Miami Cosmetic Surgery (MCS) 2020 showcased scientific studies and insight from some of today’s most experienced and brightest minds in cosmetic medicine. In addition, up-and-coming aesthetic providers who are making their marks on the future of aesthetic medicine were highlighted as part of MCS’s Mentee Program, developed for physicians in practice five years or less, who are on track to significantly advance aesthetic medicine. Meet some of these rising stars:
Vincent McGinniss, DO, FAOCO
Facial plastic surgeon Vincent McGinniss, DO, is paving new roads in the specialty at the Blanchard Valley Health System in Findlay, Ohio by spearheading a facial plastics department in the health system, complete with surgical and nonsurgical services, as well as a medspa.
“Being hospital employed is a unique situation for a plastic surgeon. With that, I am essentially creating a whole new department of plastic surgery and adding much more,” Dr. McGinniss shared. “There are hurdles and barriers because it is a newer concept for a hospital model, but we have been able to be very successful in the past few years in growing a successful plastics practice and medspa,” he continued. “We have been able to do things like platelet-rich plasma for hair regeneration, as well as a variety of advanced filler techniques and laser skin resurfacing – all types of treatments and procedures that you wouldn’t typically see at your average hospital.”
Dr. McGinniss graduated from medical school with a U.S. Air Force scholarship from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is fellowship trained in facial plastic surgery and completed his residency training in otolaryngology and facial plastics at McLaren Macomb hospital at Michigan State University.
He served as a flight surgeon for the 354th Fighter Squadron based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Ariz. Dr. McGinniss was a Captain for three years of active duty, providing medical care for aircrew, special operational duty personnel and their families. His military experience includes a deployment to Afghanistan, during which he was awarded an Air Medal for flying in combat and medivac missions.
“I was a team physician for fighter pilots. Wherever they went, I went,” he said. “My role as a physician was making sure the pilots were healthy enough to fly. When pilots are flying in a high-performance aircraft like an F-16, they experience extremely high G-forces. In the past, pilots would pass out because they couldn’t get enough blood supply to their brain. It is really important for flight surgeons to understand these things, which is why we often fly with them.”
In Dr. McGinniss’s opinion, his military experience, which combined various scopes of practice, including primary care, emergency medicine, public health and occupational medicine, made him a more well-rounded doctor.
“I have seen the extremes of trauma, especially in Afghanistan. Entering into the aesthetic field with that experience, I really got to know the reconstruction aspect of the specialty,” Dr. McGinniss said.
“Currently where I practice, we’re not a level 1 trauma center, so I don’t see that level of trauma, but we do a lot of skin cancer excisions and repairs. I do a variety of flaps in reconstruction and find that part of my practice very rewarding.”
Another passion of Dr. McGinniss’s is teaching and public speaking. He’s faculty at the Osler Institute, where doctors go to beef up their knowledge for board reviews.
“I have been invited to be one of the faculty instructors there for facial plastic topics. I’ve been doing that now for at least three years, teaching or reteaching physicians the main points for their written and oral board examinations and recertification exams with regard to facial plastic topics,” he said.
Dr. McGinniss believes the future of the specialty lies, in part, with regenerative medicine. “I think we’re just scratching the surface on that. I have done research with platelet-rich plasma and have been invited to speak in Venice, Italy, on the topic on research that I have done combining it with fillers and combining it with CO2 laser. We found significant improvement, better and longer lasting results when we added platelet-rich plasma with fillers or when doing CO2 laser,” he said. “We find this very exciting and think there is so much more we can learn. I just can’t help but wonder what more we can do with this and think it might be the future.”
Eric Wilkerson, MD
Opening a solo practice as a new physician isn’t easy. Add the challenging COVID-19 crisis and some might jump ship. But not dermatologist Eric Wilkerson, MD. He navigated the launch of his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., practice despite the difficulties and said he envisions growing and expanding the medical and cosmetic dermatology practice in years to come.
“I think my biggest accomplishment in the last year was opening a solo private practice in South Florida. It is a huge undertaking and required a lot of time, dedication and debt,” he said. “I started the practice from scratch without an established patient following and I didn’t take over a previous practice.”
Dr. Wilkerson is developing a patient base despite the pandemic. And already he and his staff have a good reputation in the South Florida community. “We have had all positive reviews from our patients. They have enjoyed coming here,” he said.
An enjoyment of procedures and helping people see results that improve their appearance is what drew Dr. Wilkerson to cosmetic dermatology. “It is nice when they can get results that they see, and those results make a difference, improving their appearance or how they feel about their appearance,” he said.
In addition to cosmetic dermatology, Dr. Wilkerson medical dermatology, and offers both in his practice. “I want my practice to always continue to offer the full spectrum of dermatology services for adult and pediatric patients,” he expressed. “Ultimately, I enjoy the procedural aspects and want to spend a lot of my time doing Mohs surgery and cosmetic treatments,” he said.
“As a new office, we don’t have energy-based devices yet, but I do have minimal downtime injectables, microneedling, chemical peels, platelet-rich plasma and a few other cosmetic treatments. I’m hoping to expand significantly over time into treatments like body contouring, as well as vascular and resurfacing lasers.”
Before opening his practice in Florida, Dr. Wilkerson completed a cosmetic dermatology fellowship in New Jersey and Manhattan, and a Mohs surgery fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic.
