4 Good Reasons to Supplement Your NHS Income with Aesthetic Practice

Working as an NHS doctor is often challenging, particularly with  the current understaffing and intense pressure levels throughout the system. As a doctor it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and although most GPs work tirelessly, the system around them  isn’t supportive, despite their desire to do the best for their patients. At its worst, this level of demand  compromises a doctor’s home life and can lead to an endless cycle of overwork and stress that results in an unhealthy work/life balance.

My own case is a perfect example. I love being an NHS doctor but on long shifts I often found myself day-dreaming about a career in an environment that would allow me to do the best for my patients and still get job satisfaction. It felt like a fantasy – it certainly wasn’t anything like my daily experience of NHS practice. But aesthetics has changed the way I think about my job. Today, I love going to work and enjoy the variety and challenges that such a fast growing sector offers. My workload is satisfying because I have the opportunity to:

  • teach students new to the field
  • treat patients
  • manage complex problems
  • deploy resources effectively
  • have a huge impact on patients’ quality of life.

And that’s just an average week! My career change as a doctor was the best decision I have ever made, delivering a better work/life balance, a higher income and flexibility around selecting the type of work I enjoy doing most.

1. Problems with work/life balance 

  • All doctors are hardworking.Recent NHS contract disputes have resulted in  many experiencing a loss of earnings and negative changes in work environments.
  • More often than not, frustration, time pressure and limited resources lead to doctors feeling they don’t have enough time with patients and worry they aren’t doing justice to their concerns.
  • As a result, many doctors are looking for a change in career, and seeking new career prospects.  Aesthetic medicine is the logical solution to these pressures.

2.  Aesthetic practice rewards doctors on multiple levels

  • Working in aesthetics alongside your NHS career is much more lucrative and enjoyable than undertaking a locum shift in the NHS
  • Botox treatments and dermal filler treatments are calculated to  contribute £2.75 billion in the UK, a sum which is growing year upon year.
  • Doctors can expect to double their NHS income by holding just four aesthetic clinics a month, at convenient times such as weekends or evenings.
  • Job satisfaction is unparalleled – improving a patient’s quality of life and delivering an excellent maintenance programme to preserve aesthetic outcomes is exciting and fulfilling.

3. Doctors are uniquely well placed to work within the aesthetics industry

  • Treatments are minimally invasive, relatively low risk and carry a high satisfaction rate for patient and doctor alike.
  • Doctors make excellent practitioners with transferable skills for aesthetic practice.
  • A doctor is well positioned to become an expert within the aesthetics industry, offering a high level of service to patients, as well as being able to teach students and to work with pharmaceutical companies as a key opinion leader.

4. Training towards excellence with Harley Academy

Qualified doctors are eligible for the Aesthetics Medicine specialty training programme which offers the highest standard of training in the UK and covers Level 7 (postgraduate) training in both injectables and cosmetic dermatology

Changing my career direction towards aesthetics has been the best decision I’ve ever made and I relish my high levels of job satisfaction, enjoy a  better work/life balance and an increased income. And that’s not all – I also have more opportunities to teach and experience wide variety in my working week.

If you’d like to explore how satisfying a career in Aesthetic Medicine can be, call us to start your career with our Level 7 course. 


Head of Community, Dr Mehta is a medical doctor and aesthetic practitioner with a postgraduate diploma in clinical dermatology. He is Harley Academy medical lead on Skin Rejuvenation courses, and offers advice, guidance and support to our community of Level 7 students and graduates.