Aesthetic Medicine: a growing specialty

Aesthetic Medicine, a constantly evolving field, stands out for its non-invasive approach and ethical commitment. Accessible to all medical doctors, this specialty, although not officially recognized by universities, has made a name for itself thanks to standard treatments such as botulinum toxin, hyaluronic acid and medical lasers.

Evolution of Aesthetic Medicine

Aesthetic Medicine is a specialty not recognized as such by the various universities around the world, since it is considered a sub-specialty, a Master’s degree, or a post-graduate specialization. It is open to all medical doctors.

Aesthetic medicine has been around for 30 years now, with many different types of treatment progressing and certain treatments becoming Gold standards in Aesthetic Medicine, such as botulinum toxin, hyaluronic acid or medical lasers, particularly for hair removal, or Energy Based Devices, which stimulate collagen- and elastin-secreting fibroblasts using different energy sources such as radiofrequency or ultrasound.

As with any new discipline, many doctors from different backgrounds have become interested in the various treatments and possibilities offered by Aesthetic Medicine. Today, there are three main specialties that have declared themselves expert and dominant in the world of Aesthetic Medicine: dermatologists, plastic surgeons and general practitioners. For different reasons, each specialty claims its own legitimacy: dermatology for its skin expertise, plastic surgery for its aesthetic approach, and general medicine for its curiosity and holistic approach.

Aesthetic Medicine as we know it today is the result of the work of numerous practitioners who have imported, tested techniques and published results, and who are now shaping the contours of modern Aesthetic Medicine, which aims to be safe, effective, non-invasive and ethical. Although excesses can be seen in the media and on the street, the vast majority of patients who use modern Aesthetic Medicine techniques do so in an extremely moderate manner, with highly satisfactory and undetectable results.

The importance of training in Aesthetic Medicine

These three major specialties are behind the greatest advances in Aesthetic Medicine. However, there were years when many considered that Aesthetic Medicine should be the preserve of dermatologists, plastic surgeons or general practitioners, which prevented the emergence of a common training and theoretical framework recognized by the authorities. But this was an error of analysis, because as is often the case, the desire to protect one’s assets, to defend an ideology, through a corporation, often leads to a lack of consensus, and therefore to a lack of opportunities for the healthy growth and development of a concept. As I write these words, I can see that the greatest threat to patients, and indirectly to the future of practitioners of Aesthetic Medicine, comes not from colleagues in other specialties, but from unqualified beauticians or ordinary people who buy products of dubious quality on the Internet and declare themselves to be professional laser injectors or epilators. But fear often outweighs reason, and this is what has for years prevented this magnificent specialty from blossoming into a medical specialty that could have been recognized much sooner. That’s what we’re trying to do with the SAMBA Academy of Aesthetic Medicine. Undoubtedly, so that in the future, all doctors wishing to practice Aesthetic Medicine will do so on a common knowledge base, thus harmonizing practices, managing patients more safely, and preparing for the next step, which will certainly be the authorization of injections for non-physicians, The same applies to medical lasers and most delegated medical procedures, which certainly require greater knowledge of the body, but which can be learned safely if the procedure is repeated and supervised to manage any complications.

This would have enabled all doctors wishing to practice Aesthetic Medicine to undergo high-quality training that would have met with consensus among the various learned societies. I’ve personally followed several projects that didn’t come to fruition, because they were supported by one or other of the corporations. This is what motivated me and my colleague, Dr. Delarive, to set up the SAMBA Academy in the first place. By being careful to propose this project to experts who share the core values of evidence-based medicine, safety, harmonious treatment and ethics, and who come from the three specialties mentioned above. This means that professional dermatologists, plastic surgeons and aesthetic physicians have come together around shared values to offer a diploma and courses that are based on modern publications and that go beyond the divisions that have existed for years. The ultimate goal is to have a corporation of doctors.

Towards a harmonized future

The aim of evidence-based training is therefore to be able to define a framework of practice for practitioners who want to engage in a virtuous professional process of training in Aesthetic Medicine. This includes a complete theoretical part, followed by practical training and, in the future, follow-up training at SAMBA-approved medical centers. And we hope that it will certainly be joined by other projects of this type in the future. Our vision is that of an Aesthetic Medicine with several training courses, all based on a common scientific and evidence-based foundation.

In addition to training and sharing a common core of knowledge, the aim is also to create a community of doctors who share the same values and can therefore exchange ideas. This is also where a model like that of SAMBA, or other hybrid academies, with part digital distance learning and part practical training through internships or workshops, will help develop a community. In particular, through the dedicated learning platform, where doctors can ask questions, search the library of questions for answers they may have in their practice, consult a colleague on a specific issue, express their concerns, possible complications, dissatisfactions, but also satisfactions, ideas for trips, ideas for conferences. What are the latest innovations, an opinion on this or that practice that is developing in this or that part of the world – in short, a real community that will be able to exchange and share a certain amount of information to help the specialty grow, all within a scientific framework.

Conclusion

Aesthetic Medicine is more than just a medical specialty; it’s a fast-growing community dedicated to excellence, innovation and ethics. As practitioners, we’re at the heart of this exciting evolution, committed to delivering exceptional care and shaping the future of our profession.

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