Moderator: Welcome to today’s episode of True to Form with your host CEO and Founder of Crystal Clear, motivational speaker and three-time Inc. 500 Entrepreneurs, Adam DeGraide. True to Form, is a podcast that highlights leaders making headway in the aesthetic, anti-aging and elective medical industry. Learn from the experts to discover the secrets of success and pitfalls to avoid when growing all aspects of your elective medical practice. This week’s episode is brought to you by TouchMD, the all-in-one aesthetic technology hub that educates your captive audience in the waiting room and consult room. Consistently captures and manages photos, provides digital charting and consents, and allows patients to take their experience home to share what they learned with friends and family via the practices patient app. Please join me in welcoming your host the fearless, the outspoken Adam DeGraide.
Adam DeGraide: Hello and welcome to True to Form. The podcast that connects you to the people, technology and hot topics that shape the elective medical community. Provided to you by Crystal Clear Digital Marketing and brought to you by this week’s sponsor TouchMD, the leading all-in-one aesthetic technology hub. I am your host, Adam DeGraide filling in for Tim Sawyer. To our returning guest welcome back. And for the first time listeners, we appreciate you joining us and encourage you to become a subscriber. Last week we spoke with a young successful Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Stephen Nogan, in which he talked about his personal experience in transitioning from University medicine to private practice. As well as the importance of always sticking to your why, if you missed it, you need to check it out. With all that said and just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, we are taking it to another level as promised, we bring you the movers, the shakers here at True to Form.
And today we have a very special guest and it is my pleasure to introduce Dr. Stephen Cosentino. Dr. Stephen Cosentino is the Founder, President and Medical Director for Empire Medical Training, and renowned educator to physicians and healthcare practitioners worldwide. Dr. Cosentino launched Empire Medical Training in 1998, to focus on the aesthetic medicine segments of healthcare, with a strong vision and expectation to expand into other healthcare delivery segments. Today through his clinical expertise in educational leadership, Empire Medical Training is recognized as the global leader in the continuing medical and aesthetic education and procedural training seminar industry for physicians and healthcare professionals.
Dr. Cosentino is a board certified in family medicine and has more than 20 years of clinical experience in the aesthetic industry. Dr. Cosentino’s worldwide reputation as a celebrity status physician has earned him a prominent role as the go-to consultant and mentor for aesthetic practices and expansions throughout the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and South America. Dr. Stephen Cosentino, welcome to True to Form.
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: Adam, how you doing? It is a pleasure to be here.
Adam DeGraide: So glad to have you on air, we are so excited, I have obviously been learning a lot more about Empire Medical Training over the last several months since you and I first talked and I’d love for you just to share your vision of what made you start in 1998 Empire Medical Training and where your passion lies with that organization.
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: Absolutely. Absolutely. This very exciting to be here I love talking about the training education, this is – it’s really a fun topic for me, so definitely appreciate being here. But I actually started like you said in 1998, but the vision came from when I was much younger, my dad was a physician, my uncle – his uncle actually was a physician, his brother was – there was a lot of physicians in the family. So it is a common, you know, it is a common history that people get that inspiration from family members. And he was actually just the regular general doctor and some of the other members of the family were surgeons, but that was the big inspiration for me. And I always wanted to be a family physician and I started, went to medical school, I went to [Indiscernible] [00:04:20] my residency at Mount Sinai.
And early on in my career I actually met a physician, he was actually a podiatrist and he taught me how to do different injections like the [Indiscernible] [00:04:31] blocks and pain management injections and it was kind of unusual for me to do that, because as a family practitioner, you know, typically you don’t do these kind of interventional procedures. But he took the time, he was my mentor and he started to teach me, you know, how to do these procedures and I got very, very good at it. And for years I started practicing and started doing these procedures, I’ve done like, you know, 30 something thousand pain management injections.
Adam DeGraide: Wow.
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: I was inspired to teach off this actually, thanks. And so my colleague who were also family physicians they are asking me saying, hey, you know, “Hey Steve, how are you doing this, you are a family doctor. Why are you doing all these interventional procedures?” And they saw my patients were doing well, they saw that my practice was growing and they wanted to learn and I started to teach them, some were friends, some were colleagues and I started to get known in the community here in Fort Lauderdale. And this family doctor who is doing these interventional procedures all sorts of different types of pain management injections.
