Susan J. Bushelman, M.D.
Your Guide On An Aesthetic Journey
Susan Bushelman, M.D., approaches aesthetics with a simple, yet profound philosophy – offer a variety of first-rate cosmetic treatments to help clients look their best and start to live with renewed confidence. It’s all part of what she refers to as an “aesthetic journey,” which is the focal point of Derm Aesthetics of Northern Kentucky.
Dr. Bushelman is a board-certified dermatologist and expert injector who leads the team at Derm Aesthetics. She performs injectable neuromodulators, such as Botox® and Xeomin®, dermal fillers, a variety of laser techniques, and a host of other treatment options. She’s also board eligible in internal medicine, a board member and past president of the Northern Kentucky Medical Society and the NKMS Foundation, and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Before she set out to conquer the worlds of dermatology and aesthetics, the proud Boone County native was raised on a 12-acre farm featuring a small menagerie of animals. Much of her childhood was happily spent exploring the woods and creeks on horseback with her siblings. Later, she played volleyball in junior high and high school, while also being heavily involved with the color guard – even serving as captain her senior year.
Bushelman then attended Northern Kentucky University, where she worked as a phlebotomist and lab technician at the local hospital. She then fulfilled a goal of attending University of Kentucky College of Medicine, though her initial medical path didn’t yet involve dermatology.
Bushelman first became board-certified through an internal medicine residency at UK. But an unexpected fascination for dermatology soon had her setting a different course, this time with a corresponding residency at University of New Mexico.
“We explain to our patients that aesthetics is a journey. There’s not one thing that we’re going to do that’s going to give you optimal results right off the bat. It’s an ongoing process.”
Why the sudden change of heart? In her last year of med school, Bushelman met a dermatologist in Hendersonville, Tennessee. An ensuing conversation between the two ignited a spark that would quickly change Bushelman’s trajectory.
“We started talking and I was absolutely fascinated. When I trained at UK, they didn’t have a department of dermatology, so I was never exposed to it,” Bushelman said. “When I talked to Dr. Wesley, I became very interested. It wasn’t what I imagined a dermatologist did. Thanks to that conversation and more research on my part, I soon did a dermatology rotation.”
Bushelman fell in love with the fast-paced field during her rotation at Wright State Univesity, not to mention the wide variety it offered.
“One of the first things that interested me was the variety,” she said. “I did a lot of my internal medicine training at the VA, which I loved, but it was basically a single population at that time – no women and no young people. With dermatology, you see everyone. Whether it’s general dermatology, surgery, or cosmetic, you can take it so many different directions in that one specialty.”
After earning her doctorate from UK, Dr. Bushelman accepted her first position at Trover Clinic, a multi-specialty clinic in Madisonville, Kentucky. It was there that she would become acquainted with the wild, wonderful world of medical aesthetics.
“I was the only dermatologist there,” Bushelman explained. “They hadn’t had a dermatologist in a long time. The ophthalmologist there used Botox for blepharospasm occasionally. For those procedures, he might use 20 units out of a 100-unit bottle. I was able to secure the rest and try my hand at aesthetic injections. I had no shortage of volunteers of nurses and staff wanting to get Botox.”
Those Botox injections quickly materialized into a thirst for more avenues in aesthetics. Then, after a fond four years at Trover Clinic, the time came in 2003 for Dr. Bushelman to join the practice of Dermatology Associates of Northern Kentucky, an essential homecoming to an area where her family name was already well known. Her uncle, the late Ted Bushelman, was a fixture in the community as the former spokesperson for the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport and former Vice Mayor of Florence.
“He was very well known and very well liked in the community,” Dr. Bushelman said. “So all of my life, people would hear my last name and ask if I was related to Ted.”
But soon, Dr. Bushelman would make a name for herself, working hard to provide exceptional care to the people in the community she proudly calls home.
As her patient base in aesthetics at Dermatology Associates of Northern Kentucky grew (and continues to grow), it became evident that more services were needed.
“Initially, we did Botox and eventually added fillers,” Bushelman said. “But so many times, I couldn’t address certain patients’ issues with just Botox and filler. That’s when we would try and direct patients to another practice that would meet their needs. Eventually, I was able to partner with another Dermatologist in another office who had a lot of lasers. I would go to her office a couple of times a month and schedule patients there. That afforded me a chance to take care of more of their needs. We built a great network of referrals, but it was in our best interest to do more and have better control of our patients’ aesthetic journeys.”
As the aesthetic side of the business grew, it became apparent that Bushelman needed more room to meet the demand. That’s when Derm Aesthetics of Northern Kentucky was born.
“We realized we could make this bigger and serve patients better, but we needed more space to do it,” Bushelman explained.
Dr. Bushelman is still proudly affiliated with Dermatology Associates for the medical side. Derm Aesthetics, on the other hand, provides more of a med spa atmosphere.”
What’s best for her patients, as Dr. Bushelman puts it, is to look more refreshed and not “overdone.” That’s why she’s excited about new technologies to further expand Derm Aesthetics’ capabilities.
“Our goal is to be able to completely treat the patient with whatever tools we have available,” Bushelman explains.
At the end of the day, it’s all about producing happy patients and fostering a level of confidence that was lacking before.
“I had a patient just recently come back for a follow-up and she was in tears,” Bushelman said. “She said, ‘No one ever told me I was pretty before.’ We always try to set clear expectations, so we usually get happy patients…and that’s what we all want.”
Aside from dermatology and aesthetics, Dr. Bushelman has quite the list of interesting hobbies, including gardening her five acres, international travel with trips to Africa, Amsterdam, Paris, and Iceland, and annual hiking trips with her girlfriends. Some favorite hiking adventures that come to mind involve Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, and Glacier National Park in Montana.
Photos from these trips remain cherished possessions. In fact, there’s one in particular hanging in her office that stirs quite the conversation among patients.
“It’s a picture of my girlfriends and I hiking in the desert in Utah. I’m wearing long sleeves and we each have a big hat with a cloth attached. All you can see is the slit of our eyes,” Bushelman laughed. “It’s titled ‘Hiking in the Desert with your Dermatologist.’”
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bushelman, call (859) 363-5394.