The new medical aesthetic

The first time I had heard about aesthetic medicine was in 2004. The way a dietician is fully trained in nutrition, and a cardiologist is an expert with the heart, and so on,  I was unclear about exact role of medical aesthetic surgeon. To me, the role of such a doctor seemed to require a lot of different skills, and this instantly attracted my attention to the field.

Over time, I had come to learn that the role of an aesthetic doctor was very rich and complex. During the period I was in medical school, something had stuck to me, and that was hearing that the concept of health was changing. According to WHO, health is defined as is; “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease.”  It appeared that in order to “feel good,” one was no longer confined to having diseases. Rather, it implies that a satisfactory social integration is necessary as not to create a conflict between the internal image of the  “self” and the “being” that the outsiders see. In light of all these considerations, the role of an aesthetic doctor has become enriched with new meaning in my eyes. No longer had such a profession seemed a battle against fat deposits and aging, rather it had become a quest to help individuals seek wellness  in their own essence and being.

In my experience, over the course of twenty years, aesthetic medicine has expanded its target demographic. Previously, aesthetic procedures were mainly done on the likes of VIP’s and celebrities, a small minority of the population. Today, I can say that 90% go my patients are ordinary people, such as; workers, mothers, fathers, housewives, managers, and so on.  The objective  of procedures no longer seems to be the pursuit of youth, overdone in bad taste, but rather a means to express one’s own potential in order to feel good and to be at ease at social occasions.

My prediction for the near future is that a cosmetic doctor will become a regular figure in the patient’s life, similar to the role played by a dentist, doctor or hairdresser. I believe that a solid and trustworthy relationship between the patient and aesthetic doctor will aid in gracefully dealing with the aging process. I hope that the negative associations and stereotypes linked to aesthetic medicine over the past years, that has focused on transforming bodies and faces, and making them unrecognizable and unnatural, will fade.  My personal belief is that the core ethics of this profession is to respect and to take care of  my patients, such in the way the “art of medicine” has taught me.  Aesthetic medicine is a particular type of discipline; it does not necessarily save lives from imminent causes of death and the patients are in good health. Nonetheless, by performing at an optimum level of our practice, we are able to improve quality of our patient’s lives.

Dott. Dario Tartaglini