Dr. Peirson Asks – Do you know why you choose your medical aesthetics clinic?
When it comes to our personal professional relationships, we’re pretty careful. Think of your hairdresser for example, how long have you been seeing them? Do you sometimes go to inexpensive quick cut places between cuts? Does your hairdresser have sales and that’s why you go? Likely not. You go to your hairdresser because you trust them, you like the work they do for you and you have a relationship that is comfortable, professional and long term. You trust them; they know you. Similarly, you probably don’t bounce around to different dentists for your dental care, or different massage therapists for your massage. Personal care professional relationships tend to be long term, loyal and not discount dependent.
So why is it then, that is it so common for people to bounce around between clinics for treatment of their aesthetic concerns?
There is likely a few reasons why this happens such as:
- lowest price (people sometimes feel guilty spending on themselves or just like to shop the sales)
- availability of service in one place but not another
- desire for immediate appointment instead of booking in advance
Going back to our original idea, would you decide upon a new hairdresser based on the lowest price point? Would you see a particular dentist because he employs a hygienist you like but now you plan to attend another because they provide the lowest price on fillings? Would you be comfortable if you called a new massage therapist and she could see you anytime that same day or would it make you wonder why she’s not booked up? Do you expect your dentist and massage therapist to offer sales?
Why is it that even though we are typically very committed to our personal care professionals and willing to pay for their expertise, we often haven’t developed the same relationship with our aesthetic care specialist? Part of the reason may be since medical aesthetics is a new industry and norms haven’t yet developed. So, let’s talk about that.
The practice of medical aesthetics has developed organically over time. It is not a recognized area of medical specialty and it falls entirely outside the universal provincial health care system. Consequently, it’s highly unregulated.
Nonetheless, there is some regulation such as:
- physicians or nurses who practice in the field must report their change in scope of practice to their regulatory bodies and provide proof that they have undertaken the required training necessary and have had sufficient oversight in their training
- physicians must be insured adequately to provide such services
- physicians and nurses may not practice outside their scope of practice e.g. A family physician may not do major cosmetic surgery, a RN or RPN nurse may not prescribe medications independent of physician oversight (which includes things like Botox)
- non-regulated professionals may not work outside their scope of practice e.g. A medical aesthetician may not draw blood; a laser technician may not provide injectable treatments
- prescription drugs must be prescribed by a physician or nurse practitioner (and for NP’s only within the scope of their practice)
These facts may seem reassuring, but the fact is that there is very little oversight of aesthetic medicine business practice. In particular, medspas are highly unregulated. It’s not uncommon these days to find spas that principally provide manicures, pedicures, waxing, massage etc. that are also bringing in a nurse to provide injectable treatments such as Botox or fillers once or twice a month. This is problematic on several levels. First, all individuals who are to receive prescription injectables are supposed to be under the care of a physician or nurse practitioner (NP). Sometimes this means an RN or RPN nurse injects Botox and a doctor is skyped in to do a consult in advance. However, a lot of the time even this is not happening. The nurse is working in a non-medical setting without the benefit of medical policies and procedures in place and is not available should a problem develop later. The overseeing doctor who provides the Botox to the nurse is even further outside the picture.
All in all, there is a lot of laxity within the aesthetics industry and in comes down to caveat emptor – buyer beware. Most people are exactly that – careful and aware when establishing their professional personal care relationships. Ideally the same notion should be applied to medical aesthetic relationships. The relationship should be based on trust, professionalism and the best standards of care.
At ArtMed, we feel that medical aesthetics is a specialty and should be run like any other medical specialty clinic. There is a chain of responsibility that leads to the physicians. Nurses are supervised and can easily consult with the physicians. Medical laser technicians have supervision and support from the medical team of physicians and nurses. Policies and procedures are in place to provide optimal safety and best practices (and thus best outcomes). Additionally, we feel that aging is natural and happens over the very long term. Consequently, establishing a long-term relationship is the best way to realize your short and long-term anti-aging and aesthetic goals.
ArtMed is Guelph’s leading medical aesthetics clinic and we offer the widest range of treatment options in the region. We will custom design a treatment plan that addresses your unique concerns because we want to establish a long-term medical aesthetics personal professional relationship with you.