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“You can be the best version of yourself at any age.” (Annemarie van Rosmalen, 43, cosmetic doctor, alumna Erasmus MC)

“As a child, I was totally fascinated by the human body. I wanted to know exactly what was going on under the skin. Studying medicine was therefore an obvious choice for me. As a student, I got particularly good marks in subjects like anatomy and surgery, partly through my good spatial insight, which is very useful in my work.

I eventually chose non-invasive cosmetic medicine and with two private clinics, I’m also an entrepreneur, so it’s a nice combination. When I started ten years ago, aesthetic medicine was still in the pioneering phase. Very little attention was paid to it in medical studies, so I mainly learned it in practice from a plastic surgeon. Cosmetic medicine was then a niche in the IMCAS (IMCAS – world congress of Aesthetic Surgery & Cosmetic Dermatology), where thirty of us doctors did workshops in a back room. Now, over 3000 doctors watch a live demonstration by aesthetic doctors on a stage in an enormous auditorium. There are now numerous publications, around 100 publications a year just on the subject of Botox ®. In recent years, our field has become very professionalised: we have a professional association (NVCG – Netherlands Association of Cosmetic Medicine) and a quality mark. In the long term, cosmetic doctor will be a protected professional title with a two year study programme which we are developing with support from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

Despite that professionalisation and the fact that more and more people, often young people, are visiting a cosmetic doctor, we still face prejudice and caricatures. In our neighbouring countries, a visit to a cosmetic doctor raises your status, but in the Netherlands you’re better keeping quiet about Botox ®in your frown wrinkle or crows’ feet.
Calvinism is deeply rooted in our psyche: we are supposed to be satisfied with how we look yet our appearance is very important for how people judge us. Many of the people who come to me have been told by those around them that they look tired or cross, which makes them feel unsure of themselves. That’s why I always feel good when a relatively simple treatment can make them feel good about themselves again: you can be the best version of yourself at any age. That’s why I do it.