Why did you decide to dedicate yourself to aesthetic medicine?
I always knew I wanted to be a doctor; I never imagined doing anything else. Why aesthetic medicine? A friend invited me to go to Paris as soon as I finished my Medicine degree, and we went to the conference of the French Society of Aesthetic Medicine. The Spanish Society of Aesthetic Medicine hadn’t been created yet and I really enjoyed it. I thought, this is a good fit for me, I want health, beauty and wellbeing. Above all, I wanted to work closely with people and with patients. I started specialising in hydrology because it seemed the closest scientific field to aesthetic medicine. And the rest is history.
What do you think of the state of aesthetic medicine today?
It doesn’t look very good, it worries me. It worries me because so many people have trivialised it, they think it’s something frivolous or very easy, that you don’t have to do a medical residency, just aesthetic medicine. But you have to be a good doctor. We always say medicine with a capital “M” and you also need a lot of training to practise it. Every day, there’s more and more evidence on how we should be doing things, what we should know, and that’s why you have to study, you have to prepare and, of course, you have to be skilled.
What is the future of aesthetic doctors?
The future of aesthetic doctors will be whatever they want it to be. We know that there will always be a need for aesthetic medicina. Society is demanding it, and we´re increasingly aware that it´s a wellbeing medicina, and therefore, we need aesthetic doctors. The problem is, we need to create a speciality, an accreditation that really serves to promote aesthetic medicine and train people in a clear way to become an aesthetic doctor and then be recognisez as such. That´s the key, that has to be the future of aesthetic doctors: preparation, knowledge and recognition.
Which treatments are most in demand at the moment?
There’s no doubt about it: Botulinum toxin and hyaluronic fillers are the favourite aesthetic treatments. And after that? Then, I would say maybe the most important thing is a combination of treatments to rejuvenate, enhance the appearance, and always having more facial treatments than body treatments.
And this is where I would actually disagree because I wouldn’t say toxin treatments and fillers. I often complain that the only thing aesthetic doctors want to do is inject their patients. I think what we have to do is diagnose, fundamentally personalise and then combine treatments. That’s why I insist on combining treatments to achieve health, beauty and wellbeing, which are our goals.
What do you like most about your profession?
What do I like most? I could say that I love it all, but perhaps what I like most is working closely with my patients, talking to them, chatting with them and helping them feel good. I help them feel better, feel special. This also goes for their health because we help them to feel better and be better. Having direct contact with people and achieving and seeing the results. That’s essential for me. I do it, I see it, I value it. And that’s the beauty of my daily work.
What role do associations play in the sector?
Aesthetic medicine associations have played a key role in introducing the speciality through training. I´m an honorary member of the Spanish Society of Aesthetic Medicina and I used to be on its Board of Directors. I´m also chair of the Castile-La Mancha Association of Aesthetic Medicine and vice-president of the Association of Medical Experts in Oncology Aesthetics, and I believe that the three associations work in a very similar way, trying to achieve recognition for aesthetic medicine, which has been so recognition for aesthetic medicine, which has been so hard to do, helping doctors to gain recognition and get adequate training, and also establishing a relationship with institutions, such as the government, universities and companies. I believe that this work, this mediating role of the different associations, is essential.
Aesthetic medicine has entered fields such as oncology aesthetics – what role does it play in these fields?
Considering the number of cancer cases is on the rise and, fortunately, the chances of survival are also increasing, many of these patients will come to our practice. Who exactly? Patients who may have, are having or have had a cancer treatment. That’s why it’s essential we’re familiar with these cancer treatments, that we know how they interact with our treatments, and how some of our treatments can influence diagnostic techniques, for example.
Most importantly, aesthetic medicine plays a key role in every stage of the disease: preventing the disease, preventing adverse effects, minimising side effects during treatment, and once treatment is complete, helping patients to regain their looks. The therapeutic power of image is now universally recognised, and all patients have the right to comprehensive care. That’s why oncology aesthetics is needed, and what it does is use and adapt familiar techniques.
This adaptation is essential, this knowledge of what patients need, that they’re fragile and must be given what they need at all times, without ever forgetting this preventive role. Aesthetics plays a key role in preventing the disease, preventing relapses and preventing adverse effects.
Master’s students: are they getting better prepared every day?
If you’re asking me if students today are better prepared when they finish their master’s degree, I would say it’s essential they choose the right one. And the right master’s degree isn’t completely online or one you can get in three days. It’s essential they have the established hours of training and it’s at least a hybrid degree. While it’s true that many things can be done online or studied at home, it’s also essential that students have contact, a relationship with their tutors, that they can talk, ask questions and, of course, train and do internships.
If they´re not skilled and don´t perform the techniques beforehand, how can they perform them safely on patients?
What role does specialist training play in advancing the sector?
Specialist training is key to the development of the sector because it’s only through knowledge that we can ask for things, for example, in the field of fillers.
If I don’t have knowledge of geology, if I don’t know what I want, or that I have to have a different product for each need, then I won’t be able to tell the laboratory or the manufacturer designing those products what I want them to do. If I don’t know how to correct an adverse effect,
I’ll have a lot of problems when it comes to using it. I need knowledge and that knowledge will translate into a relationship with the industry sector, which we’re demanding works with increasing rigour, efficiency and with every guarantee for us and our patients.
What is the main challenge facing aesthetic medicine today?
The main challenge for aesthetic medicine, for our future, lies first and foremost in recognition. I think it’s increasingly important for us to be recognised, so we can fight against something that concerns us a great deal. Intrusion – of course, not among doctors, there’s no intrusion among doctors – but essentially among other professionals, health or non-health professionals, who without that training, without being doctors, without knowing exactly what they’re doing, allow themselves to practise aesthetic medicine.
Aesthetic medicine is only for doctors. This is something we must be very clear about. That’s why our future lies in continuous training, continuous learning. Patients must demand that aesthetic medicine is performed by doctors and we doctors must be capable of meeting this demand with the highest possible quality. And of course, our challenge is to reach out to all the institutions and demand the recognition that we so badly need, and which would avoid so many problems. Aesthetic medicine, by and for doctors.