MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The International Medical Spa Association is located in Minnetonka. It tracks more than 4,000 medispas across the country. It believes in regular training, but it doesn’t see new laws doing much in regulation since it says the vast majority of medispas are safe.

But some doctors think differently.

Dr. Charles Crutchfield, a certified dermatologist, acknowledges that all practices have complications, but he wants to see the state take action. He says he doesn’t want to see more patients scarred by medispas.

“You don’t get the same quality treatment in a medispa as you do in a medical office or a hospital,” Crutchfield said.

He said patients should at least ask these three questions:

-Is a board certified physician performing the service or are they directly supervising it?
-Is a physician examining them before the procedure?
-Is a physician on site?

Crutchfield said he doesn’t see medispas as competition.

There have been bills from both sides introduced at the state Capitol. Doctors are concerned about the safety of lasers. They want patients to see a doctor within 30 days of getting some kind of laser treatment.

Some in the medispa industry don’t think a doctor’s appointment is necessary.

To file a complaint with the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, click here.

To check the license status of a physician, click here.

Comments (13)
  1. Bill says:

    Seems like a lot of doctors that don’t like competition. It would be interesting the percentage of complications that come from which offices. For instance, what clinics were the patients shown in the story treated? Not a very thorough story.

  2. Craig says:

    Bill, didn’t say anything about doctors not liking the competition. This one doctor over-seeing 12 offices is a little much. He’s just out for the money and not the quality of service.

  3. Jake says:

    @Bill, I imagine there would be some research into the number of injuries caused in different facilities. Even then, I think it makes sense that a medical doctor who spends years not only learning certain procedures but how to evaluate skin and other conditions will be in a much better position to prevent or address damage from things like lasering skin or injecting stuff than a non-doctor who is taught injections over a few days. Some of the “injectors” might be estheticians, but I don’t think that is what estheticians are taught or licensed to do. According to the other report, they are acting under a doctor’s license, but with a dozen or more clinics, there is no way the doctor could spend any time at each of his clinics in over two weeks, let alone one week.

    It could be about competition, but it would be in the same way that pharmacists don’t want competition from people whipping up prescription drugs in their basements and selling them out of their van on a street corner.

  4. Sandra says:

    I can see why there are problems with Dr. Scott Jenkins monitoring these spas. He did my breast reduction back in 2002. I ended up with a sever infection that he hesitated on treating. I had to insist that he put me on antibiotics. He also did not lipo any of my side breast tissue, so I have to wear bras that are too large in the cups to accomodate for this. Last, his office kept improperly billing my insurance company. It took them three years to bill properly and finally get it paid for! In the meantime, I had to worry constantly where I would get the money from to pay the bill if it did not get resolved. I just have to live with my reduction, as I cannot afford to have it fixed. I would not go to any spa that he is a part of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Bill says:

    @Jake, let’s be honest. If there was any evidence that outcomes were superior in a physicians office, they would present it. This is simply about greed in a bad economy. I’m surprised WCCO was used by money hungry doctors that don’t like to compete on service and quality of outcomes. Let’s face it. Physicians don’t operate this equipment and their techs have less experience than those that have started their own business.
    These are the facts. Fear tactics are beneath everyone involved.

    1. Jake says:

      @Bill. You miss the point. This isn’t about running a carpet cleaning service. This is prescription drugs and lasers that can damage the skin. Your “laser techs” may know the basic operation of a machine, but they are not trained about the human body anything near a doctor. Can the techs buy and operate a laser without a doctor behind them? Why have the doctor requirement if the doctor has twenty spas that he cannot possibly get to on any regular basis? He can, however, receive checks in the mail, and he never sees a patient.

      Let’s face it, Bill. For whom is it all about the money again?

  6. Bill says:

    @Jake. I notice you never mention outcomes. Why do you suppose this is? I’ll bet these doctors certainly have invested in studies on the subject. Why don’t they make them public? If there had been more complaints filed against these med spas, we would hear about it. The fact is we haven’t.
    You make it sound like the doctor is in the room when their ‘laser techs’ are operating the equipment. That isn’t the case. I find it interesting they are not making the argument that a physician operate lasers or even be present in the room. They are content with about the same level of supervision. They just want competition removed so they can increase prices.
    This group of greedy doctors has been unsuccessful getting elected officials to do their dirty work and now have sunk so low as to wage a campaign of fear through the media.
    The fact is outcomes have been as good, if not better through theses med spas.
    The public sees that their has been no facts presented and essentially no real changes in supervision proposed. Just a few doctors exposed for what they really are.

    1. Jake says:

      @Bill. The only obvious greed is shown by a doctor being paid by a dozen medispas and he has no relationship to any of the patients. He is renting out his medical license with no concern on his part about the patients.

      Everything else you are saying falls under the weight of it own lack of proof and no theoretical basis. On the whole, doctors are better at treating patients than non-doctors. A doctor who examines patients and is present in the facility to assist if issues arise is better than a doctor on the beach counting his medispa money. As to your other claims about elected officials and the media, I have no basis to judge. But your other arguments are not compelling.

  7. Bill says:

    @Jake. Since you don’t seem to ever offer any facts or evidence to support your argument, let’s just end this debate with a wager. I will pay you $1000 for any complaint filed against the medi spa featured that the doctor supervises and you pay me $1000 for any complaint filed against Dr. Crutchfield’s clinic.

    Seems fair to me.

    1. Jake says:

      @Bill, You have now crossed over into the absurd, and frankly, you’re getting creepy. When you aren’t selling pharmaceuticals out of your van by the river, are you lurking around the courthouse waiting for claims to be filed? I assume you’re wearing a trench coat.

  8. Bill says:

    @Jake. I guess that’s a no??? I do want to congratulate you on not offering any facts or evidence in your multiple posts. The only thing more disgusting than that is your fantasizing about men in trench coats. You must truly have a challenging life. Good luck with it,

    1. Amanda says:

      Bill, Please stop. I am an aesthetician in Minneapolis at a spa not medically directed by Dr. Jenkins. Your comments about trench coats, accusations, and 1000 dollar challenges are just playing into their hands. I know you mean well, but you are making us look very bad. Obviously you work for or with Maureen. Your comments are making us look petty, ignorant, spiteful, immature and unprofessional. I know you mean well, but please stop. You are hurting our cause not helping it.
      Bill, Please stop.

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