From time to time our cosmetic practice account receives emails that look like this:
Look at that- “anyone may attend.” You pay your fee, attend a quick six-hour class and -BOOM- you can say you know how to inject Botox®! Similar weekend classes offer to teach people how to inject fillers like Restylane® and Perlane®.
I see many advertisements for businesses offering cosmetic services including facials, waxing, laser hair removal, and also injectable treatments. These services are typically performed by an aesthetician or nurse who attended a similar course. By law, they have to work under the supervision of a physician. But consider this: the supervising physician may not be the person who attended the course! In fact, they may not have had any formal training in aesthetics or injectables!
Is a six hour class enough time to learn how to properly administer injectable treatments?
Would you knowingly trust your face to someone with this minimal amount of training?
Let’s look at this another way. We all have hidden talents and dabble in hobbies in our free time. I happen to think I’m a pretty great cook! I even took a cooking class! But I know better than to open a restaurant and call myself a chef. I know only the basics about food safety, industry regulations, and the consequences of casual mistakes that could deeply impact someone else’s health – feeding the masses is therefore better left to the true professionals!
Professionalism in any discipline requires years of training, effort, and practice. This is especially true when the technical skill in question is delicately injecting foreign substances into someone’s face! Injections are medical procedures- that is why a physician needs to be involved. Why would you trust your face to someone who only took a six hour course?
Facial plastic surgeons spend years in residency and fellowship studying facial surgery and aesthetics. We read medical journals specific to our field and attend continuing education courses every year to ensure that our knowledge and skills are up to date.
Becoming board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery or ABFPRS is a difficult and rigorous process that takes a minimum of 7 years to complete. A residency in head and neck surgery, oral surgery, or general plastic surgery must be followed by a highly competitive fellowship or a minimum or two years of intense private practice before a candidate is even eligible to sit for the two day qualifying exam. I chose the fellowship route:
Final certification depends upon passing the oral and written portions of the exam and submitting a detailed case log of relevant procedures performed over a two year period.
Let’s keep it real, friends: it’s expensive to obtain these credentials. It’s therefore going to cost more to go to me than to someone who took a six hour course. And I understand that this cost difference is bound be a factor in deciding who practices on your face. Regardless of who you choose, I want you to literally be in good hands.
Please be sure to check your provider’s credentials!