The Clinetix Philosophy towards Customer Patient Care.
There is still a large misconception about what a medical aesthetic or “cosmetic” clinic actually does. We believe that largely due to media mis-representation and celebrity fads people can see clinics like ours in many different ways. One view is that we make a living by making young women and men look false, exploiting the unrealistic expectations of beauty and attractiveness and peoples insecurities to pump lip and cheek fillers into vain 20 and 30 somethings so they can look closer to the photoshopped images they see in the glossy magazines. Another concept is that we exploit older peoples desires to remain youthful for longer by performing non essential medical treatments that they really don’t need. Both of these ends of the spectrum are completely wrong.
Whilst we do accept that nowadays there are beauty therapists and perhaps unscrupulous medical professionals that do exploit people, and you will hear about these cases in your social media feeds and occasional news stories about ‘human barbie dolls’, the truth is that a true medical cosmetic clinic has the emphasis on the word ‘medical’, not cosmetic. For this reason, many clinics now refer to themselves as aesthetic clinics to try and differentiate themselves from the beauty sector.
What clinics like Clinetix do is offer solutions to people who feel their quality of life can be improved by improving their appearance. The reality is that many people suffer from simple skin conditions and poor skin health that causes them daily stress and anxiety. The reality is that most of our patients simply feel unhappy with their appearance and by improving their concern we can improve their quality of life.
At Clinetix, our philosophy is that if we are providing medical treatments, we have patients and not customers. And as we are providing medical treatments, we need to apply the principles of good medical practice and medical ethics to all our patients. This means that we have to balance the potential benefits of the treatment outcomes, both physical and psychological, against the potential of the treatment causing harm to the patient. We also need to apply the principle of autonomy, in that the patient makes the decision regarding a treatment plan, and in order to apply that principle, the patient needs to fully understand the process, the potential benefits and the potential risks. This is the process of consultation and informed consent. The person providing the treatment has the responsibility and training to get all the information from the patient that is required to decide on the appropriate treatment options, and the person providing the treatment has the responsibility and training to explain everything involved in the treatment including all potential outcomes. This is providing medical care. The opposite of this process is a customer asking for a treatment based on limited understanding of the treatment, and the treatments being provided without discussion. That is a simple commodity transaction just like buying a loaf of bread. And we aren’t a grocery store!
At Clinetix our patient’s journeys begin with a consultation. An exploration of the patient’s aims and expectations from treatment is made and where appropriate treatment plans are offered. Often this simple process leads us in a different direction from the original expectation of the treatment. Last week we consulted with a number of patients and decided at the end of the process that no treatment was appropriate, or that referral to another specialist was more appropriate. We could have simply performed the treatments that the patients requested, but we felt it wouldn’t be in their best interests. Typical examples would be a patient wanting a dermal filler treatment to treat a wrinkle that is part of a larger problem that really requires a laser treatment, or a patient wanting anti-wrinkle injections to treat bags under the eyes, when the correct treatment for them is an operation called a blepharoplasty. Often we meet patients with a condition called Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and we have to know how to diagnose this and refer them on for appropriate treatment, because we know body dysmorphic disorder is never cured by medical cosmetic treatments.
At Clinetix we love our work not because we love doing the treatments, it’s because we love our patients coming back and telling us that their quality of life has improved. As I tell all of my patients at consultation, my job isn’t to make them beautiful, it’s to make them happy and more comfortable with their appearance.