Stephen Cosentino, DO, is the founder, president, and medical director for Empire Medical Training, Inc. (EMT), a top provider of continuing education in medicine and aesthetics for healthcare professionals.
Dr. Cosentino is a board-certified family medicine practitioner with more than two decades of clinical experience in the aesthetics field. Since founding Empire Medical Training in 1998, he has devoted his professional life to educating physicians and healthcare practitioners on a global scale. Dr. Cosentino knows that the medical community would be nowhere without its selfless, hardworking professionals, and he has been proud to support and serve those professionals since the very beginning.
In the years since Empire Medical Training’s inception, Dr. Cosentino has expanded his vision to encompass a multitude of other healthcare delivery segments, and the organization today is recognized as a leading light in the continuing medical education and procedural training seminar industry.
With a well-earned reputation for attentive, hands-on clinical oversight, Dr. Stephen Cosentino and his capable staff of expert physician faculty educators provide bespoke training to private practitioners and hospital system staff throughout the United States, empowering students to remain at the forefront of their specialties. His training modules cover a wide range of procedures and techniques, including aesthetics, dermatology, anti-aging and regenerative medicine, pain management, hair restoration, weight loss, topical procedures such as Botox, and cosmetic surgery.
Today, the Empire Medical Training curriculum features nearly 50 courses, including proprietary, state-of-the-art procedures and techniques not available anywhere else. Empire Medical Training also provides training in nonmedical disciplines such as marketing, business practice, and social media, giving practitioners the tools needed to remain competitive in an increasingly saturated healthcare marketplace.
Dr. Cosentino’s reputation extends well beyond the borders of his home country. Over the years, he has served as a consultant and mentor for aesthetic practitioners and other healthcare providers throughout the Americas. His client list includes practices and providers in Canada, Puerto Rico, and South America.
Before founding Empire Medical Training, Dr. Cosentino managed and operated several pain management clinics and medical spas in South Florida. He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) at Nova Southeastern University College Of Osteopathic Medicine, in Davie, Florida, and completed his family practice residency at the prestigious Mount Sinai Hospital system in New York City. He lives in the greater Miami area.
Where did the idea for Empire Medical Training, Inc. come from?
I decided to create Empire Medical Training shortly after completing my residency program in family medicine. At the time, I was a young board-certified physician who practiced medicine in both office and hospital-based settings. It was during these early years that a colleague who specialized in orthopedic medicine taught me how to perform a variety of interventional pain-management procedures, which enabled me to better serve my patients and community. As my expertise in pain management grew, other medical professionals began contacting me to teach them these techniques.
Patients and physicians in my community sought me out because my services included interventional pain management injection techniques in addition to more standard primary care services. Although back then I lacked business experience, I possesed a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a belief that primary care practitoners should not be limited in the services they offer. I decided to create an educational company that focused on providing top-quality training to physicians in pain-management services. It was not long before Empire Medical Training expanded our curriculum to include training in aesthetics, anti aging, dermatology, medicine, surgery, and business for physicians, dentists, nurses, and other health care professionals of all specialties and focus.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I feel I am very fortunate and have the greatest job in the world. I interact with some of the world’s most renowned physicians, working closely with them to create educational programs to help our colleagues and other practitioners improve their skills and grow their practices. I also work day-to-day with the department heads in all areas of the business, including educational development, business and marketing, and administration.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I enjoy discussing new business opportunities and strategies to grow Empire Medical Training. I am also fortunate to be surrounded by some of the greatest minds in our area of focus. Many of the new concepts and ideas that we implement into our business model are derived from our customer base, including physicians, nurses, dentists, etc. We work very closely with our clients and carefully listen to their ideas and requests for new services, programs, and methods to enhance our current training programs.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Empire Medical Training provides a full educational curriculum in aesthetics, anti aging, regenerative medicine, and pain management. Although each of these specialties are dynamic and constantly growing, we are seeing more growth in the area of aesthetics than anything else. It seems like every day we learn about a new aesthetic procedure being developed or offered in some other part of the world, and that procedure is just becoming mainstream in the USA. We enjoy the challenges and opportunities of bringing these new modalities to our client base and providing education in these new techniques and procedures.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
One habit that has served me very well in my career — and one I strive to continue to expand and develop — is to understand our customers’ needs and desires. I am inspired by the most successful businesses that flourish today with their dynamic leaders, such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and many others. I try to learn from these leaders and imitate what they do. I have always put myself in a position to understand other people, particularly our customer base, and have been further motivated by these business leaders as they share insights into how they have grown their businesses.
