Anglia Ruskin University in Essex has launched an MSc degree course for plastic surgeons to give them more hands-on experience and of aesthetic cosmetic surgery. All plastic surgeons must complete Royal College of Surgeons-approved training to do NHS work and the course has been criticised as an unnecessary addition.
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The MSc is practice-based and aims to give fully-qualified plastic surgeons the chance to hone their skills in aesthetic procedures such as face lifts, boob jobs and even more unusual operations, such as chin jobs. Professor James Frame, who will help run the course, claims newly qualified plastic surgeons are well-versed in reconstructive surgery, such as treating burns victims, but lack expertise in the cosmetic arena.
"At present a newly qualified, fully-accredited plastic surgeon is released, totally lacking any experience in aesthetic plastic surgery, and is able to operate in the private sector,” Professor Frame said. "Many surgeons complete their training and, unable to find work in the NHS, have no option but to turn to private groups without that experience.”
The course will begin in September 2012 and any accredited UK-based plastic surgeons can apply. But president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) Fazel Fatah, claims training in aesthetic surgery in the NHS is perfectly adequate.
"Aesthetic surgery is part of the most up-to-date plastic surgery syllabus,” Fatah explained. “It has been approved by the General Medical Council - every trainee is taught the basic principles of aesthetic surgery as part of their education and they must undergo a thorough examination to attain the final FRCS (Plast) qualification.”
But following the recent PIP scandal, Professor Frame believes the growing aesthetic plastic surgery industry needs more guidance.
"If aesthetic surgery is recognised as a speciality, with its own qualification, then clearly the public will benefit because it will help them to easily identify and employ a qualified surgeon here in the UK," he explained.