And I started to teach all these people, then so many kind of helped me spot the idea of make this, you know, make this into a business and train other people. You have a very good knack for it you have a passion for it, I really enjoyed teaching. And truly after that, I – my first program back in 1998 was a pain management course and it was the same course that we have today of course it is much updated, but it was a big inspiration just there – this doctor, Dr. Goldman teach me how do these procedures and then I learned how to do them and then I started teaching others and it really got me motivated to get into the field of teaching and education.
Adam DeGraide: That is amazing, you know, it is interesting, I’ve, you know, I have interviewed many doctors from time to time and it definitely is a family business. It’s always fascinating to me how many doctors have – I was just reading even a book by my good friend Dr. Jeneby, he wrote a book called Confessions of a Plastic Surgeon. His entire family, like 27 out of the 30 males in his life were physicians. When you were younger – when was the first time you realized, “Hey my family is in the medical community and I want to be in there as well.”
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: Yeah, that’s funny, because really early on I had on – I had braces when I was a child and my very, very first thought was that I was going go to dental school. And then just being in college or not [Indiscernible] [00:06:49] actually that’s taught [Phonetic] [00:06:52] in grammar school, but then when I got into high school I started making some friends and we all had a common interest to pursue medicine. And then of course the dad being very influential, he tried to be, you know, he didn’t want to push me too much in the field of medicine, he – you know, he was basically saying, “Anything professional, do what your heart tells you to go whether it is dentistry, medicine or anything, you have to be in the medical field, but just really go to where your desires, your passion or what you enjoy.” And just in high school when I started to do a little bit more reading and I started to see more of the work that he did, it really got me inspired to become a medical doctor as oppose to a dentist. But it’s interesting on my very, very first thought since I had braces, it was like, “Oh, I want to be a dentist, no question about it.” But, shortly after that–
Adam DeGraide: [Crosstalk] [00:07:37] yeah, since your very first exposure to, you know, a procedure on yourself you said, you know what I like this. I had braces unfortunately, I did not use my retainer and therefore my teeth are not as straight as they need to be, but I know that there is things that I can do in the future that is great, that is amazing. And you’re – and then obviously–
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: That’s right. That’s right.
Adam DeGraide: When get to serving people and helping them with their pain and then realizing that, you know, doctors all over the country could benefit from training like this, you started Empire Medical Training and I’d love to know, you know, one of the things that I was learning about when you and I talked is that you were the only teacher at one point and now you have others who train in Empire Medical. I’d love to hear about, you know, the foundation of that and then what challenges and what opportunities were you – in bringing in other people?
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: Yes. Yes. Definitely a good question, because you’re right when I started back then it was really just myself, it was actually myself and it’s a long time ago, this was 20, actually 21 or however many years ago. I’m married now to my wife for 10 years, you know, I have to make sure I get that right, you don’t want to make mistake with that number and it is actually coming up next – in 2 weeks our 10th wedding anniversary. Twelve years [Indiscernible] [00:08:51] my girlfriend–
Adam DeGraide: That is a big one. Where are you guys going, are you going anywhere special?
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: We – yes, yes, we’re either going to France or going to St. Barts [Phonetic] [00:08:58]. I’m kind of pushing towards St. Barts [Phonetic] [00:09:00] because it’s not that much of a trip and we had some great memories there the last time we went.
Adam DeGraide: That’s great.
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: But, the reason why I mentioned that also was because 27 years ago, it was actually with another female that I was with that time and we worked very, very hard together and we started up and it was just myself teaching all the courses, I was up there teaching. All of – we had several different pain management courses, I ran the office, she answered the phone. It really was a very small, small operation and just to watch it grow over the years was very fascinating. But one thing that I realized is that you can’t – a really– any good business and I know this, you know this very, very well, you have a great operation there with many, many people working alongside of you, but you really need to work with the right people. You really need to expand, it can or no matter how much you know whether you’re a businessman or you’re a physician, you can’t know it all yourself, you can’t do it all yourself.
