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Over the past few years we have received a lot of applications from GPs who are interested in specialising in cosmetics.  Some of them have been very successful in this venture, but many have found it difficult to achieve their career goals because nurses and other health professionals take over the role of doing injectables and some basic medical cosmetics.

One of our clients recently invited me to the launch of new medical cosmetics training course in Melbourne, and it confirmed for me the importance of carving out a unique role for GPs in the rapidly growing world of medical cosmetics.

“There is a continuous rise in demand for medical cosmetics. Doctors have the advantage of combining their knowledge of skin, minor surgical skills and anatomy” says Dr Ben Chan of the Cosmetic Institute of Australia.

“Unlike other health professionals, GPs can provide cosmetic services as the skin is part of the body. It is important that they are not simply looking at a piece of equipment but offering different options according to the patient’s needs.”

Dr Ben Chan

Too often we see GPs who are “underselling”  their medical skills while they pursue a career in cosmetics that is focussed on short-term financial wins from some of the basic cosmetic services. In doing so, I believe they may be losing out on the financial and professional benefits that might be available to them by going deeper (literally) and using their medical knowledge and skills more fully.

I fear that some GPs who have spent a great deal of money on training in basic medical cosmetics are likely to end up in a very crowded market with competition from lesser trained health professionals who can compete on price and provide a similar quality service.

I love the work of W Chan Kim in his book “Blue Ocean Strategy” which reminds us that businesses often try to compete in ‘red oceans’ which are filled with the blood of competitors attacking each other in particular ‘market’ where there are too many businesses in one space.

He outlines that businesses are generally more successful if they innovate in ‘blue oceans’ where there less competition because they have created innovation and a value proposition that means they can swim in their own clear, blue ocean – far away from competitors who are all fighting in the same red, blood-filled ocean.

I believe that what applies to general business is likely to apply to the world of medical cosmetics. Doctors who provide a different quality of service that can’t be provided by other health professionals will be swimming in clear blue oceans and are much more likely to experience success.

At Alecto Australia we are keen to work with GPs to help them find opportunities where they can use their specialist skills (whether in cosmetics or other areas) to get the best financial and professional results.


Commentary by Martina Stanley, Director, Alecto Australia