Amabilis Academy: Challenging the low standards of aesthetic medicine training
By Hanna Margrethe Enger
Aesthetic medicine is an industry that has been rapidly growing over the last two decades. Botox and fillers have become more and more accessible. But for a long time, there was not much training required for those who wished to practise aesthetic medicine.
Doctor Ove André Bjerkan, medical and academic director at Amabilis Academy, started out working for a pharmaceutical company that produced Botox and fillers. This was the gateway to working in aesthetic medicine. “The only way to enter the industry was through courses held by the pharmaceutical manufacturers,” Dr Bjerkan explains. “They offered one-day curses for big groups, with little practical training.” The pharmaceutical companies’ goal was to sell products, training came second.
He saw that the quality of the courses was far too poor for the students to work with patients on their own. Despite the students being medical professionals, the training they received was not good enough. “The customers would not have gotten injections if they knew how little competence a practitioner could have,” he says.
Dr Bjerkan believed that both the students wishing to make a career change and their future patients deserved better. To achieve this, better training was needed. So he left his job and used all his experience to start Amabilis Academy.
Raising the bar
At Amabilis Academy practical training and continuity is at the core, this is the key to success. The courses are taught in small groups, on a personal level, where the student is the focus. “For a group of six or seven students, we’ll have 20-30 models for them to practise on,” says Bjerkan. “The second time will be better than the first, the third better than the second.”
Amabilis Academy has a portfolio of around 2000 models, which is how their students can get so much practical training. But just as important as having many models to practise on, is having good educators. It is important that the students feel safe and comfortable, so there is no hierarchy. Students and teachers are equals.
Students and courses
The courses are open to all authorised doctors, nurses and dentists. Some are newly qualified, others have several years of work experience. All ages and nationalities are welcome, as long as they have official authorisation. It does not have to be a Norwegian authorisation.
Amabilis Academy’s most popular course is the five-day intensive certification course. It consists of approximately 35 hours of Botox and filler training, where 10 hours are theoretical training and 25 hours are practical training with products on live models.
There is also an eight-day complete course. It builds on the five-day certification course, with three days of advanced course in filler treatments. Each day begins with two hours of theoretical training, followed by five hours of practical training.
Botox is very popular and can be used for more than just smoothing out wrinkles. This is why Amabilis Academy offers a two-day Botox course. This is perfect for doctors and dentists who wish to use Botox as a treatment for hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), migraines or bruxism (teeth grinding).
Looking to the future
In 2022 the academy reached the milestone of 1000 certified students. The courses are run every month and sell out a couple of months in advance, due to the small groups.
While in-person courses are a great way to learn, online learning has become more and more normal. A lot of the training can already be done online. This is something students are coming to expect.
To meet demand Amabilis Academy is creating the world’s biggest online educational platform for fillers and Botox. “We’ve tried and failed a few times but have now found a template that is unbeatable,” Dr Bjerkan says. “We are taking everything to a new level, and creating videos and instructions that are carefully detailed, focusing on the injections. All courses will be able to be ordered online, through a Norwegian and an English portal.”
Amabilis Academy is in Oslo, but the online portal will make the courses more accessible. Travel and accommodation are extra expenses that not everyone can afford, or if they have children, being away from the family for a week might just not be possible.
The new online platform will be an addition to the in-person courses, giving students more flexibility. Amabilis Academy’s main focus will always be to provide the best training possible.
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