And I felt like even to this day I know so much in aesthetics and so much that it would be disservice if it is just myself, you know, sharing this information as much as it is, it’s just not enough. And, you know, over the years I wanted to expand and get more teachers and everybody has a different point of view, you know, and to be able to share that point of view with our students, with our practitioners is very, very important. And that’s – that was a challenge then, it’s still is a challenge, because that’s one of the most important ingredient to a successful educational company, is to have the right – the best teachers. And, you know, without – obviously without the right teachers, without the best teachers, the students will suffer at the end because they are not going to get the best education. But it is still a big role of what I do right now, I travel all over the country, in many parts of the world, looking for not only the different types of techniques and programs, and procedures and getting new ideas, but meeting with – I spent so much time sitting down and talking to doctors to see how good they are.
Are they are going to be a good fit, how much do they know? It’s one of the thing – I think it’s one of the big differentiators with Empire Medical Training is the quality of our instructors. The level of their expertise, their credentials and their knowledge and just the way they teach. It’s also, not only just credentials and I learned that over the years too, it is their style of teaching. If they have, you know, a personality, if they had humor and how they teacher. So we’ve met and we have some of the best teachers, and I’m so proud of that and I’m so, you know, fortunate that I could work alongside these great medical doctors, so it is kind of a fun part of job.
Adam DeGraide: Yeah, I was actually looking at some of the videos of, some of your promo reels that you’ve done in the past for some of your shows, you have great doctors on there. And you mentioned doctors with sense of humor is there such a thing?
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: That’s funny, that’s – okay, that’s a good one.
Adam DeGraide: I am only kidding [Crosstalk] [00:11:50].
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: No, I know, I think I have a dry sense of humor, sometimes I am talking and then somebody is laughing next to me and I am like, “Oh, wait that wasn’t really meant to be a joke, what are you laughing at?” And then it kind of make some [Indiscernible] [00:12:01].
Adam DeGraide: And, you know, what it’s interesting–
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: [Crosstalk] [00:12:04] so that, you know, sometimes I’m teaching a course and she’s like, “Oh no, he’s a good teacher, he doesn’t realize it,” but, you know, they’re laughing, he doesn’t even – he didn’t even try to make a joke, you know [Indiscernible] [00:12:15] as well.
Adam DeGraide: You know what, if you teach enough and you speak enough either on radio, podcast or in person, you are bound to make a few [Indiscernible] [00:12:24] since you don’t even realize you’re making. And what’s interesting about your point about doing it all yourself is, it’s very hard to scale yourself, I mean that’s really the key and the beautiful part about having others involved in Empire Medical Training is the fact that, you know, you get different personalities, right? I mean, not everyone can connect with everyone and I think that is why, God has made us all unique and different in our personality types, because, you know, there might be somebody that I can listen to that that you might not appreciate or vice versa and so that’s really awesome that you have–
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: So true.
Adam DeGraide: [Indiscernible] [00:12:55]
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: So true.
Adam DeGraide: That’s awesome. You know obviously we’re–
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: Absoulutely.
Adam DeGraide: Crystal Clear is involved in, a lot of associations, we attend over 70 shows a year, you know, we go to these different training seminars, we attend as an exhibitor, we are obviously on faculty, we do a lot of speaking from time to time. If you were to let people know, you know, what is the main difference between an Empire Medical Training event versus something that they may have been to, you know what would you say differentiates, what you are trying to do and how you are trying to achieve it?
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: You know, that’s – of course I feel it’s a great question and it’s one of those things I’d love to talk to you now for the next – do we have two hours, or not quite two hours, no just kidding. But I’d love to talk to you obviously for a long time, because for me it’s something that I really get excited about it, it’s something very, very passionate about, because there’s – they’re really, I feel there are so many different things that separates us and something that we are going to continue working on. Empire Medical Training for one, it’s kind of like a combination of a large, you know, a trade show industry style a big event. Like if you were to go to like a big aesthetic show where there’s vendors all over in the conference room and you get to walk around and talk to everybody. So it is cross between that and a small workshop where you have like you know 20, 25 people in a room.
So it’s both basically, I mean the attendees that come to the courses, they are looking for training, they are looking for hands on training. They want to leave there knowing that if they are coming in for, you know, the Neurotoxin training, they’re going to leave there, they’ve had the experience and so forth. But the fun part of the program is meeting with other doctors, meeting with other people, so they are not really going to be, they’re not going to be in a in a classroom with five people. The classrooms are 25 people, you get to talk to other people and so forth. But then you walk out in the hallway and now you’ve got a whole roomful, a whole exhibit hall of exhibitors, and to me that was always the fun part, you know, walking around, meeting different people, talking about the new technologies and the cool stuff that’s coming out in aesthetics or whatever the field is. But not only the fun factor but you need this information. If you’re getting into, you know, the neurotoxins or whatever, you have to set up your accounts, you have to get this equipment, you have to buy certain things, so that is a pretty big thing.
But getting back to your question some of the big differentiators, probably the one thing that stands out the most is going to be the curriculum, you know, we don’t just teach Botox, fillers and threads, or Botox, fillers and mesotherapy. It’s extremely expensive curriculum, so it is pretty much everything that I could think of that, our team could think of in aesthetics from the Neurotoxins to the fillers to mesotherapy, sclerotherapy, the threads. It’s – there was like 33 different topics, so it is a university type of curriculum. And that’s great because typically what happens is the practitioner will comes to a course, they think they are going to start off with just, you know, let say a neurotoxin and it may be filler, but then when they get through these, they’re wow – there’s more to it. There’s Facial Aesthetics which is – that’s the name of the course, but it’s basically dealing with the surface of the skin.
It’s actually not that difficult to treat, so you have like a lot of blemishes and irregularities, and hypo and hyper pigmented areas of the skin and, you know, as a the physician or practitioner, you don’t want to just focus on treating the wrinkles, you know, everybody is focused on that. But there are other areas too and the typical patient not just going to come in and say, “I am here for Botox or Xeomin, or Dysport.” They – they’re there, they want to look younger. So it’s our job, it’s their job as the aesthetic professional to be able to say, listen, we’re going to target this area with this particular neurotoxin. We’re going to do a liquid facelift with fillers. We’re also look at all that, you know, that – just the redness that you have in your face and the hyper pigmented areas.
We could easily treat that with something else, and it is being able to have this combination approach, which is very important. So there’s many different topics and it is not just aesthetics either it is pain management and I was – as you had kind of pointed out that was like one of the first courses that we talked about it that we thought. But we have different programs in pain management, anti-aging, weight loss, surgery and even practice management. And also it’s not, you know it’s from beginner to advanced levels. So we have people just starting out who are doctors, dentists, nurses and they haven’t ever done anything in aesthetics. And then we also have plastic surgeons, we have dermatologist, we have very, very high level specialist who will attend some of the more advanced training.
Adam DeGraide: That is awesome.
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: And that’s the same for – yeah, yeah. It’s kind of – band it’s–
Adam DeGraide: And what’s amazing to me is listening to you and obviously it’s clear you can go on and on and on. What is amazing to me is your passion, you know, so many people don’t understand how important it is that passion about what they do. And I would tell you as a vendor who attends these small workshops, as an exhibitor and also as sponsor TouchMD does as well too from time to time. We actually love the smaller events, because we do get that more intimate one on one time in a smaller room with smaller crafts versus the big show, sometimes you know we don’t get to talk to everyone or they missed us because there are just too many people.
It is a really nice thing to be a part of in a great format. You know when you think about how passionate you are about aesthetics and about training, are there any things in your personal life that you enjoy that you are as passionate about? And, you know for me, for example I’m – I’ve recently made a commitment on golfing, I’ve been golf more in my life and get out there and doing it. Exercise is important to me, I wouldn’t say I am as passionate about it as I am about software marketing and consulting, but, you know, what in your life gets you up and says you know what besides Empire Medical Training, I can’t wait to do this, what is that thing?
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: You know, okay. Let me just say one thing, because it is really fun and it’s – I mean everybody loves sports and loves doing different things like that, but there’s one area I just want to mention, because it is related to the business then it is something that’s – it’s something that’s an ongoing thing, but, you know, I am an avid reader, I read tremendous amount of content every single day, every, you know, Journal, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Investor’s Business Daily like this whole thing. And part of the reason why I read this is because it is really I think it expands my mind, it sharpens my mind and it keeps me really sharp, but I also learn a lot of great things in business. And, you know, business is great, we do this for job and for career and so forth, but there is also an element that is very fun and it is very exciting.
