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Posted 27th May 2024

Harley Academy Publishes Novel Medical Aesthetics Education Research

Harley Academy publishes groundbreaking aesthetic medicine education research in aesthetic surgery journal

Pioneering Study Establishes Clear Pathways to Competence and Expertise for Aesthetic Practitioners

In a landmark collaboration, Harley Academy has joined forces with leading experts in aesthetic medicine to unveil groundbreaking research. This has been published in the prestigious Aesthetic Surgery Journal and sets a new standard in the field.

Titled "Identifying Levels of Competency in Aesthetic Medicine: A Questionnaire-Based Study", it represents a significant milestone in the quest for standardised educational pathways and enhanced patient safety.

Harley Academy Aesthetic Medicine Education Research Professor Sebastian Cotofana Dr Tristan Mehta

Defining competency in aesthetic medicine

The study was led by our academic director, Professor Sebastian Cotofana and a team of esteemed colleagues. It addresses the critical need for standardised educational frameworks in aesthetic medicine. With the demand for minimally invasive procedures on the rise, ensuring practitioner competence is paramount to safeguarding patient well-being.

Through a comprehensive questionnaire-based approach, the research identifies clear milestones for progression along the educational continuum. From novice to expert injector, the study delineates the essential competencies and experience levels necessary for proficiency in aesthetic practice.

Key findings and insights

Among the key findings of the study:

  • A defined pathway from novice to expert injector, with specific milestones for competence and expertise
  • Average practice duration and injection volumes required to achieve competency and expertise in aesthetic medicine
  • Identification of critical facial regions for targeted treatments at different levels of expertise.

These provide invaluable guidance for aspiring aesthetic practitioners and educators. They offer a roadmap for skill development and proficiency attainment in aesthetic medicine. 

For example, the findings can be used to clarify the average number of botox and filler treatments an injector needs to successfully administer to be seen as ‘competent’. It also determines the pathway from competency to becoming an aesthetic medicine ‘expert’.

By establishing these types of clear standards and benchmarks, our study aims to elevate the quality of aesthetics training and enhance patient outcomes. It will also make it easier for healthcare professionals to understand how to advance in medical aesthetics.

These game-changing ideals encapsulate the more standardised approach we see in other medical fields. As such, we hope they can bring clarity and order to the way aesthetic medicine education is approached, and treatments are administered. 

Harley Academy Aesthetic Medicine Education Research Sample Size

Harley Academy's commitment to advancing aesthetic medicine

As a leading provider of medical aesthetic training, Harley Academy is at the forefront of shaping the future of aesthetic medicine education. 

We are committed to patient-centred, evidence-based aesthetic practice and clinical innovation. Harley Academy empowers you, as healthcare professionals, to achieve mastery in the art and science of aesthetic medicine.

Our collaborative efforts and leading experts have yielded a pioneering study that sets a new benchmark in medical aesthetics education.

By defining clear pathways to competence and expertise, the research empowers aesthetics practitioners worldwide. It allows them to deliver safe, effective, and high-quality care to all patients.

As the UK awaits news on aesthetics regulation and licensing schemes for England, we believe this is a great step in the right direction for patient safety and practitioner confidence.

Harley Academy Aesthetic Medicine Education Research Chart on Perception of Risk for Adverse Events and Difficulty

Dr Tristan Mehta and Professor Sebastian Cotofana’s thoughts on this research

Founder and CEO of Harley Academy, Dr Tristan Mehta emphasises the significance of this research initiative. He states, "Our collaboration with respected leaders in the field underscores our commitment to advancing the standards of aesthetic medicine education. 

“By equipping aesthetics practitioners with the knowledge and skills they need to excel, we’re driving positive change and ensuring the highest standards of patient care."

Globally renowned anatomist and researcher, Professor Sebastian Cotofana further comments, “ There are currently no criteria outlining the skill set of an expert injector or a designated set of milestones that need to be completed in order to call oneself an Expert.

"To address this dilemma, I called out for participation in a research project via social media announcements and many of you answered... The results of this survey revealed:

  • There are three Levels of Expertise in Aesthetic Medicine: Novice, Competent, Expert (based on the Dreyfus criteria)
  • Novice is < 4 years in practice; < 790 filler treatments performed; < 550 toxin treatments performed
  • Competent: < 6 years in practice; <1,840 filler treatments performed; < 1,310 toxin treatments performed.
  • Expert: > 6 years in practice; more than 1,840 filler treatments performed; more than 1,310 toxin treatments performed."

"Additional results showed that:

  • Survey respondents with more training favoured longer training times whereas responders with short training favoured less training to progress toward Expert
  • Injectors who inject more during daily clinical practice favour stricter criteria to progress toward Expert."

"Most of this might sound like a self-fulfilling prophecy, but it is a great indicator of what is missing in our field: a structured educational path."

Professor Cotofana highlights that this is the first study to:

  • Provide a definition for the skill set of novice/competent/expert injectors based on levels of competency in medicine
  • Identify facial regions best-treated by novice or expert filler injectors
  • Identify facial regions best-treated by novice or expert toxin injectors.

He states, "I hope that many fruitful discussions will arise from this publication which will pave the way for a structured education in our field."

Dermal filler training course at Harley Academy London

Continuing the journey of discovery in aesthetic medicine education

Harley Academy's involvement in this groundbreaking research marks the beginning of a new era in aesthetic medicine education. 

With a dedication to ongoing research and collaboration, we remain committed to advancing knowledge, fostering excellence, and shaping the future of medical aesthetics.

Want to find out more about Harley Academy and our contributions to advancing aesthetic medicine? Our course advisors are available for a call whenever works for you! Book your free 15 minute advisory session and they’ll answer all your questions. 

Whether you’re just getting started and want help finding the best aesthetics course for you, or if you’re looking for guidance on our Level 7 Diploma in injectables. Our team is friendly, approachable and knowledgeable; they’ve helped thousands of healthcare professionals shape their medical aesthetics careers - why not let them help you, too?

All information correct at the time of publication

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