In March 2024 we will launch the first-of-its-kind Anti-ageing Medicine course in the U.K. We spoke with Dr. Anish Kotecha MRCGP, FAcadMEd, MBBCh, BSc, the Programme Leader, and he shared his vision for this groundbreaking programme.
Dr. Kotecha believes that Anti-ageing Medicine will be crucial in enhancing both the lifespan and the quality of life of patients. His expertise and vision form the basis of our new programme. Dr. Kotecha aims to connect theoretical knowledge with practical clinical experiences through Learna's Anti-ageing Medicine course.
In this blog, we look to get to the heart of Anti-ageing Medicine, and why it is such a critical field of study with our esteemed Programme Leader. He has an expanding role in medical education and has been elected to fellowship of the Academy of Medical Educators. Dr. Kotecha brings a wealth of experience to Learna | Diploma MSc's innovative Anti-ageing Medicine programme.
This is the first dedicated Anti-ageing medicine certificate in the UK.
What separates it from other aesthetic medicine and Anti-ageing courses that already exist?
"This field is a new and continuously developing segment of medical science. The World Health Organisation recognises the problems associated with ageing, highlighting its significance in health studies.
The primary objective of this course is to understand the fundamental concepts surrounding ageing. It focuses on understanding the biological and physiological processes that occur in our bodies as we age.
The course provides healthcare practitioners with evidence-based strategies to potentially reverse aspects of the ageing process. The aim is to enable individuals to achieve not only longer but also healthier lives.
A critical consideration is the quality of life in extended years. The prevailing perspective is that extending lifespan without maintaining functional independence and overall well-being would be counterproductive. This is cutting edge research that allows people to grow old youthfully.
Ultimately, the course will equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge and tools to support longer, healthier life spans, emphasising well-being in life’s later stages."
What would you say is the main benefit of obtaining a dedicated Anti-ageing Medicine certificate for a healthcare professional?
"I believe that healthcare professionals recognise the value of specialised qualifications, such as diabetes management or preventive cardiovascular medicine. These areas constitute the core of our daily clinical practice, making the benefits of such courses immediately apparent. Practitioners can envisage applying the knowledge gained to enhance patient care, thinking, ‘If I master this subject, I can offer more effective treatment to my patients.’
The significance of this Postgraduate Certificate lies in its relevance to our evolving demographic landscape, marked by an ageing population. Statistical forecasts indicate a notable increase in average life expectancy over the next 20 to 50 years. As healthcare providers, it is imperative that we understand and prepare for this shift, ensuring we can support our patients in maintaining a healthy lifestyle throughout their longer lives.
This course provides a thorough understanding of the physiological changes that occur with ageing, particularly from a primary care perspective. It lays a solid foundation, returning to the basic science of ageing, which is essential for effective patient care.
By equipping clinicians with this knowledge, the course enables them to more effectively treat their daily patient caseload. Crucially, it allows for the personalisation of advice and treatment plans to meet the specific needs of each individual patient."
What do you see as the future of Anti-ageing Medicine?
"This development is particularly intriguing, given the current state of healthcare within the NHS, where there is no official 'anti-ageing' speciality.
Presently, the NHS offers geriatric care, yet typically, geriatricians focus on elderly patients who, as a consequence of ageing, often present with multiple morbidities and are subjected to polypharmacy.
The concept of anti-ageing medicine takes a different approach. It seeks to explore preventative strategies: how can we forestall or even reverse the ageing process? This involves investigating interventions earlier in the lifespan to mitigate the effects of ageing.
Key areas of interest include the impact of lifestyle choices on ageing. This encompasses aspects such as sleep patterns, dietary habits, and exercise regimes, with the objective of maintaining youthfulness for longer periods of time.
From a commercial perspective, there is substantial potential for a profitable private sector in anti-ageing medicine. I anticipate a strong demand for high-quality, evidence-based anti-ageing guidance.
In the short term, this is the direction I see the field moving towards, with a growing emphasis on preventative healthcare."
What would be the biggest challenges facing healthcare professionals in Anti-ageing Medicine?
"While there is an increasing body of evidence, it is still a relatively new field. There is emerging data on certain medications, but the field itself is still in its early stages of development.
One significant obstacle may be a general lack of familiarity with this area. This includes a potential deficit in understanding the scientific underpinnings of the ageing process and the principles involved in measuring biological age.
A specific area of uncertainty is the comprehension of biological clocks, namely, how to interpret and communicate to a patient that their biological age may differ significantly from their chronological age. For example, explaining to a 72-year-old that their biological markers indicate an age closer to 85, or perhaps 50. Thus, the first challenge is understanding what these 'clocks' signify and how they function on a practical level, as well as where to access them.
Another challenge lies in the scarcity of knowledge regarding practical aspects of this field; there is a need for a more robust evidence base concerning management advice. While it is widely acknowledged that a healthy diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep are beneficial, the empirical evidence supporting these practices in terms of reversing the biological ageing process requires further exploration. The question remains whether these lifestyle changes merely prevent certain diseases or if they can genuinely reverse the ageing process.
In summary, the challenges include a potential gap in knowledge and understanding. Overcoming these challenges involves enhancing understanding of these areas, allowing practitioners to effectively incorporate this knowledge into their clinical practice. Additionally, this knowledge could provide opportunities for healthcare professionals to venture into private practice."
Why would you recommend Learna to a prospective student?
"Learna boasts a 13-year history of delivering educational programs to healthcare professionals; we are committed to improving the quality and accessibility of healthcare education, to upskill more healthcare professionals to improve the provision of medical care.
Our educational offerings have a broad international reach, attracting students from diverse regions worldwide. This diversity enriches our programs by bringing together varied perspectives and experiences from different healthcare environments. We have refined our approach to training our tutors, ensuring they are adept at facilitating groups with diverse backgrounds.
In addition to our expert teaching staff, we have an exceptionally capable student support team. This team excels in promptly and effectively addressing any queries our students may encounter during their studies.
Our educational methodology adheres to adult learning principles. The Anti-ageing Medicine course is designed to guide learners from understanding the basic principles of the ageing process to recognising its most evident physical manifestations. This course is particularly beneficial for aesthetic and cosmetic practitioners, offering a robust evidence base concerning anti-ageing mechanisms and treatments.
The course content is directly applicable to clinical practice. It provides insights for healthcare professionals who wish to establish their own anti-ageing practice, guiding them towards becoming experts and consultants in the field of anti-ageing, especially within the private sector."
Start your Anti-ageing journey today.
If you’re looking to study an Anti-ageing Medicine course online, we are proud to offer the first Postgraduate Certificate programme in the U.K.. With no international surcharges, you will benefit from joining a global network of multidisciplinary healthcare professionals, with whom you can share experiences and best practices around the world.
Our world-leading online programme is designed by healthcare professionals, for healthcare professionals. The flexible nature of our learning platform puts you in charge of your education; you can log in daily and study at a time that suits you, our Anti-ageing Medicine course will give you the flexibility to balance your studies alongside working full-time.
Start your career journey today by studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Anti-ageing Medicine!
Apply now to join our first ever cohort in March 2024.