on how to keep staff for the long-term. I love the idea of. You differentiating yourself with your own signature facelift called pro can you talk more about that? Because that’s how to do it.

Mark Beaty, MD: Yeah. Well, I mean, part of it, in regards on how to keep staff for the long-term, you know, certainly it has had its marketing benefits, but the, yeah, the main reason that I started talking about ProLift™ is this is the methodology that. Came up with over my first 12 years or so in practice. And that published this and talk about it quite a lot. The basic idea is that I think most of us recognize that every facial rejuvenation procedure is different, just like every patient is a unique individual.

What that means is that there’s no right way or no one way to do a facelift, for instance, on, you know, on, on each patient. That’s always going to be the best. What you’re really trying to do is to get each patient the best possible results that you can. While minimizing any unnecessary intervention. And so, the key concept with ProLift is that there are some of the decisions, particularly with facelift thing about exactly how we are going to handle tissue repositioning, specifically smash repositioning.

Some of those decisions are made intraoperatively because they simply can’t be evaluated. Preoperatively. And by doing that, I have been able to achieve this ideal of minimizing the amount of intervention to only what that particular patient needs. So, they’re going to attend that. Only the length of incision degree of the section amount of bruising that they need to achieve the room, the result that’s appropriate for that.

That’s basically what it’s all about. So, it’s very clinically focused. And then, you know, the marketing benefit is second.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Okay. There’s another differentiator that you have and it’s your improv training? So, I saw Dr. Beaty and we were at a conference and he gave this great talk on how improv school helped him convert more consults and deal with people and how to keep staff for the long-term.

So, can you talk about that? Because as a facial plastic surgeon, You’re working with very minute details of a face and you’re working with a patient who’s going to transform her face, not just your body. There’s a little more room there for forgiveness, but this is the face. So, I just think. Patient when you’re trying to set expectations.

So, tell him what, tell us about the improv.

Mark Beaty, MD: Yeah. So, this was something that kind of came about by accident, Laura and I both have been theater, go goers of a wide variety of types for many years. And we found ourselves, gosh, I guess this was, it was about a year pre COVID, something like that.

We were visiting friends in Chicago and we’re at second city and you know, watching a show and had had the couple of drinks and they of course mentioned as I usually do that, they give classes cause most improv theaters do offer do offer classes to the general public and thought, Hey, this would, you know, this might be fun.

We’ve answered it about back and forth. And before the night was over at. Signed us up back in Atlanta at, at our local improv theater whole world, which is right down the street from where we live in Midtown. So, we started we started taking classes and got ended up myself doing formal classes for a couple of years.

And you know, I think it’s a lot of fun and it’s a great outlet for, you know, for getting away from work and doing something completely different, and it’s helped me learn better on how to keep staff for the long-term. As different than environment from medicine, as you can imagine, you’re going from being everything, being super tightly controlled to everything being completely unpredictable and having to be done immediately off the cuff.

So, you know, I guess the main reason that I started it was because it seemed like fun and it was fun, but then. I recognize that there really was a huge secondary benefit. And that was just that ability of rapidly tuning into communicating with another human being, communicating with staff to better keep them for the long-term, or wherever the scenario or the conversation was going.

And it really does you know, convert into what you do every day. And enhancing your ability to pick up on verbal and nonverbal cues that people are giving you and being able to respond effectively to the conversation that you’re having. This has been revelatory on how to keep staff for the long-term.

Catherine Maley, MBA: That sounds meaningful to me. I, I had enough trouble with public speaking and the secret was to be prepared, you know, but improv, not only is it public speaking, but now you have to think on your feet.

And I think it’s brilliant. Like what good skills to have if you’re willing to do it, did Lauren stick with it or, or no,

Mark Beaty, MD: she did about a year and a half feet. She stopped one class short of what I did. But yeah, she did quite a lot of it as well, actually, to be honest, she’s better than I, you know, in.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Oh, it sounds awful. As a matter of fact, I’m from Chicago and I know, yeah, I know that the world very well, and I’m always amazing actually. Although now I can’t stay up that late. Watch it. I just watch little clips on YouTube. Let’s talk about social media because that’s become a big part of a cosmetic practices, marketing plan typically.

