One can become an aesthetician/esthetician in 3 months. Basic skin care courses are covered, as well as safety and sanitation. A hair stylist has more education than an aesthetician, taking about one year. It takes about 6 months to be an "advanced esthetician".
A cosmetic dermatologist is not a cosmetologist. A cosmetologist is someone who has been to Beauty School and is licensed to do some treatments on skin, hair and nails. A cosmetic dermatologist has done 12 years of intense study in medical school and dermatology.
It takes approximately 30 weeks of full time courses targeted at the medical field. This is an Associate’s Degree, it is about two years of coursework.
To become a nurse, one must apply and be admitted to nursing school. Registered nurses have either a two- or four-year degree.
A bachelor’s degree is also called an undergraduate degree, and is four years of college done after graduating from a high school. These four years may be concentrated in the sciences or they could be in other areas like history, art, communication, engineering, computer science and many others. A BSN is a Bachelor's of Science degree in Nursing.
PA programs are 2 years long and do not require a science background. PA education includes more hours of clinical time (about 2000 hours) compared to a nurse practitioner program (500 hours). In contrast, my medical internship year was 5000 hours of clinical experience. (Internship hours have been cut back since, but it was extremely demanding yet educational.) It is annoying to watch PA's from medspas talk about how they have 'six months of training' knowing that some patients might think that is a good thing, whereas I don't think it is enough.
In the past, Nurse Practitioner programs were Masters degree programs that were 3 years long. They required a BSN first and clinical experience, whereas a PA program does not. This would give the MSN/NP more education hours in health sciences than a PA, but less than and MD/DO.
Anyone who has completed a doctorate degree is a doctor. This includes physicians, attorneys, dentists, naturopathic physicians and many others. Doctorate course work is more difficult and detailed than the work in a Bachelors or Masters degree program.
Not all doctorate degrees require the same amount of effort or take the same length of time. For example, in medical school, students are often required to work “double-time” and take 18-25 units per quarter, four quarters of the year, for the first 2 years of a 4-year school program, equating to about a total of 160+ units of university education done in just their first two years. (Bachelor’s degrees are 120 units, and a unit means something much more than an hour.)
Medical students spend their 3rd and 4th years, working 40-60 hours per week, doing clinical rotations. After that an internship is done and competence examinations are taken in order to become a general practitioner. However, medical doctors will typically continue to do 3-8 more years of training in a residency program to become fully knowledgeable in their specialty area. In medicine, this is called a medical specialist.
The word "specialist" does not carry the prestige it once did, because now everyone at a med spa calls themselves a specialist.
Patients have to be so careful in this modern day's aesthetic world. Many people want to be an "aesthetic doctor" or "aesthetic injector" but the majority take a short cut, because the legitimate way is too challenging and takes too many years of study.
Unfortunately, what they don't know can, and has hurt patients. What we do in dermatology and plastic surgery are medical procedures and should not be done by people who think it is OK to 'fake it until you make it'. That might work in other industries, but not in medicine. What it takes to be a dermatologist.
THE AMERICAN BOARD OF MEDICAL SPECIALTIES
Spend the time to educate yourself: ABMS
Here are the 24 Boards of Medicine per ABMS:
1. Allergy and Immunology
3. Colon and Rectal Surgery
5. Emergency Medicine
6. Family Medicine
7. Internal Medicine (many sub-specialties in internal medicine)
8. Medical Genetics and Genomics
9. Neurological Surgery
10. Nuclear Medicine
11. Obstetrics and Gynecology
13. Orthopedic Surgery
14. Otolaryngology - ENT - Head and Neck Surgery
17. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
18. Plastic Surgery
19. Preventative Medicine
20. Psychiatry and Neurology
22. Surgery (also called General Surgery)
23. Thoracic Surgery
Naturopathic Medicine has a different Board.
When I go online and search 'how to become an aesthetic medicine doctor' or 'aesthetic nurse' it is alarming. I just see scammers.
There are "aesthetic training workshops" churning out thousands of doctors and nurses, letting them believe that in a week's time they can learn what they need to know to be an 'expert'. They offer them scam "board" certificate to hang in their offices to help them confuse people.
The people teaching in these 'institutions' and 'academies' are not experts, and they aren't creating experts either.
I do not hire anyone to be an injector in my practice who was trained at one of these places. I spend an entire year training an injector, and some don't make the cut.
The best advice I have for anyone is to check on the education and training of an individual before letting them work on your face. The manufacturers of devices and injectables are not concerned with the qualifications of the people they sell their items to. Buyer beware.
Typically a Bachelors degree is required. Then there are additional perquisites. These vary from University to University, but typically include 1 year of biology, 1 year of chemistry, Organic or Biochemistry, Physics and Calculus. GPA is typically 3.65 or higher. Perform highly on MCAT (medical college admission test)
Gross Anatomy, Human Physiology, Cell and Tissue Biology, Molecular Medicine, Population Health and Evidence-based Medicine, Health and Humanity Clinical Skills, Endocrinology, Nutrition, Reproduction, Genetics, Embryology, Pharmacology, Oncology, General Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology, Public Health, Health and Humanity, and Basic Clinical Skills.
Neuroanatomy, Clinical neurosciences, Psychiatry, Bioethics, Systemic Pathology, Pharmacology, Pathophysiology: Musculoskeletal, Dermatology, Hematology, Pulmonary system, Cardiovascular system, nephrology, gastroenterology, systemic pathology, Pharmacology, Population Health and Clinical Skills
Pass USMLE I (United States Medical Licensing Exam Part 1)
Clerkships: Internal Medicine, OB/GYN, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Psychiatry, Surgery. 2500 clinical hours
2500 more clinical hours:
32 weeks of Required Coursework which includes
20 weeks of Additional Electives
Pass USMLE Part 2, Transition to Residency (Post-graduate years)
5000 clinical hours spent doing acute/inpatient medicine and also outpatient/chronic care medicine - Internal Medicine.
Pass USMLE Part 3.
Apply for medical license once proof of basic medical knowledge has been met.
Approximately 6000 clinical hours more spent focusing on science, diseases and treatments for all conditions related to skin, hair and nails. Followed by a difficult examination that lasts for 2 days to obtain certification by the Board of Dermatology, repeat every 10 years.
Note: Surgical residencies may be 7 years long.