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Physician to Physician Discussions > Please advise me on medical training

I'm a junior doctor looking to get into the cosmetic/med spa field. Can someone recommend a reputable practitioner or organization who conducts cosmetic training? They are not cheap, and there's always the fear that they're just money making scams.

Has anyone heard of Empire Medical Training (especially anything BAD?) Their 'membership' seems to be the mose cost-effective I've found.

Thank you for your time!
09.11 | Unregistered Commenternew doc

I've also seen a lot of scams. The most common seem to be these "spa" consultants who want to turn your medical practice into a pedicure palace.

09.11 | Unregistered CommenterDermgal
Be very careful of these "training programs" for physicians as they will use their preference of equiptment and charge a fortune. At the end of the "training" they have convinced you into purchasing their product. Example: Colorada laser using a diode; Dr. Bitter and Mulhuland who are on the Syneron payroll.
09.11 | Unregistered Commenterlasermd
Laser reps worse than pharm reps::: very aggresive, sly, used car saleman tactics. Whatever price they quote you always bargain for lower..... and then even lower !!!
09.11 | Unregistered Commenterdermol
I attended (so did my MD) a fantastic training program by esthetic skin institute. They are reasonably priced, the instructor is awesome. She does not try to sell you anything and gives great advice on equipment. Her classes cover everything from setting up the spa to botox, meso,etc. She teaches in FL, CA, NY and TX. People fly from all over to take her classes. She also gives you pt. forms/protocols,etc on CD along with take home books.
I attended several simultaneous courses with Empire Medical and would caution you not to spend your money on this group's courses. I would never recommend them to anyone.

The best courses around are those conducted by the Esthetic Skin Institute and the Aesthetic Institute. The content is up-to-date and informative.
12.31 | Unregistered Commenternp
i attended aesthetic enhancement institute it is great.content is uptodate and instructors are good.
02.23 | Unregistered Commentermm
After taking several courses in aesthetics and walking away dissapointed feeling I wasted my money (Empire for one). I then found and attended Esthetic Skin Insitute's injectable workshops (January 2006) -- I was so impressed. The instructor Sasha Parker is incredible. Being a Dermatology resident, I was not sure about whether I should take courses taught by a nurse;I am not sorry, my money was well spent and more; the program was professional, current, comprehensive and delivered better than any other course I have been to in years. You will not be sorry going to Esthetic Skin Institute.
02.25 | Unregistered CommenterST
Could those of us who are recommending specific seminars, etc. Please:
Provide us with a link.
Explain 'why' you're specifically recommending that business.
What your personal credentials are. (Just so that we can deduce your point of view as a doctor, nurse, esthetician, etc.)

PS. I don't mean to be picky, I'm just wanting have a better resouce where I don't have to search every name I run across.
02.26 | Unregistered CommenterDermgal
Has any one worked with Medsurgadvances? As a Docotor do you really need the business plan that these companies present in order to become successful?
04.23 | Unregistered Commenterrkdoc
I'm an MD and there is no question in my mind the best way to get Botox and Restylane training is to go to one of Dr. Mark Baily's courses in Toronto. He is the BEST trainer in the US and Canada. It's a small hands on course, and you leave totally knowing what to do and how to do it. Someone will stand over you while you inject telling you what to do, and/or what you are doing right or wrong. You will be the BEST injector in your area after a few days with him. He's on the Allergan advisory board and there's no better trainer around. He taught me, and I have a huge botox and filler practice simply on the basis of being excellent at what I do. The best thing to do is call him at 416-271-8510. He'll tell you when he has an opening in a course...they get booked up quickly and he only does one every few months. Whatever this costs you you'll make it back in a week!
I just got back from a week full training w/ the docs at Skin Nirvana Medspa, Anaheim California. Awesome. Unlike weekend seminars, the office books patients for you and you may bring your own patients. You complete the entire treatment from start to finish ! w/ Dr. in the room with you one on one sessions with board certified MD/s -- Consultation, treatment and then follow up...About one week. Had a great time. The real deal. NO franchise or pushy gimmicks. Give the docs/staff a call ; 714-283-1433
05.15 | Unregistered Commenterokmd
I'm leary of these one stop shops and MD's that tout the trainers as though they were God. My experience has been that multiple trainings in differing systems is best and most flexible way to go.
I cringe when i read testimonials from doctors that sound like they're on the Home Shopping Network. Sorry. It's just me.
11.4 | Unregistered CommenterCynicMD
What about laser training? Does anyone know anything about Rocky Mountain? Thank YOU
05.17 | Unregistered Commentermtb
don't know much about Rocky Mountain, but I went to an MLD dynamics course and it was great. I think the site is It is a great introductory laser course with hands on.
05.17 | Unregistered CommenterDexter

If you're going to go to a training course that is using specific lasers/light that they are hoping to sell to you indirectly or directly, you shouldn't have to pay for the course even if they advertise it with a price. Tell them that you're coming to evaluate the equipment for possible purchase. Most likely, they will make an exception for you if they believe you are a serious MD.

