Why I trained in aesthetic medicine

Helen Marsden

Helen Marsden, Durham Private Doctors

I am well known within Durham City as a General Practitioner, having worked at Claypath & University Medical Practice for over 15 years. I have lived and worked in Durham for most of my life and I hope that I am a well-respected doctor, not only for my clinical skills but also for my communication and inter-personal skills.

The role of the GP has changed dramatically over the years since I graduated as a doctor from London in 1996. I continue to work as a GP ‘to keep my hand in’ and to stay up to date and maintain my registration. This is still a role I enjoy and hope to continue on a part-time basis.

I wanted to explore avenues of further training for doctors. For many years I have enjoyed the practical aspects of being a GP. I am trained in minor skin surgery, joint injections as well the fitting of contraceptive devices.

Medical aesthetics certainly ticks the box of allowing me to continue working in traditional medicine whilst allowing me to learn many new skills and techniques and increasing the variety of my work.

I embarked on Foundation level training in Aesthetics (Botox and Dermal Filler) early in 2017 and trained with Derma Medical. My intention was to undergo Foundation level training and then consolidate the basic skills before extending my repertoire. This allowed me to ‘dip my toe into the water’ to see if this was something that I enjoyed. Most importantly for me, I was able to explore new career options and see if medical aesthetics was a role I could excel at. I hope you agree that it does!

It didn’t take very long at all for me to realise that this was a role that I loved and indeed something that I could do very well. I also realised that I wanted to learn more and so the Advanced level training was a natural next step. It is important to me that I never stop learning.

In the New Year I travelled to London to undertake a Lip Master-class. I loved this hands on, practical workshop and I learned lots of new techniques to share with my clients. I’m sure it won’t be long before there is another learning adventure on the horizon.

I am now working in a field of medicine that I love. Aesthetics is a largely unregulated industry and it is important to me that customers feel safe and confident in my care with their aesthetics treatment. There are many cheap treatments going on and I do worry about this. Not all clinics offer trained staff. We’ve all seen examples in the press of botched treatments with Botox and dermal fillers. People need to look at more than the price when considering a ‘bargain.’ They also need to ask: would my therapist know what to do if something doesn’t quite go to plan? Do they know how to sort problems? Will they follow me up? Is there any aftercare?

My training, knowledge and skills are used to assess client’s needs and to tailor their aesthetic treatment to their individual needs. Just as with all aspects of medicine, every patient is different, and whilst basic principles apply, everyone is different. In all aspects of my work as a doctor, I never quite know what the next patient will bring to me to sort out. Everyone has different needs and wants.

Is aesthetic treatment a ‘need’ or a ‘want’? I think the answer to this will be very different depending on who you ask. Someone may want a subtle augmentation to an otherwise small top lip which affects their self confidence; others may want a fashionable full pout. Some may want their wrinkles relaxing gently whilst allowing some facial expression whilst others seek out a frozen and totally wrinkle free look. My training and medical knowledge allow every treatment plan to be individualised.

If you would like to consult with me, please book an appointment online.