A Nice Balance of Clinical and Nonclinical Work

Today I had the opportunity to talk with medspa owner Dr. Lisa Jenks. She is an emergency medicine physician who tested her interest and ability to provide aesthetic services, then founded her own MedSpa 11 years ago.

Lisa graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine in 1986. After residency training at Ohio State University, she began a career in emergency medicine. For reasons we discuss during today’s interview, in 2007, Dr. Jenks opened Genesis MedSpa in Colorado Springs.

Since it’s opening, Genesis has grown tremendously, moving from a 4-treatment room facility into a 10-room facility in 2012 and then adding an additional three treatment rooms in 2016. Under her direction, Genesis has won the BBB’s coveted ‘Excellence in Customer Service’ award three times, and has won numerous ‘Best Of’ awards.

In addition to providing great medspa services for her clients, while pursuing a career that she truly enjoys, Lisa has also served as a mentor for other physicians who want to start their own medspas.

What about you? Do you dread dealing with insurance companies? Want to maintain a medical practice, but offer other services?

Lisa Jenks knows how you feel. She loves owning her own business and still having the opportunity to interact with patients and make an impact.

Med Spa Definition and Services Offered

Years ago, aesthetic services were provided only in a non-medical spa setting. But over the past 10 to 20 years, as invasive medical services were added, they moved to a medical setting that incorporates spa-like design and creature comforts. And the medical spa, or medspa, was born. Clients pay cash for medical-grade procedures that required the oversight of a physician.

The range of procedures offered now is huge and includes: 

  • microdermabrasion,
  • chemical peels,
  • Botox fillers,
  • non-invasive or minimally invasive skin tightening,
  • ultrasound-assisted liposuction,
  • vaginal rejuvenation,
  • hair restoration, and
  • laser treatments.
medspa lisa jenks

Opportunity to Own a Business 

Lisa was an emergency room doctor turned stay-at-home mom. When she re-entered the work world, she discovered enjoyment with aesthetic medicine after becoming a medical director at a local spa.

That experience gave Lisa an opportunity to own her own business outside the confines of regular medicine. She combined her medical practice with aesthetic medicine services to form a medical spa, called Genesis MedSpa, about 11 years ago.

She quickly learned how scary and stressful it was to operate a medspa. Building a clientele and participating in ongoing training are required to be successful.

When Genesis opened, only a few services were offered, such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and Botox/fillers. It now offers a wide variety of services, including all three FDA-approved neurotoxins and fillers: Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin.

Also, Lisa owns three lasers and does CO2 skin resurfacing, tattoo removal, facials, chemical peels, ultrasound-assisted liposuction, fat transfer, skin tightening, PRP injections, and vaginal rejuvenation.

Our Sponsor

This podcast is made possible by the University of Tennessee Physician Executive MBA Program offered by the Haslam College of Business. You’ll remember that I interviewed Dr. Kate Atchley, the Executive Director of the program, in Episode #25 of this podcast.

The UT PEMBA is the longest running, and most highly respected physician-only MBA in the country, with over 650 graduates. Unlike most other ranked programs, which typically have a duration of 18 to 24 months, this program only takes a year to complete. And, it’s offered by the business school that was recently ranked #1 in the world for the Most Relevant Executive MBA program, by Economist magazine.

University of Tennessee PEMBA students bring exceptional value to their organizations by contributing at the highest level while earning their degree. The curriculum includes a number of major assignments and a company project, both of which are structured to immediately apply to each student’s organization.

Graduates have taken leadership positions at major healthcare organizations and have become entrepreneurs and business owners. If you want to acquire the business and management skills needed to advance your nonclinical career, contact Dr. Kate Atchley’s office by calling (865) 974-6526 or going to vitalpe.net/physicianmba.

Benefits of Owning a MedSpa

Genesis grew over time and now offers many services to its clients. Also, there are several benefits to owning your own med spa business. Lisa’s favorites include:

  • Don't have to deal with any insurance.
  • You’re your own boss.
  • People are happy about what you do for them.


A Day in the Life: Med Spa Owner

Lisa works Monday through Friday and enjoys her work because she gets to do all sorts of things. She may have 15 minutes of back-to-back Botox and filler appointments. Then, she can spend hours in consultation appointments that focus on services offered. In between all that, she makes marketing, financial, and business decisions, and addresses human resources issues and upcoming specials.

Each day, Lisa typically spends 1-2 hours on administrative tasks and sees patients from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. She also has periodic meetings with her lead and financial advisor. Lisa likes how all kinds of tasks are interwoven into her day, week, and year.

How Big of an Investment Is Needed?

Lisa has not only started her own med spa, but has helped other physicians as mentor and coach. Opening a medspa is an expensive venture. The average cost to start one is $500,000. Lisa shares ideas with physicians about how they can do it for less, closer to $250,000.

For example, she recommends not starting immediately with a laser, which is very expensive. Start with micro-needling, a cost-effective anti-aging treatment. Doctors will probably need a laser at some point, but don’t incur that cost immediately.

Most physicians must take out a loan for at least part of the startup costs. Fortunately, small business loans have become less cumbersome.

“I love owning my own business. But I still love the opportunity to interact with patients and feel as though I'm doing something significant in their lives.”

Lisa Jenks

Steps to Take

If a physician is thinking about transitioning their private practice into a med spa, here are a few tips:

  • Find a mentor like Lisa (lisa@genesis-medspa.com)
  • Find a small day spa to perform procedures on patients to determine your level of interest
  • Build a customer base
  • Don’t buy a laser immediately

Statistically, small businesses such as a med spa do not make money until somewhere between three and five years. However, the medical spa business is still a rapidly expanding field. The medical aesthetics industry is expected to grow double-digits for at least the next five years. Tremendous opportunity exists to establish yourself with a new med spa, especially if it is run well.

Links for today's episode:

Learn more about Lisa and her MedSpa here:

Thanks to our sponsor…

Thanks to the UT Physician Executive MBA program for sponsoring the show. It’s an outstanding, highly rated, MBA program designed for working physicians. It might be just what you need to prepare for that joyful, well-paying career. You can find out more at vitalpe.net/physicianmba.

Thanks again for listening. I hope to see you next time on Physician NonClinical Careers.

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

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Podcast Editing & Production Services are provided by Oscar Hamilton.


The opinions expressed here are mine and my guest’s. While the information provided on the podcast is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge, there is no express or implied guarantee that using the methods discussed here will lead to success in your career, life or business. 

Many of the links that I refer you to, and that you’ll find in the show notes, are affiliate links. That means that I receive a payment from the seller if you purchase the affiliate item using my link. Doing so has no effect on the price you are charged. And I only promote products and services that I believe are of high quality and will be useful to you, that I have personally used or am very familiar with.

The information presented on this blog and related podcast is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only. It should not be construed as medical, legal, tax, or emotional advice. If you take action on the information provided on the blog or podcast, it is at your own risk. Always consult an attorney, accountant, career counsellor, or other professional before making any major decisions about your career. 

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