The Esthetic Skin Institute, a highly accredited resource for medical aesthetics training and certification for medical professionals, owes its success to its founder’s unique combination of skills and experience.
Working as a registered nurse in Florida in the 1990s, Sasha Parker discovered that she also had a keen interest in skin care and holistic health. “I had a friend who was working as an esthetician,” she explains, “and she was so happy working with healthy, appreciative clients. She was also doing very well.” So Parker obtained licenses both as an esthetician and as an electrologist and started to establish a skin care practice. Soon she was working in both fields with a goal of eventually phasing out of nursing and working full time as a skincare specialist. Her plans changed however after an encounter with a physician at the facility where she worked. Observing his high degree of stress and fatigue, she suggested that he consider incorporating skin care into his practice, explaining the advantages and benefits of doing so. At the time, the concept of aesthetic medicine was so new that the MD was uncertain and declined. Later, after attending one of her educational presentations, he invited her to meet with him and his partner. Convinced of the potential for enhancing his practice with aesthetics, he invited her to join them.
That was the beginning of the Esthetics Skin Institute. As time passed and the medical aesthetics field developed, more and more doctors and nurses contracted with Parker for training. Because she was a gifted and passionate educator, training soon eclipsed all of her other activities and in 1997 she established the Institute.
Today, Parker provides courses for doctors, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists and dental surgeons as well as select courses for licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses. No matter what the subject, her primary goal is training practitioners to provide safe, high-quality care. “It’s amazing how many of us feel that just because we have a license to provide medical care, we are knowledgeable enough to provide aesthetics care,” she says. But this isn’t always the case. “In my state,” Parker reports, “from 1997 to 2003, 244 cases of adverse events were reported from laser treatments. Out of those 244 events, 202 treatments were administered by physicians.” She believes it’s imperative, therefore, for every individual in the medical aesthetics profession—from physicians to nurses to physician assistants—to obtain in-depth, hands-on training. “The key to the good delivery of care,” says Parker, “is a good education.”
Her high standards for Esthetic Skin Institute courses receive continuous praise from her students, and her return and referral rates are high. “My students return for training in all of the aesthetics services they plan to offer in their practices,” she notes. “They also refer colleagues who wish to transition into aesthetics or add aesthetic services to their practices.”
Another indication of the quality of her service is the caliber of physicians who comprise her board of advisers. “Such highly respected physicians do not become affiliated with an organization that is not high quality,” she observes.
Parker has been referred to as “a visionary and a pioneer ahead of her time” for developing this training system. Her response? “I have always been a seeker and giver of knowledge,” she notes, “and I have had some great teachers along the way who helped me, so now I strive to help others.”