From Anaesthetics to Aesthetics Medicine - My Journey
Ask my close friend and they will be able to tell you about my plans to become a plastic surgeon. It has been a dream since before I started studying to become a doctor. But life happens and you roll with it. But I am not rolling along any more. Aesthetic medicine has provided me with the opportunity to follow my dream and passion.
Internship & Community Service
So started studying medicine in 2003 at Stellenbosch University. After 6 years, I finally graduated and tool the Hippocratic oath in 2009. My plan was to gain as much experience in surgery to be able to start specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the first available opportunity. Little did I realise that life had a different paths for me. That path took me to Pietermaritzburg for my internship in 2010-2011 and then to Worcester for my Community service year.
During this time of “forced” labour, I kind of found a new interest. This interest was Anaesthesiology. So, after some medical officer work in Worcester and Khayelithsa hospital, I was fortunate to be offered a post to specialise in Anaesthesiology at my alma mater, Stellenbosch. I did not think twice. From 2014 to 2018 I did my time as a registrar at Tygerberg hospital and qualified as a Anaesthesiologist. The four years taught me so much and I would not do it any differently if given a second chance. But there was always this subconscious feeling of something being amiss. I didn't know what it was, but that feeling did not go away...that is when I realised, it was the “an-”!
Reconsidering the “an-”
So I reconsidered the “an-” to become an aesthetic practitioner and haven't looked back since. Aesthetic medicine gives me the opportunity to follow my passion: The passion to assist with your wellness; The passion for acquiring new knowledge and skills and the passion to share my knowledge.
I will never remove the “an-” from anaesthesiologist entirely...its in my blood and I do enjoy it. It gave me the insight into physiology, pharmacology and physics to be able to better understand all the relevant skin conditions, aesthetic procedures and machines and not to mention the steady hand! It also made me aware of the importance of pain management to facilitate a successful outcome. Lastly, the four years of studying and research made me realize the importance of keeping up to date with what is relevant in your field of practice and treateing every patient with procedures and medications that have been sciebtifically proven to be of benefit.
I hope this brief overview of my journey provides you with some insight into my passion for aesthetic medicine. In addition, I hope to see you all soon! Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Dr. Dirk Coetzee
Owner/Founder RP Aesthetics
Certificate in Aesthetic Medicine (American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine)
MBChB, MMed (Anaes), FCA (SA)