09.18 | Unregistered Commenterjmd

Does anyone know anything about the National Laser Institute?

11.4 | Unregistered CommenterBCJ

BCJ: Are you sure you have the name right? I am familiar with the LASER INSTITUTE OF AMERICA (LIA). LIA publishes the ANSI laser safety standards which are recognized by OSHA-- the authoritative laser safety documents in the U.S. To my knowledge the ASLMS and the LIA/ANSI organizations are probably the most legitimate organizations currently teaching about lasers. LIA also conducts workshops regularly which you can find on the Internet.

i would like to take a good training course for botox. is it good to take a course just for botox, or one of the combined botox/dermal fillers training classes that are offered? what are the best classes people have taken?

07.30 | Unregistered Commenterbarry

I dont recommend Empire Medical Training, Dr. Constantino and his business partners are very unethical and the training you will get is not worth the money you paid

12.31 | Unregistered CommenterBSansen

Yes, I totally agree. I bought a membership with Empire too. There were 30-40 people in a Botox class with 1 instructor. No hands on. Now, the 8k membership is on sale for 3k. Remember, you get what you pay for! I am attending a laser seminar in Vail on Feb 27 with American Medical Training. I had a great conversation with them and felt very confident registering. I will post another comment after my training.

01.1 | Unregistered Commenterdermdoc

I think those of us that have a lot of experience should be setting up training sites throughout the country. We can do one on ones with individuals. I think there are a lot of crappy seminars that try to teach this and charge 1000s of dollars.

I am guessing there are a few of us that have gone to a seminar being told you would learn something and then get little or nothing out of it. This is very important to the new users.

01.1 | Unregistered CommenterLH

I have been reviewing the website for Dr. Baily in Toronto. Program looks impressive. I was thinking of the attending the March course but cannot make it to the recommended introductory course in February due to a scheduling conflict. Is the introductory course necessary or is this something I can circle back and complete shortly thereafter?

01.2 | Unregistered CommenterMH

I think the 2 day program prior to the bootcamp is an overview of Cosmetics. I was trained by Dr. Leo Capobianco, also certified by Allergan and Medicis. I injected 4 Botox patients and 2 Fillers patients. His next training is in March 2009 in Las Vegas. The link is
Also, back in 2008 I attended an Empire Medical Training seminar in NYC. Training was by a Dr. Jim Avellini. I did not like his teaching skills but he was very proficient in teaching the injections. Only complaint here was a very large group, very little meds and a lot of confusion.

01.3 | Unregistered CommenterMJS

Speaking of schools, if a tattoo artists wants to become certified doing tattoo removal, could someone identify the requirements. ( i.e. certificated, school, costs, other requirements?? ). Thank you / John

John: You can check this weblog for additional information-- there is a great deal -- on the legal requirements regarding the use and operation of medical lasers. You will note that in most states in the U.S. such use and operation is restricted to licensed health care professionals (typically MDs) or medical persons (usually nurses, PAs, etc.) to which such operation has been delegated in accordance with the specific regulations of the particular state. You can find out more details about your state by using GOOGLE to locate the state statute defining the practice of medicine and go from there. You can also retain a local lawyer to check the applicable requirements out for you. Laser companies are only supposed to sell lasers to licensed physicians. Entrepreneurs in some states enter into relationships with physicians they call "medical directors" which often enables them to obtain equipment. Depending on a number of factors, this may or may not (technically) be kosher. But it has been going on throughout the U.S. for the past decade.

Med spa guy,

Thank you kindly for your response. Seems like being a nurse or getting a MD is the only scenario a laymen could ever use if interested in doing something in this field.

01.7 | Unregistered CommenterJ Champ

One of the owners (an RN) of the medical spa I work at was trained on Botox and fillers by Dawn Sagrillo from Aesthetic Advancements. Their website is I assisted during the class and thought she was wonderful. It was one on one. She has a ton of experience in plastics and has been doing injections for 10-11 years. We are in Wisconsin but I believe they have a branch in Georgia and California. I have seen many doctors and nurses inject and she by far taught the best techniques.

I called Esthetic Skin Insitute' to sign up for their Botox training. they told me that we would have to practice giving shots on each other. She said i would get about 20 shots of diluted Botox on my face. I chikened out.

Do any of these workshops provide you with patients ?


01.23 | Unregistered Commenterjc

Stay away from Empire medical Training, they are rip off and very unprofessional. They dont pay their speakers that is why there are a lot of cancellations.

02.1 | Unregistered CommenterRAS

I recently attended Esthetic Skin Institute for their Botox and Dermal Fillers Training Course and it was great, the course was very comprehensive and I worked on 3 patients in the class. When I was finished with that, a few of the other students in the class wanted me to practice on them. I could not have imagined a better and more organized course. I decided to chose this institute because they have been around the longest and have no complaints against them. If you take a look at the other schools their is a lot of negatives. I am glad I took my colleagues advice who had also joined their course previously and I would recomend this course to anyone. I will be attending the rest of the workshops very soon. A few of you have asked for links. The website is

03.16 | Unregistered CommenterDRCLM

did they practice on you too?