So, let’s talk about your marketing plan and how it relates to the long-term staff. Where’s that fitting in there and what’s working and what’s not, when it comes to finding new patients.

Mark Beaty, MD: Yeah. So social media for us has really taken over the lead by far. I would say in the last four years, we have gone through from being from most of our efforts being focused on website and print and associated live.

Kind of things too. The focus being overwhelmingly. Social media and website. We still do some, we still do some live event things. We still are active in the community and do events and social support. We do a little bit of print, but that’s way smaller as the portion of the marketing allocation versus what it was only a few years ago.

So, one of our long-term staff members is a about half of their job is organizing and maintaining our social media presence. And I think that is where the majority of our marketing efforts go.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Well, you know what I’m finding, that’s creating a new problem and that is you’re doing all of this marketing via digital, digital marketing.

The issue is you’re dealing with the public and they like to talk to you 24 7. So, what’s happening is the practices are trying to figure it out. How do I communicate with these people when they’re coming at me in all sorts of different directions, they’re either calling of, hopefully you hope they call that’s your best how does leave?

But most of the time nowadays, they might not be, they might be texting you if they can or emailing you or filling out one of your forms and they’re doing it at 10. How are you, how are you handling? And I call them inquiries in today’s world. I don’t call them sales leads yet. I think they’re still very much looking around and just checking things out.

So, I call it an inquiry, but how are you responding to that? 24/7. Do you have technology helping you or are you bringing the cell phone home at night? What, what are you doing?

Mark Beaty, MD: Yeah, so, so the answer is for the initial response after hours, we have technology helping us. So, they get a they, they do get an immediate response, but it’s yeah, its basically technology generated.

Then one of, you know, one of the first things that. Done. When we come in in the morning is to go back through those inquiries and leads prioritize what needs to be done as far as reaching back out to those patients and or those potential patients. And we make every effort to get by. To our inquiries within 24 hours in some, in some sort of alive sense.

Now, as you’ve mentioned, you know, it used to be, that was always on the phone and that’s not the case anymore. We you know, we do have a. Compliant texting and messaging system that we can use. So that has opened up a whole avenue of communicating with patients, not by voice that some people actually prefer.

And so, you know, that’s been a little bit of a learning process for us, but I think I think has worked out quite well.

Catherine Maley, MBA: What do you think in today’s world the way it’s changing so quickly? What kind of skills do you think you and or your long-term staff need to prosper and succeed here? For example, I think pretty soon everyone’s going to have to have.

The social media person on, on staff as well as you can also have a social media company, but it’s so obvious when you have outsourced it. I really think you need a roving reporter inside the practice, you know, catching the personality of the practice, the culture of the practice. So, I think a videographer is becoming.

And possibly like what other skills have you not needed before, but you need now?

Mark Beaty, MD: Yeah, well, I mean, I think to me, the, and this is the old school surgeon in me, but I think, you know, the core aspect of any practice remains and, in my opinion, will always remain outstanding patient care, great results. I mean, you know, that’s what it’s about.

That’s what we do. And the other part. That are, as you say, becoming more and more necessary in order to generate. Patient flow that all of us need. That’s where it requires the new thinking and the new skills. So, as I mentioned, we already have an employee who has as part of their job description taking care of our social media.

Everybody participates to some degree self-included and Dr. Nagy is great at this too. So, you know, we’re generating conscious of and are generating content. For the practice and within our own social media feeds as well in-house videographer, I don’t know. I can see an argument for that.

I know a couple of people who have one and you know, I don’t think we’re quite there yet, but sure. I mean, you know, if you’re, if you’re at the point where you’re, where you’re generating that much content That could ultimately be a great thing. We currently outsource our videography. But you know, to give you an idea of the growth of that over the last couple of years, we’ve gone from doing a shoot about every six months to our, what we are doing this year is we’re doing a shoot every six weeks with the idea of generating.

