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Aesthetics Practice Today

CME Opportunities in Aesthetics

Published November 15, 2011 9:31 AM by Kimberly Cray
We all need continuing education credits, and the deadlines for logging them arrive much faster than we would like. I just heard you sigh. Have no fear! In the world of dermatology and aesthetics, the opportunities for CME are abundant.

With specialty-specific CME, we complete our necessary hours and we keep up-to-date on the latest technology and techniques. This keeps us well informed and at the top of our game in a highly competitive field.

I absolutely love learning about and bettering my craft. I also take pride in loving what I do, so that I can be the best at what I do. Even as seasoned PAs and NPs, we should never stop learning. CME offers us the opportunity to continue to learn and to become even better at what we do.

Here are my picks for some great opportunities for learning in 2012:

Dermatology Conferences:

  • I hope you have your sunscreen ready. Taking place in Maui, Hawaii in February 2012, Advances in Cosmetic and Medical Dermatology for NPs and PAs (ACMD: NP + PA) offers "Advances & Approaches for the Dermatologic Practitioner." This conference is exclusively for NPs and PAs and takes place Feb. 1-3 at the Wailea Marriott. In addition to an array of topics in medical dermatology, the program also covers cosmeceuticals, skin care and laser treatments. For more information, visit
  • The Florida Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (FSDPA) offers an annual conference under the name "New Wave Dermatology." It is scheduled in Orlando April 26-29, 2012. This conference covers all aspects of general dermatology as well as cosmetic strategies including fillers, Botox and lasers. Hands-on workshops will be provided. I have heard from colleagues that these are excellent CME conferences. I recently attended a free (yes, that is correct, free) psoriasis seminar the FSDPA put together for PAs in south Florida. The speakers were incredible, sharing practical and useful clinical knowledge as well as personal experiences with medications and clinical outcomes. I would recommend this organization's well-crafted conference whether you live in Florida or not! For more information, visit:
  • The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) will host its 70th annual meeting March 16-20, 2012, in San Diego. This conference has an exhibit hall with numerous vendors eager to educate providers on their products and answer questions. In years past, the exhibit hall has been a popular place for PAs and NPs to gather and network outside of the more traditional lectures. You will most likely leave with enough samples for your patients and family and friends! For those seeking employment in dermatology or aesthetics, this conference has a Career Development Fair. This is a great addition that I don't think enough conferences have. I see this as a golden opportunity for students and job seekers alike. You may also become involved with Dermatology in Action, the society's hands-on volunteer community outreach program. For more information, visit:

Cosmetic/Aesthetics Conferences

  • The Association of Plastic Surgery Physician Assistants (APSPA) hosts a conference known as "The Aesthetic Meeting." APSPA's annual event will be held in Vancouver, Canada, May 3-8, 2012. Focusing on the latest in surgical techniques as well as cosmetics, this event also features a cadaver workshop - an excellent opportunity for students or recent grads! I personally attended an American Society of Plastic Surgery meeting (the parent organization of APSPA), which I found to be resourceful but not geared toward PAs or NPs. That's why I decided to include the APSPA conference here instead. This PA- and NP-specific conference will certainly enlighten you in the field of aesthetics and cosmetic surgery and provide a great networking opportunity among peers. For more information, visit:
  • The Aesthetic Extender Symposium was created to meet the demand for educating NPs and PAs in aesthetics. I have attended the conference twice, and I highly recommend it whether you are new grad looking to get your feet wet or a seasoned professional looking to learn the latest. Dermatology and plastic surgery greats, such as David J. Goldberg, MD, and Jason Posner, MD, are among the faculty. In addition, the symposium's creator, Krystie Lennox, PA-C, demonstrates how successful a PA can be in aesthetics. For more information, visit:
  • Spa & Resorts Medical Aesthetics Expo will take place June 19-20, 2012, in New York City. Although this expo does not offer CME I credit, what better way to promote your business and gain knowledge of the latest technology and trends out there? This event features live demonstrations, "The Beauty Bar" (available to VIP guests only) and the chance to network with thousands of spa and medical professionals. Learn cutting edge information about skin care, makeup and, most importantly, this conference gives insight to growing your spa and aesthetics business. For information, visit:
  • The HBA Global Expo is a conference and educational opportunity that boasts it is where "Beauty Meets Business." With such a huge and ever-growing market, this event keeps aesthetic providers on top of their game and inspires creativity and even product creation. This truly global conference has exhibitors from more than 28 countries. For those less inclined to travel, they even offer virtual events and education. I encourage you to look into this event if you have completed your CME for the cycle (lucky you!) and are looking to network outside the medical arena. This educational opportunity could serve as a creative outlet to maximize your current practice and then some. For information, visit:

Have you attended other conferences that you highly recommend? If so, please share!



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    Occupation: Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner
    Setting: Miami & Upland, Calif.
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