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Sage Advice

By: Merge magazine's editorial advisory board
Posted: September 1, 2010, from the September 2010 issue of
Three professional women in suits, standing outside and speaking to each other

page 5 of 6

You need to start with the things your family—your mother, your sister, your relatives—would want that are nonsurgical. Get good at Botox and fillers, and learn about technology. The future of our specialty is in technology and things are only improving from here in that area. Also, read widely, and read in different specialties—always keep learning.
Jason Pozner, MD

Personally, I think it’s a bad idea to just do aesthetics alone. While I love the aesthetic procedures I offer, I think it would get boring to just do Botox injections and laser treatments all day. I love the robust and varied day that I experience, offering the combination of general dermatology and cosmetic dermatology.
Joel Schlessinger, MD

The most important thing is to get a lot of experience. One of the best things I ever did, and still do, is to take some time and visit someone else’s office and be a fly on the wall. This helps to learn the business, the people and different techniques. Obviously different people have different techniques they are great at, and going to courses and seminars and reading is great too, but getting to be there to experience and observe is unlike anything else you can do.
Nowell Solish, MD, FRCPC

Make sure you really have a love for the aesthetics field. It offers that balance of science and art—there’s obviously a lot of art in it by nature, but there’s increasingly more science as we advance our understanding of lasers, fillers and neurotoxins. You have the opportunity to continuously improve yourself and your craft, and you have to love to work with your hands. There are new developments in the field all the time, so be prepared to continue learning—from your own experiences, from colleagues and from patients—and hopefully make a contribution to the field through your own research some day.
Hema Sundaram, MD, FAAD

Pursue excellence rather than only the business bottom line. If you do outstanding work you will tend to be busy, and there’s a lot of satisfaction in doing good work. It’s also been good for me to do reconstructive work in my practice. It gives me a different perspective from when I do my aesthetic work, and helps me value those good results. It also allows me to have different business when aesthetics wanes a bit in terms of volume, but most importantly, it gives me a grounded perspective.
Jonathan Sykes, MD, FACS