It is exciting to watch your practice or your business grow because so many people are involved, you’re helping so many different people, it’s not just of course yourself, you’re helping, your team, your helping your staff, you are helping your practitioners, you’re helping patients. Everybody is benefiting when you grow your practice. Something I have learned over the years which is interesting is that, you know, you can learn things from other businesses, even big companies you don’t have to be at the same level, but you can learn from a company like Facebook, or you can learn from some of these tech giants, what they are doing. Even automotive companies, even if it is a different industry, you can still learn marketing techniques, and you can still learn things.
One of the things that I have learned years ago is that you don’t want to try to do everything yourself okay. You don’t want to do, you know, as an educational company, we don’t want to say that we’re going to give legal advice. We’re going to do marketing, you know, one of the things that we’ve done very well over the years is that we partner with the right people, we’re working with you guys now on offering marketing to our doctors. We don’t want to try to do all this ourselves, because you can’t be an expert in everything. So we’re proud that we’re able to meet with the right vendors, the right people, the right partners to help our, you know, our practitioners, meet with the right people and do it.
The other thing is the flipside of that is you don’t want to be like a broker, all right. And that unfortunately, I’ve seen people doing that as well, you know, where they’re trying to say, okay, this person is going to organize the training. This person is going to do that, you know, we are – we do everything. We have a full set of people in the office that deal with the administrative, that deal with the credentialing, but when it comes time to, you know, to work with a partner like yourself or for practice management or for marketing you know it is a fine balance between doing it yourself or outsourcing it to somebody else, I mean the expert to do it.
Adam DeGraide: It is amazing that you said what you learned earlier on which is you don’t want to do business alone that is an actual principle that I learned from one of my mentors early in life was a guy named Eustace Wolfington. And you talked about how you can learn from the auto industry, Eustace Wolfington was an early mentor of mine and he actually invented car leasing. And he mentored me earlier on with his nephew, Sean and one of the very first principles that he taught his nephew and myself was you don’t do business alone, you have to do what you’re good at, but you’ve got to bring people surrounding you, that people feeling [Phonetic] [00:22:10] your weaknesses and your gaps. And it was amazing to learn that principle and thank God we did, because I couldn’t even imagine doing business alone myself right now, I mean there is too many challenges right, there is too many things you might miss. Yeah, and, you know, we can only see what we can see and somebody can sometimes look at something from a different angle and get a total different perspective and it makes all the difference in the world. Now I know you have some events coming up, do you have any events coming up on the horizon shortly or in the near future?
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: Yes, Adam. So actually we have a pretty exciting event coming up, December 7th, is from – it’s actually from 5:00 to 8:00 PM and we do this every year, last year we had about 600 physicians and attendees and practitioners, but what is, it is a celebration event, but it is also an educational event. So we’ve invited three or four of our top plastic surgeons. We have Dr. Gregory Buford, who is a world class plastic surgeon from Denver, Colorado, very, very well known you could look him up and he’s always a great speaker.
We have Dr. Ramtin Kassir, who is also a very, very renowned plastic surgeon, he is actually practicing at a New Jersey and New York. And he’s known for a lot of different things including a lot of his celebrity appearances with Housewives of New Jersey. There’s Dr. TJ T who’s a California practitioner very, very well-known and few others. So this exciting December 7th, 5:00 to 8:30, there is – it’s actually no charge for attendees, so it’s complimentary. And there’s a very small fee for nonmembers and the whole week and actually we have events going on as well, but this is just after the daytimes workshops on Saturday were having this special event. So it should be fun, I hope to see you there and I hope to meet you as well. Thank you.
Adam DeGraide: That’s awesome. And where can people find you online if they want to see your website, what’s the actual website address they can go and learn?
Dr. Stephen Cosentino: It’s empiremedicaltraining.com – www.empiremedicaltraining.com.
Adam DeGraide: That’s pretty simple, empiremedicaltraining.com. Well, doctor thank you so much for your time and sharing your passion. Everyone thank you so much for tuning in to True to Form. I’ve been your guest host, Adam DeGraide, thank you so much for your time. Hey, tune in next week you never know who you’re going to hear or what you’re going to hear on True to Form.
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