Aesthetic medicine is becoming an increasingly popular choice among a variety of medical professionals looking to either change specialties, or add new services to their practices.
In any specialty, of course, there are a wide variety of pros and cons to be considered. Many factors can enter into the decision process, including money, lifestyle, and, perhaps most importantly, what you most enjoy doing.
The decision to change specialties can be even more difficult. It’s easy to look at your choice of specialty as a make-or-break decision that can never be altered, but it’s not uncommon for physicians to change their path throughout their careers.
AAAMS is dedicated to guiding the way for those professionals who choose to move or expand into the area of aesthetic medicine. Some of our most active members, and a significant portion of those making the move into aesthetic medicine are OB-GYNs.
Let’s explore some of the many reasons why an increasing number of these medical professionals are deciding to take this exciting step out of their comfort zone.
While in the past it may have been more common for women to accept post-pregnancy changes to their bodies as “badges of motherhood,” an increasing number of mothers are no longer willing to just accept these changes as unalterable facts of life.
More and more of these patients are looking into a variety of “mommy makeover” treatments, including stretch mark and other scar treatments, skin tightening, non-invasive body contouring, Botox, hair removal, dermal fillers, and a variety of other aesthetic services.
According to The Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America Continuing Medical Education program, “Americans spent $11.7 billion on medical aesthetic procedures in 2008, a 162% increase from a decade prior. Women make up roughly 92% of the total medical aesthetic services market. Among mothers, the popularity of such treatments continues to rise.”
Attendant on these numbers is the common-sense fact that many women exploring these aesthetic options are most comfortable discussing them with an OB-GYN with whom they have an established, trusting relationship.
In addition to the familiarity and trust of an established relationship, these patients generally believe such treatments to be safer or more efficacious when provided by an aesthetic practitioner in an OB-GYN office setting than a non-medical setting.
In addition to the services listed above, aesthetic gynecology is another field enjoying an increase in patient interest and demand. An increasing number of women are seeking answers and treatment in regard to their genital appearance.
Whether it’s labiaplasty, clitoral hoodectomy, vaginoplasty, hymenoplasty, G-spot amplification, or labia majora augmentation, demand is increasing for obstetricians and gynecologists who have the required aesthetic skills and experience to provide such services.
Increased patient base
The benefits of adding aesthetic services to your OB-GYN practice, however, are not limited to your patients. Making such a move can lead to increased satisfaction and retention among current patients who might otherwise have looked elsewhere for their aesthetic medical needs.
It can also lead to an increased patient base as new patients choose to leave their current providers in favor of a more full-service experience. The result for you is a more stable practice and an increased bottom line.
One OB-GYN who has made the move to offering aesthetic services to her patients, Dr. Ngozi Nwankpa-Keshinro of Brooklyn put it this way in a story by the New York Times: “The two fields are as alike as an apple and an orange. One can be lifesaving, while the other is not. But when you clear up someone’s acne or facial hair, they are as grateful as if you delivered their baby.”
Cosmetic medicine also provides a more relaxing lifestyle, she said. “And it’s very satisfying.”
A personal decision
Ultimately, of course, what you choose to do will depend on your own unique personality, needs, and interests as well as your comfort with branching out into a new area of treatment. But if you’re considering a change or just feeling the need to diversify your current treatment offerings, aesthetic medicine can be an excellent option for a wide variety of reasons.
If you’d like to explore the possibilities this field has to offer, take a look at AAAMS’s virtual courses here.