10 pieces of a new video content, new professionally produced video content every six weeks.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Nice. Very, very nice. And you know, the only way to make that happen. To put it on the calendar and make it happen, you know?

Mark Beaty, MD: I mean, you know, for us, it was a we have been very happy so far with the relationship we have with the with the company that’s doing our, our video and yeah, that is absolutely part of it.

It has to be, it has to be a plan and schedule thing, and even outsourcing the videography and the production. You know, there’s still a lot of work that is incumbent on the practice itself because they’re not writing for us. They’re not coming up with concepts for us. They’re helping with story-boarding.

But yeah, I mean, there’s, you know, it’s a whole another aspect of things that we need to do to make those shoots happen.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So how much of your marketing. Dollars and time and effort is spent on patient retention, because I feel like I’m the only one who talks about it. And I just think it’s imperative that you get that patient to come back again and again, Refer their friends, give you a good review, approve their photos.

I have a system to make that happen, but I don’t. Am I the only one who cares about that are -?

Mark Beaty, MD: You know what, I think that’s highly practice dependent and we, as part of ours. As part of our mission statement and our core values specifically believe in patient retention and long-term relationships. I mean, that’s what we’re about. We prefer not to do. You know, single treatment, see you later.

That’s just not, not our thing. So yes, we have always put considerable resources into patient retention. And I agree with you completely. That is probably your most cost-efficient way of generating of generating top wine versus constantly going out and seeking new patients. Fortunately for us.

Anyway, I think the internal marketing, keeping long-term staff, and patient retention efforts from a cost standpoint are relatively inexpensive compared to new patient acquisition. So, I would say as far as financial resources thrown specifically toward patient retention, it’s probably. Of what we, what we spend overall, as far as effort, resources on the part of the long-term staff.

It’s two thirds. I mean, we’re constantly talking about how we better. Select for and encourage patients to do reviews for us. How do we create attractive packages for patients to stay with us or maintenance procedures that we know that they need and will enhance their results, but how do we best make that attractive?

And you know, part of what we present to our patients that requires a lot of personal and staff.

Catherine Maley, MBA: I just hope everyone heard that Pearl, it takes time to do that and how it all relates on how to keep long-term staff. But the point is you put in that time, so you don’t have to put in the money. And, and then how exhausting is that you do consults all day with strangers, who is.

I have to think about it. I don’t know. I could go talk to my husband. I have another consult to go on. I just think there’s an easier way to do this, just saying.

Out of all the years you’ve been in practice, just give me one big mistake that you still, you don’t lose sleep over it, but just a big mistake that you made that you.

Mark Beaty, MD: Yes, such an easy one biggest mistake that, that I made in practice that every mentor of mine told me not to do is if you want to do this, when you finish with fellowship. Go ahead and make the plunge and do facial plastic surgery. I started out my career doing facial plastics, but associated with a EMT group.

And that probably cost me five years in development. So don’t do it. Your mentors are all going to tell you not to do it. It? Yes. It seems like a lot to bite off when you’re young and you’re just coming out. But yeah, you need to you need to be doing what you’re trained to do. And that was the biggest mistake that I made.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Okay, good. That’s a good tip. I hear that one a lot, but and so regarding your mindset is terrific. You, you have a very open, friendly mindset. I can see why your staff stays put you. I would think you; you seem easy to work with and easy to get along with. But how have you worked on the business and marketing side of things?

How do you know what, you know, did you take courses, listen to podcasts? How did you learn the business side and how to keep staff for the long-term?

Mark Beaty, MD: So, yeah, it’s been it’s been a combination of things and I will say that, that while I had a wonderful fellowship and training experience and particularly on the clinical side, I got next to no business training nor.

