Introducing aesthetic medicine

February, 2023

Delivered exclusively online, the PGCert in Skin Ageing and Aesthetic Medicine at The University of Manchester acts as a mark of quality that your clients can recognise and trust, enabling you to build a reputation as an expert in your field

Dr Helen Graham is the academic programme director for the course. Her research has been dedicated to understanding the extracellular matrix and its effect on the mechanical properties of skin with age and ethnicity. Here Helen provides an insight into the PGCert in Skin Ageing and Aesthetic Medicine, the type of student this course is aimed at, and the changing world of aesthetics.

What is aesthetic medicine?

Aesthetic medicine is defined as the non-surgical, minimally or non-invasive procedures that aim to enhance the patients' satisfaction with their physical appearance. 

What type of students would suit a course in aesthetic medicine?

The course has been designed to support the professional development of qualified medical or dental practitioners. This course is aimed at clinically qualified health professionals (doctors, dentists and nurse practitioners) who are thinking of embarking upon a career in non-surgical aesthetic practice, or who already have an established practice but want to build and improve their existing knowledge to improve patient safety and care.

We ask that students hold a medical or dental degree (eg MBBS, BDS, LDS, MBChB) or overseas equivalent from an institution that is recognised and approved by the UK General Medical Council (GMC) or the General Dental Council (GDC). Or are nurse prescriber's who have successfully completed a Nursing and Midwifery Council Independent Nurse Prescribing Course (also known as V300 course) and are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as an independent prescriber.

What should students look for when choosing a course?

Students should look for Level 7 postgraduate programmes from an accredited institution that provides high-quality training, which focuses on procedural safety, critical appraisal of evidence and understanding best practice from qualified clinicians and scientists, who are experienced in the field of dermatology and aesthetic medicine.

What one thing is affecting aesthetic medicine right now that students should be aware of?

In March 2022 the UK government agreed to introduce a new system of licensing for the previously unregulated sector of nonsurgical cosmetic procedures in England.

This latest development will give the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care the power to introduce a national licensing regime, which will likely mandate training and inspection of premises. Students should therefore be aware of this development and ensure that their training programme aligns with the Health Education England qualification requirements for delivery of cosmetic procedures. 

How do you see careers in the area developing over the next ten years?

It is likely that the demand for aesthetic procedures will continue to increase as our ageing population grows. With the changes in licensing requirements, an informed public will be seeking licenced, clinically-trained aesthetic practitioners for their procedures, which highlights the importance of holding a qualification that is recognised for both licensing purposes and will be trusted by patients.

What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in aesthetic medicine?

Take a course in aesthetic medicine. It will not only provide you with the foundation knowledge behind procedural safety and safe, ethical, evidence-based, patient-centred care, but it will enable you to meet and join a support network of experienced tutors and practitioners, which extends beyond the timeframe of your programme.  

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