03.20 | Unregistered Commenterjc

Can more people comment on Empire medical Training? can you elaborate on the negatives? thanks


03.20 | Unregistered CommenterMH

There are some great aesthetic training fellowships in many areas. Check with the university where you completed your residency or other universities in your area to see what is available.
Some busy physicians offer fellowship training throught their practices. This approach to me would seem to make much more sense than a group of so called experts who set up training in a hotel conference room

03.20 | Unregistered Commentermkel


So what you are saying is that every derm that wants to do cosmetic medicine needs to go back and do a fellowship? I do not think you will have many takers.

Most of the derms I know have learned either from a manufacturer or at a weekend training session.

03.20 | Unregistered CommenterLH

My point exactly! Weekend courses may be helpful but by no means do they provide intense training or sufficient information about avoiding and managing complications.
Derms and plastics learn about how to treat burns during their training. This is the reason consumers should seek out derms or plastics for laser treatments, particularly ablative laser treatments.
As a consumer, you would probably not even want someone working on your car who had taken only a weekend course, but you want to trust a physician without formal surgical training to perform plastic surgery? Would you want a plastic surgeon who had just taken a weekend course to perform your Lasik procedure? Would you want a derm to deliver your child via c-section?

03.20 | Unregistered Commentermkel

Weekend courses may be helpful but by no means do they provide intense training or sufficient information about avoiding and managing complications

Are you stating a fact or an opinion?

If a fact what are your irrefutable basis? please give us the proof (not opinions or conjectures)


03.21 | Unregistered CommenterMedhacker

Rather than answer the quqestion myself, I have attached a link that includes burn fellowships.
I hope someone finds this helpful

03.21 | Unregistered Commentermkel

I thought this post was about laser training and not the training in "burns management'

03.21 | Unregistered Commenterjc

I am shocked and frightened to learn that a physician performing ablative laser surgery does not recognized the importance of understanding burn treatments and wound management.
Hopefully you know a good plastic surgeon who is willing to help you in the event you create a complication you cannot manage.

03.22 | Unregistered Commentermkel

mkel ...I dont know who you responded to in your last post.

What you have been saying basically means that every physician should know everything. So should all surgeons stop treating patients because they invariably make mistakes when it comes to anything other than surgery. During my residency I have seen surgeons give electric shocks to patients with sinus tachycardia. I have treated scores of patients with pulmonary edema due to injudicious use of Ringer Lactate.

No one should do anything without proper training but to claim only plastic surgeons should do these procedures is preposterous.

I know business is down! Be patient, hang in there---things will turn around!

03.22 | Unregistered Commenterjc

Empire Medical Training classes are so huge, about 30 students 1 trainor and a non MD trainor. They don't know how to teach, they are just after your money. They diluted the botos 5ml because they think we will just waste it so no effect on those poor patients. You will regret it if you go

03.28 | Unregistered CommenterbsansenMD

Maybe MAPA should start a training courses.
MAPA has the best cosmetic doctors in the world as members!

03.28 | Unregistered CommenterMAPA Man

My group attended Fillers/Botox training with American Medical Training a few weeks ago in Las Vegas. It was a very well organized course. Excellent hands on with plenty of meds--we constitued our own Botox right out of the box. Well worth our investment. One of the best courses I have ever attended.

04.8 | Unregistered CommenterDrAl

Last year a colleague and I attended the empire laser workshop in Las Vegas. What a mistake. I’d like to know how these people can offer CME credit. The main speaker was not a medical doctor, not even a registered nurse (we learned of this after a little research). Apparently the guy is the accountant for empire. The second speaker was a real piece of work. He slammed competing products and argued with a representative who was there to demonstrate microdermbrason. We actually learned a lot from her when she was allowed to speak. In January we were able to attend a dermatology conference in Maui. The meeting was open to all specialties and the speakers were luminaries in cosmetic derm.

04.28 | Registered CommenterCkedRN

Stay away fro a co. called Empire medical training, they are very unethical, ripoff, use unethical practice and for the most part their speakers dont show up because Empire bounce their check

04.29 | Unregistered CommenterTTS, MD

RN....which conference was that...i would like to brush up my derm knowledge

04.29 | Unregistered Commenterlearn

Learn -
google maui derm 2010 for conference details

05.1 | Registered CommenterCkedRN

thanks CkedRN.....i will try to attend the next conference.

05.3 | Unregistered Commenterlearn

I would caution all those reading these posts. I am a physician who learned to perform Botox with another physician during a Preceptorship. The posts i have read here all appear to be competitors making negative comments about each other. The most aggressive author seems to be praising American Medical Training, and blasting others, so i researched them a little for my own curiosity. Beware! Their medical director, Dr. Leo Capobianco lost his license! He made a deal to surrender his license in order to avoid prosecution. It is all over the internet, i dont even need to give the link here, just type his name in. He was charged with numerous counts of misconduct, unethical conduct, fraudulent billing practices and more. I wonder how he runs a seminar company.

05.13 | Unregistered CommenterDrBotox

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