Aesthetic Medicine
Aesthetic Medicine


4 MIN READ TIME

Made to mentor

In 2021, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) introduced the first nationwide mentorship scheme designed to establish a longterm relationship between young plastic surgeons and experienced senior colleagues. Supporting junior surgeons towards the end of their training and into their early consultant careers, the hope is to create a mutually beneficial relationship that protects industry standards throughout future generations.

Under the scheme, the development of a nationwide series of aesthetic mentorships aimed at post-FRCS(Plast) trainees will be supported. This will provide structure and guidance for mentors, acting as “host centres”, and their mentees. BAAPS will be the facilitator between the host centres and prospective mentees.

Benefits to the host centre and mentors include having a highly qualified assistant, a colleague to participate in aesthetic practice audit and research, improvements in operating room efficiency, enhancing surgical skills and CPD through teaching and discussion and mentee involvement in the patient journey, to name but a few.

Furthermore, BAAPS will support and help promote the contribution of mentors and host centres using its official channels, such as its website and social media channels. There will also be the opportunity for mentees to present their work at BAAPS Scientific Conference to a national and international audience and certification.

The mentee will benefit from tailored teaching and observation in the operating theatre, in clinic and in the running of a private practice. They will also participate in audit and research, with a view to

presentations and publications of their work. The scheme is being spearheaded by BAAPS vice president Dr Marc Pacifico. We sat down with him to find out more about how it will help the surgeons of the future.

Aesthetic Medicine: BAAPS has introduced the first nationwide mentorship scheme. Why did you feel it was important?

Dr Marc Pacifico: Aesthetic plastic surgery is a core part of the wider remit of plastic surgeons. However, training opportunities in the UK have been inconsistent and sporadic, particularly since plastic surgery trainees would not be exposed to the vast majority of aesthetic surgery in the NHS.

We wanted to develop a national framework for training and mentoring in aesthetic surgery to enable the plastic surgeons of the future to develop the skills and understanding of aesthetic surgery, with a view to continuing to support them in their early consultant careers. Therefore, we wanted not just to provide simply training but also mentoring that will ultimately benefit their patients.

AM: You are spearheading the scheme. What will your role be?

MP: I am facilitating and coordinating the scheme. We have had a fantastic show of interest from colleagues from around the country, willing and keen to get involved. I am all the more impressed as everyone involved as a mentor will be personally funding their mentees. We have limited the initial launch numbers to 10 centres around the country and hope to expand on this once we have the experience and feedback from all involved.

AM: Can you explain what the host centres will be and how this will work?

MP: The host centres comprise a minimum of two or three experienced consultant plastic surgeons who, between them, will be able to cover the broad range of aesthetic plastic surgery treatments and procedures – both surgical and non-surgical. There will be plans made collaboratively with the mentee to ensure a structured learning agreement is developed to support and nurture the trainee plastic surgeon and to ensure all areas on the syllabus are covered. Interim and final meetings will take place, and we hope that each mentee will take part in a clinical research project during their time at the host centre. All in all, it should be a great experience for all involved.

“Aesthetic plastic surgery is a core part of the wider remit of plastic surgeons. However, training opportunities in the UK have been inconsistent and sporadic”

AM: Why is mentoring important? How does this benefit young surgeons?

MP: It has become an increasingly complex and challenging environment on many levels when starting a new career as a consultant plastic surgeon. They are not only taking on the responsibility of looking after private patients but also practice management, becoming an employer, running a business and much more, with levels of responsibility not yet experienced.

I think that having an experienced mentor who you can call on for advice, support, guidance, and troubleshooting will be invaluable for the plastic surgeons of the future. The mentor will not be someone random but will be someone the mentee has worked with in the past and has already developed a relationship with, which should cement the trust and communication that is fundamental to that mentor-mentee bond.

It is the hope that the relationship cultivated at the start of the mentorship will continue into their early consultant career, with holistic support for their practice – clinical, managerial and pastoral. This is a great initiative that we hope will be the beginning of a national framework of aesthetic mentorships and training for the future. We will have properly trained future generations of plastic surgeons.

This article appears in the April 2022 Issue of Aesthetic Medicine

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This article appears in the April 2022 Issue of Aesthetic Medicine