Conveyance of business acumen from that experience. And I think that’s probably pretty common. I don’t know that, but I expect that it is so yeah, you have to, for me, anyway, I had to acquire it entirely on my own and it was, I can’t, I wish I could say, oh, I had this great plan or organized strategy for doing that.

I think that that’s true. It really was just a hodgepodge of. The experience of trying things and making the mistakes, taking some courses and doing sort of program planning. But yeah, it was mostly, it was mostly just learning it from going out and do it.

Catherine Maley, MBA: And that’s one of my goals. I do have an MBA and I did spend years in school and all of the business side and the marketing side.

Then you can shortcut it by just working with somebody who already knows it, but because they’re definitely not teaching. And even today, even in today’s world, they’re not teaching it in medical school. And I don’t see how you can do that. It’s not about just the surgery. It’s about the marketing and the business side of surgery.

It’s all three of them that have to work together in sync to where you’re trying to go.

Mark Beaty, MD: I agree with that. And I don’t think that that will ever be something that’s part of medical school or residency, you know, at the fellowship level, it would be nice. And I think that there are some of our fellowship directors who do, you know, convey a little bit more about the business side of things and how to keep staff for the long-term and the fellows who train under those people are fortunate.

You know, I just, I didn’t get that right.

Catherine Maley, MBA: So last question, tell us something we don’t know about you and I, and you can’t say this one because I already know it. I saw it in a video. Dr. Beaty has been to every state in the United States, except one. This is true. Should we leave them or should we tell them which state?

Mark Beaty, MD: Oh, Alaska is not missing.

I yeah, I had to, we actually, my wife and daughter. Well, a few years ago I had something come up. It couldn’t go on that trip or I would’ve had all 15, but yeah.

Catherine Maley, MBA: That’s what are your plans to get to Alaska?

Mark Beaty, MD: I will do so I actually have some friends from medical school who go up and do a fishing trip every year.

And you know, it’s just it, it will happen just a matter of coordinating schedules as I, I, I, I really do want to get.

Catherine Maley, MBA: Wow. Fishing, fishing in Alaska is as painful to me as improv is. So, you and I are never going to that’s for sure. So, give us, oh, and there’s one more that I do know. Well, no, you tell me what’s something we don’t know about you.

Mark Beaty, MD: I can pretty much just assure you that. Nobody. Almost nobody knows that I lived in a hand-built wikiup for two years when I was an undergraduate school. A hand-built wikiup that’s a native American structure made out of like sticks and blankets and tarps and stuff.

Catherine Maley, MBA: You lived there for two years?

Mark Beaty, MD: Yup. Sit on a friend’s property and –

Catherine Maley, MBA: How do you look back at that experience? What did you get out of that?

Mark Beaty, MD: A lot of stuff. I mean, it was it was just the experience of building the structure was pretty cool. And it’s, you know, it’s a whole different very frontiers-style of living. Now. Now we did have, you know, this was on. Regular property just outside of town in Chapel Hills.

So, we create, you know, we piped in what we had water. We had, it was, it was not like totally rustic camping for two years, but you know, wood fired stove and it was it was, it was interesting. Not really. We set up, we created some pseudo air conditioning with some fans and water irrigation devices, but not really, it was pretty hot in the summer.

We were well-heated, but they see was pretty nice.

Catherine Maley, MBA: All right. That’s pretty interesting. And you are definitely an open-minded surgeon who’s very focused on how to keep long-term staff. I don’t see that very often. Good for you. So, Dr. Beaty, thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate it. And hopefully I’ll see you at another conference coming up.

Mark Beaty, MD: Perfect look forward to it.

Catherine Maley, MBA: All right. Thank you so much, everyone. Thanks so much that wraps it up for us today on this episode on how to keep staff for the long-term. And if you have any questions for Dr. Beaty, his website is So, you can talk to him there.

And if you have any questions or feedback for me, you can go ahead and leave them at my website at, 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.

-End transcript for “How to Keep Staff for the Long-Term with Mark Beaty, MD (Ep.155)”

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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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