The young dermatologist has already co-authored several papers published in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, on topics ranging from the use of poly-L-lactic acid for improving décolletage photodamage and rhytides, to the use of non-invasive focused ultrasound to reduce thigh fat. He also wrote a textbook chapter on non-invasive skin tightening in Evidence-Based Procedural Dermatology, 2nd ed.
While he enjoys the research and writing papers, Dr. Wilkerson says his focus is on building a dermatology practice that serves all the community’s needs. Solo for now, Dr. Wilkerson’s goals are to build the patient base, expand services and add multiple physicians in the next few years.
Marina Krasnopolsky, MD
Toronto, Ontario-based cosmetic medicine physician Marina Krasnopolsky, MD, has built her aesthetic medicine career on the belief that beauty is individualized. There is no standard of beauty.
And that is not just lip service. Dr. Krasnopolsky not only practices the concept but also has developed a lip technique, The Marina Technique, based on achieving individualized, natural results.
“A lot of colleagues of mine are asking me about the way I run my practice and want to shadow me in my office,” she said. “I also train doctors and nurses in the Marina Technique. My lip injection technique is based on the proper evaluation of patients’ anatomy and creating very natural results, gradually.”
The Marina Technique has been showcased at lip lab masterclasses for industry leaders Galderma and Prollenium. Her dream, Dr. Krasnopolsky said, is to expand the teaching aspect of her practice and start a Marina aesthetic school.
“The trends are changing from very similar looking faces to individualized beauty. And this is what I’m teaching,” she said. Dr. Krasnopolsky opened her Toronto clinic two years ago, and plans to expand in the next few years.
“I’ve been in the aesthetic field for about ten years now. I worked with a plastic surgeon before opening my own practice,” she began. “I was doing mainly injectables in the past. Now, I’m a one-stop shop, a small boutique practice completely specializing in beauty,” she said.
Dr. Krasnopolsky started in family medicine, graduating from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), then worked as an emergency department physician for a few years in New York City.
Like many others who have only recently been up and running since the COVID-19 crisis, Dr. Krasnopolsky said the pandemic has changed the specialty.
“Right now, we are doing a lot of work to ensure patient safety. Most of us have definitely experienced a slow down. We are able to treat probably one patient an hour and are exercising extreme caution. Some of us are limiting practices to only upper face procedures,” she said.
But, while business has been forced to change, demand remains high for cosmetic options. “There are a lot of people who want to be seen post-COVID because there is such a thing as the ‘lipstick effect.’ When a woman puts lipstick on, she feels really good. When a woman comes in and takes care of her beauty by having aesthetic procedures, it also boosts her self-confidence and she feels great,” she said.
Aesthetic medicine physicians will have to strike a balance in the post-COVID world. Many providers will remain successful if they can identify and act on new and emerging aesthetic medicine trends, according to Dr. Krasnopolsky. Among those trends: Increasing demand for medical-grade skincare from aesthetic practices.
“Over the last three months, I’ve done lots of virtual consultations. Many clients are investing in medical grade skincare, instead of going to places like Sephora. They are asking for advice from aesthetic physicians about how to take care of the skin. I think the medical-grade skincare industry will continue to grow,” she said
Dr. Krasnopolsky also thinks consumers will continue to want more nonsurgical procedures. “Quick. Less invasive; no surgery. Like non-ablative lasers. Something that can be done very safely with minimal or no downtime,” she said.
Ability to adapt will be key to continued success in aesthetic medicine, according to this rising star.
Taís Maria Brenner, BMD
Taís Maria Brenner, BMD, was a pioneer in aesthetic medicine in her hometown of only 60,000 people – Carazinho, Brazil. Ms. Brenner isn’t a doctor, but rather, she has been practicing for three years as a biomed aesthetic physician.
“I have the degree in biomedicine and the post-graduate degree in aesthetic biomedicine. Here we use the credential: BMD after our name,” she explained. “For me, being the first biomed to open a clinic that offers nonsurgical procedures to emphasize the beauty of men and women, here in my hometown, was a lifetime achievement. ..”
Ms. Brenner hopes to bring greater awareness about the biomedicine aesthetic profession to U.S. doctors. “BMD is a designation which is only about a decade old and better known outside the U.S., in worldwide markets like Brazil,” she noted. BMD signifies a graduation in the area of health that combines, in a single formation, biological and medical knowledge. As it is a new career, Biomedicine Aesthetics is still relatively unknown, but has already established professionals that have the ability to associate the understanding of body health with aesthetic treatments. A professional in this field must have a bachelor’s degree, one year of postgraduate studies at a specialized Biomedicine Aesthetics school, and do internships in the field of aesthetics.
At Ms. Brenner’s practice she offers patients nonsurgical injections, fillers, threads, lasers and chemical peels. An aesthetician in her clinic offers other services, such as massages, facials and body treatments. “I feel passionate about being able to increase my patients’ self-esteem to make them love and admire themselves,” she expressed.
“The path of beauty has always been around me. I love makeup, skincare routines, hairstyles and more. So, for me, feeling the beauty inside me elevates my self-love, makes me a better person and makes me shine. That helps in my daily practice with my patients because for me, giving that touch of beauty to them and to those around me, is a big deal in life and really makes me happy,” Ms. Brenner professed.