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When did the line between ethics and aesthetic medicine become grey?

When did the line between ethics and aesthetic medicine become grey?

*Image above sourced from inspirecosmetics.com.au

In my profession, I can spot a dodgy practitioner a mile away. However, this skill has been acquired from learning the hard way. Like a large majority of the Australian population, I trust the medical system has been designed to protect me. I trust a doctor studied medicine to heal and do no harm. I also trust there is a clear ethical boundary between a retail business and medical business. After all, doctors in 2017 are not selling snake oil. If I see a product claiming to balance my chakras and central gravity, I might buy it because it smells nice but I know it’s not going to have any intrinsic effect on my centre of gravity. This the same with cosmeceuticals labelled as “medical range” (being a fancy name for skincare products). If it was “medical” it would be sold in a pharmacy.

I have no issue with and love a product or service that advertise what they do, sell a journey, sell a story, and make money. But when it comes to aesthetics, where is the boundary on truth and advertising. It seems our “advertising guidelines” are just that; guidelines. Not enforced and not adhered to. Any and every loophole is exploited. I would like to point out, I am not attacking the difference between a cosmetic surgeon and plastic surgeon. That’s another debate. What I am directly attacking is the misleading advertising, with no other purpose then to generate leads at any cost.

The reassuring thing is, these clinics have no creativity, do not know their target market, and therefore will not succeed with the current marketing strategy. Utilising university logos to promote your qualifications is not ideal. Many professions go to university, going to university does not make you a qualified plastic or cosmetic surgeon. Nurses go to Uni, Police go to Uni, and Teachers go to Uni but none of the above perform breast augmentation. FRACS is also confusing because if you are using the FRACS logo, this implies you are a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, but a Cardiothoracic, orthopaedic, or general surgeon can be a fellow of the college. If the fellow completed a Specialist Plastic’s program why is there no ASPS or ASAPS logo. Exceptionally confusing. Again, the Royal College of Surgeons logo, which is the same organisation just a broader logo. Is it not common sense to now be thinking these logos have been utilised to increase credibility? The answer is yes and no. Yes, because the site has so many alarm bells and “certified with” means nothing. But no, a massive no, because common sense is not common and you don’t know what you don’t know. How do we as professionals, within the aesthetic field, genuinely expect consumers to make sense of this. The entire site plays on high ranking marketing words and price point. It’s a “look over here” distraction selling tactic. It is not ethical, demonstrates no integrity and clearly is all about making money. When did aesthetic medicine become all about making money. It is sad, I have been duped before and I’m in the industry. I speak from firsthand experience, but unless I had lived and breathed the dark side, I would not know better. I have been brought up to respect the medical fraternity, to look up to and admire doctors. After all, doctors of all skills and qualifications save lives, they work hard to become qualified and they know better. How disheartening to learn that somewhere along the way, some doctors have chosen a McDonald's like path and made it all about the profit, not the patient.

Image below sourced from inspirecosmetics.com.au