As part of a new series of Level 7 Success Story articles, we speak to Harley Academy graduates. They explain their aesthetic medicine career journey in their own words, including why they chose to train with us and how the Level 7 helped them prepare for real world practice.
Introducing Dr Sidra Shakir…
Can you tell us a bit about your medical background and where you work now?
I am a cosmetic doctor with a background of working in the NHS in A&E and stroke medicine. Now I work at Dr Leah’s Clinic, Loughton, Courthouse Clinic, Brentwood, and I offer my own clinic from Farringdon.
What made you get into aesthetic medicine?
I got into aesthetics to find a nice work/life balance and I’ve always had an interest in beauty from a clinical perspective.
What is your approach to aesthetics?
I strongly believe in natural enhancements. I am not a very big fan of achieving the “Instagram look” with big lips and chiselled jaws because I, personally, think that one should not be following the trends with the face. Rather, I believe in restoring the volume we lose due to ageing, softening lines and wrinkles and achieving great skin.
Why did you choose to take the Level 7 qualification?
I chose to do the Level 7 because it’s one of the most nationally accredited and regulated qualifications of its kind. It gives you enough experience, in terms of supervised and observed cases, that you don’t really “practice” on the clients.
I really didn’t want to do a one or two day course and start injecting people’s faces unsupervised. So I really wanted to be confident enough before I actually started working alone.
My main concern was, after completing those observed and supervised cases, whether I will be able to start injecting alone and whether I’d be confident enough. The answer is, yes – 100 per cent I would say that I was confident enough to start practicing alone.
How did you find your Level 7 training?
Before starting, I didn’t think that it would be this comprehensive and well-structured. It is a well-structured and comprehensive course – it’s not really as simple as we think. You have to start with the eLearning and then you have to go for your observed and supervised cases. Then, where I worked really hard was the SAQs ; I wrote almost 28,000 words for my SAQs and then I sat an OSCE , so it was hard work.
I got a lot of support from my mentors; I especially want to mention Tristan, Marcus and Kal . When I started injecting, whenever I was stuck with something or I needed a better treatment plan – or wanted to discuss my treatment plan – I’d send them an email or give them a call and they were quite approachable.
Which part of your training did you enjoy the most?
My mentoring sessions, both observed and supervised – especially the supervised – I really enjoyed them the most. You have to start with a proper comprehensive consultation then you have to treat the patient, you have to tell them about the aftercare advice. You really learn how to run a clinic on a daily basis.
What effect has achieving the Level 7 qualification had on your career?
The Level 7 has really helped me towards having a natural enhancement approach to aesthetics. It is a comprehensive course, you have to learn anatomy, you have to learn the ageing process and then you make your treatment plan based on this knowledge.
Would you recommend healthcare professionals looking for a thorough aesthetic medicine training course complete the Level 7 at Harley Academy?
I would definitely recommend doing the Level 7 at Harley Academy because of these reasons…
Number one, the Level 7 is the most accredited and regulated qualification of its kind.
Secondly, at Harley Academy you are really well supported. The mentors are quite approachable and whenever you need them, drop them an email. You can discuss the case and, for me, I definitely recommend them because I believe in natural enhancements and I believe my mentors also believe in achieving the same.
Alternatively, you can book a call with Deneal Basi, our head of student recruitment. He’s happy to discuss your requirements and find the best course options for you so we can help you on your path to becoming #HarleyTrained.