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Medical Aesthetics Training: Shifting to Collective Competence

Epstein, Iris PhD, RN; Peisachovich, Eva PhD, RN; Da Silva, Celina PhD, RN; Lee, Charlotte PhD, RN; Solomon, Philip MD, FRCSC

doi: 10.1097/PSN.0000000000000196

With increased demands for medical aesthetics procedures and the sudden profusion of newly licensed, and unlicensed, providers who are performing these medical aesthetics procedures also comes the responsibility to shift to collective competence. Collective competence refers to what occurs among professionals in action, emphasizing the sharing of experiences, knowledge, and perceptions among those who are providing services to the medical aesthetics client. Registered nurses and medical students are not taught to perform cosmetic procedures in basic nursing or medical programs and thus require a post-entry-level education to validate their competency. The current medical aesthetics apprenticeship training approach of see one, do one, and teach one focuses on teaching technical skills and thus does not sufficiently address the ever-changing health care context and the ambiguity in practitioner role. Recent scholars highlight that when health care failed or an error has been identified, it is rarely adduced to an individual's competence but rather is more likely to be a failure of the collective team. In this article, we are advocating for a change in how medical aesthetics practitioners are trained. In particular, it advocates creating opportunities within the curricula to train practitioners as a collective body, as opposed to providing training that focuses on the individual's competence and technical skills alone.

Iris Epstein, PhD, RN, is Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, York University. Iris research focuses on the links between health, technology, and place and how technology (e.g., E-learning, simulation) used in different places (home, classroom, laboratory, online) affects people's experiences. Iris is currently collaborating with George Brown College Engineering and School of Design in building and evaluating a simulated haptic partial task trainer to teach palpation skills from a multidisciplinary perspective and bring practitioner's “touch” back to the curricular and health care.

Eva Peisachovich, PhD, RN, is Assistant Professor at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, York University. Her research involves developing capacity and expertise about innovative educational strategies to foster students' success and enhance students' experiences and transition to the workforce. Transformative education and reflective practice guide her philosophy of teaching and learning to create and explore innovative pedagogy practices that range from classroom to workplace environment.

Celina Da Silva, PhD, RN, completed her dissertation at the Lawrence S. Bloomberg, Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, titled “A Phase 1 Study of a Kolb-Influenced, High-Fidelity Simulation Intervention Implemented to Improve Nursing Students' Use of a Conflict Resolution Skill.” Some of the research studies that Celina is participating in relate to innovations in interprofessional education. She was the Principal Investigator of a study, titled “Simulated Practice Center Program Evaluation, George Brown College (GBC), Health Sciences Center.” This research study generated qualitative data related to the Health Sciences Simulation program at GBC in order to better support the future development of simulation education for health professions students. Presently, she is conducting a research study that involves designing, refining, and testing a virtual simulation (Body Interact) modality geared to teach interprofessional students decision-making skills related to a deteriorating patient care case. As well, she is part of a research team that recently was awarded an SSHRC grant and developed the mentorship site for postsecondary students with disabilities across Ontario who are partnered with other professionals.

Charlotte Lee, PhD, RN, research focuses on health services evaluation and interprofessional teams. She is particularly interested in understanding how collaborative relationships affect teamwork processes and outcomes in health care. Dr. Lee's current work aims to identify the antecedents and teamwork outcomes associated with collaborative relationships.

Philip Solomon, MD, FRCSC, completed his medical school training at the University of Toronto, followed by a 5-year residency training program in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Toronto. Dr. Solomon's training focused on head and neck cancer surgery, reconstructive facial surgery, and facial cosmetic plastic surgery including rhinoplasty, facelift, blepharoplasty, and otoplasty surgery.

Address correspondence to Iris Epstein, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, York University, Room # HNES349, 4700 Keele St, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada (e-mail:

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2017 by American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses