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Women in Aesthetics

Mariangel Acevedo, MD: Making Patient Beauty an Art Form

Article-Mariangel Acevedo, MD: Making Patient Beauty an Art Form

Mariangel Acevedo, MD: Making Patient Beauty an Art Form
Mariangel Acevedo, MD, was not originally drawn to a career in medicine. “From a young age, I wanted to act, sing and travel the world,” she shared. “I loved the idea of being a different person every day and wanted to tell stories about love, life and different experiences.”

Then, a strange dream set Dr. Acevedo on a different path. “One night, I dreamt that Dr. José María Vargas, known as the Venezuelan father of medicine, was speaking on the television, which was impossible as he had been dead since 1854,” she recalled. “When I told my mom, she said the dream meant that I should be a doctor.

“As we were speaking, the announcer on the radio congratulated all Venezuelan doctors because it was Dr. Vargas’ birthday,” Dr. Acevedo continued. “My mom repeated, ‘You definitely have to be a doctor.’”

Healing Through Aesthetics

Her mother was not the only one who believed she should pursue medicine. “My dad saw that I liked brain teasers, chemistry and biology, and thought that I would make a good doctor,” said Dr. Acevedo. With her parents’ support, she applied and was accepted into medical school.

“I loved being a medical student,” she added. “But I soon learned that I hated being a doctor in the specialty I chose.”

At 25 years old, Dr. Acevedo began working in general medicine and soon developed anxiety and depression, irritable bowel syndrome, tachycardia and migraines. She also experienced significant weight gain and two bouts of bronchitis in one year.

After she fell asleep at the wheel and crashed her car in her apartment’s parking lot, she knew she needed to make a change. “I decided that if I wanted to cure my patients, I needed to cure myself first,” Dr. Acevedo shared.

It was her parents who suggested she consider switching to aesthetic medicine. “After my first class, I fell in love with aesthetics,” she said. “I have a deep passion for this beautiful specialty.”

 Dr. Acevedo at the Eiffel Tower in Paris with her family

Practicing in Venezuela’s Paradise

In 2008, Dr. Acevedo moved to Margarita Island, Venezuela, and started her aesthetic practice. “I decided on this location because I was captivated by the vibe of the island and its beautiful landscapes when I was a teenager,” she admitted. “The air is clean, there are no traffic jams, and it is multicultural – it is Venezuela’s paradise!”

Working on Margarita Island still has its challenges, according to Dr. Acevedo. “One of the biggest challenges is lack of access to the medical devices and technologies commonly used abroad,” she explained. “My patients’ skin also reacts differently to many treatments that are considered best practices in the U.S. and Europe.”

These setbacks have required Dr. Acevedo to combine her creativity with her knowledge of aesthetics to achieve the results her patients want. “It has been a rewarding challenge to use my armamentarium and develop different treatments that work for my patients,” she mentioned.

Thriving in Practice and At Home

In 2011, Dr. Acevedo expanded her practice by opening the largest aesthetic medical unit in town with her physician husband, Hildemaro Villasmil, MD, another aesthetic physician, and two aestheticians – all of whom can run the office if she is giving lectures abroad or teaching.

When she is not working, Dr. Acevedo spends time with her family, especially her six-year-old daughter, Zoe Alexandra. “She wants to be an aesthetic doctor when she grows up, as well as a pilot,” Dr. Acevedo shared. “I try to include her in my work schedule and ask her to play with me as much as I can. When she is not with me or my husband, my mother watches her, which is a big help.”

After 15 years of running her practice, traveling, giving lectures and teaching, Dr. Acevedo has learned that organization is key to maintaining a healthy balance between her thriving career and rich family life. “My husband and I divide tasks and follow a schedule as much as possible. He is such a big fan of my job and will cheer me on when I feel low,” she added.

Dr. Acevedo and her daughter Zoe Alexandra having a mommy-daughter day at a Princesses’ spa

A Female Perspective

While she is not an actor or singer, Dr. Acevedo believes she is living out the life she envisioned as a child. “I have had the opportunity to travel with my family and visit beautiful places, which was always important to me,” she said. “I have told people all over the world about myself, my story and what I love about aesthetics.”

Living this part of her dream is especially meaningful for Dr. Acevedo when she thinks of the women who raised her. “None of my grandmothers had the opportunity to study or work, and my mom quit her job when I was very young,” explained Dr. Acevedo. “Every time I am on stage, I feel that I honor them and all the women in my family that wanted to follow their dreams but could not.”

While being a woman in a male dominated field can be challenging, Dr. Acevedo sees the female perspective as a powerful asset. “I have not felt that being a woman has been a challenge,” she admitted. “I feel that being a woman has helped me to be conscious of my patients’ most common fears and deepest dreams. In a way, I think it has been easier for me to understand my female patients than it might be for a man.”

When it comes to the specialty, Dr. Acevedo believes the biggest challenge in the future will be to remain authentic. “In a world of filters and images created by artificial intelligence (AI), it is vital to keep our patients looking like themselves,” she said. “I find immense joy in making my patients’ beauty my art form and using my expertise to enhance what makes them unique.”

Good to Know Fun Facts about Mariangel Acevedo, MD

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