What advice would you give your younger self?
One essential piece of advice that’s valuable to people of all ages is “understand your customers’ needs and desires.” You may think that you have the best idea or method of doing something, but you will never really know unless you interview, survey, and speak with your customers. In the digital world, marketers often utilize the concept of A/B testing, which essentially is the same concept of understanding your customer and their actions.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Regardless of your industry or how you market your business, the internet remains the fulcrum of everything we do. As a business owner, I am constantly online studying my industry to discover what is new. To do this, I also examine competitors to learn about their habits and methods they may be employing. It is my responsibility to make sure we are always doing the job better and in a manner desired by our clients.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I think most successful business owners will agree that persistence is key to their success. It is often said that if one method does not work, you need to keep trying different approaches until you find the one that works. One caveat is that this strategy can’t be done haphazardly; it needs to be performed in an intelligent, effective manner. Your outcomes need to be determined and set in advance, after which you can be persistent at achieving your goals.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Early in my career, I developed a marketing company whose services included creating websites and performing digital media tasks. While we have since transformed the operation into a thriving company, we did encounter failures in the beginning. These derived from our incomplete knowledge of the inner workings of the services we were providing. We relied too heavily on the web designers to generate the product and manage any complications that arose. Looking back, I see that I should have managed these issues myself, with the help of upper management and others with a stake in the company. This is a common issue in many new business. In fact, we often encounter business owners who don’t fully understand how to perform the services they offer or take ownership of issues that arise. Without this knowledge and follow-through, a business can’t deliver the best service to customers or fully understand their customers’ issues or complaints. Before starting a business or adding a new service, you need to understand every aspect of what it is you are offering, including how the services operate and how to generate the end product or service. The lessons we have learned have enabled us to develop a better product and to provide better customer service with consistent confidence, integrity, and results.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Physicians need many services and products to facilitate their effectiveness for treating patients. Physicians, like most of us, are also motivated to generate more profits while working less, enjoying more free time. Empire Medical Training has done well over the past 22 years because our main focus has been to help practitioners generate more revenue by learning and integrating profitable procedures into their practices that will help them increase revenue and help patients. Physician education will always be a great industry because of the payment model that the health care industry utilizes. Practitioners are reimbursed less and less for more difficult and more time-consuming work. Practitioners will continue to look for ways to generate more revenue by learning procedures that are simple to perform and both safe and effective for patients. Empire Medical Training, and any other business that would like to help practitioners, should continue to look for procedures and services that practitioners can offer in their practices that are sought-after, profitable, safe, and effective for patients.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I spent was on an Anthony Robbins audio program, which has helped me in my business and my personal life. I highly recommend Anthony Robbins materials as a worthwhile investment that can potentially improve many areas of your life. He has helped me develop habits that I utilize daily in business. For example, he encourages people to treat life like a round table with legs. This means that you should first decide what are the most important areas of your life, (such as family, busines, health, religion, etc.) and then assign each area of your life to a leg of the table. His message here is that you can drastically improve your life if you commit an equal amount of time to each of those areas. If instead you focus all your time on one or two areas and neglect the other “legs,” you are destined to encounter problems in the long run because your table needs four sturdy legs to function.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
One of my favorite books that I turn to repeatedly is “The Power,” which has helped me more than any book I’ve ever read. The book is written in a very simplistic style and is intended to help you achieve a happier, healthier, and better life, both personally and professionally. I believe it is a religious-based book, although it does not give too many specifics, as it revolves around how to lead a God giving, meaningful life. The main focus of the book is about the “law of attraction” and how you can achieve your goals by attracting the things, the people, the feelings, and the life that you desire and deserve.
What is your favorite quote?
One of my favorite quotes is from the movie “Rocky,” when Sylvester Stallone talks about how in life we are all going to get “hit” (like a boxer) but it’s not important how hard we get hit, it’s more important that we can take it and keep coming back. This is true in all areas of our lives every day.
- Understand your customers’ needs and desires. You may think that you have the best idea or method of doing something, but you will never really know unless you interview, survey, and speak with your customers.
- Before starting a business or adding a new service, you need to understand every aspect of what it is you are offering, including how the services operate and how to generate the end product or service.
- It is often said that if one method does not work, you need to keep trying different approaches until you find the one that works. One caveat is that this strategy can’t be done haphazardly; it needs to be performed in an intelligent, effective manner.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.