About the Aesthetic Learning Academy 

Since 2016, the Aesthetic Learning Academy has been dedicated to training health professionals on aesthetic and non-invasive treatments. Through a variety of educational endeavors including didactic, hands-on and video training the Academy provides knowledge to enhance services to patients and increase practice revenue. 

Featured Faculty & Speakers

The Aesthetic Learning Academy is dedicated to providing the best possible learning experience, including educators who are passionate about teaching and their subject matter.  Other speakers may be available, please see the specific course you are interested in for more information. 

Samuel Shatkin, JR., MD, FACS


Dr. Samuel Shatkin Jr. is the president of the Aesthetic Learning Academy and the President of the International Society of Aesthetic Medical Professionals.

He is an internationally recognized lecturer, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and trained in all aspects of Plastic Surgery. His primary focus is on aesthetic plastic surgery, advanced medical skin-care, and anti-aging techniques. He is a diplomat of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.

Dr. Shatkin is the recipient of the “Top Surgeons in America” Award from the Consumers Research Council and more recently in “Who’s Who in Healthcare” for Plastic Surgery and Top Doctors in America. His One-Of-A-Kind, Ambulatory Surgery Centre is listed as one of the Top Ambulatory Surgery Centers in Western New York. He has received the “Top Doc Award” from Castle-Connolly annually. His award-winning Tres’ Aurae Medical Spa is the recipient of the coveted 5-Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, for which he is the only Plastic Surgeon in the world to be honored with that award.


Todd E. Shatkin, DDS

Dental Lecturer 

Dr. Todd E. Shatkin is the director of dentistry at the Aesthetic Associates Centre, and performs all aspects of General and Cosmetic Dentistry. He has been in private practice in dentistry since completing dental school at the University of Pacific. Dr. Todd E. Shatkin provides all types of cosmetic and implant dentistry, including the newest “mini dental implants”, which can be immediately “loaded” with dentures or prosthesis, to offer an immediate solution to poorly fitting dentures or one or more missing teeth.


Andrea Joy Smith, DDS

Clinical Educator 

Dr. Smith is a qualified and well respected mini implant dentist with a special interest in cosmetic dentistry, practicing general dentistry for over 20 years. Currently, Dr. Smith is one of only 1100 dentists in the world certified to perform the Chao Pinhole Surgery Technique ®; a new way to treat gum recession. Dr. Smith is also capable of performing complicated full mouth restoration procedures. Dr. Smith offers a wide range of restorative dental care treatments replacing missing teeth with dentures, dental crowns as well as dental implants. She is also trained in periodontal and endodontic procedures like root canals, periodontal scaling, and root planning using Diode laser technology.


James R. Tharp, DDS

Clinical Educator 

Dr. James R. Tharp is passionate about treating Dental guests the way he would want to be treated. Dr. Tharp was always taught. “that if you don’t constantly re-educate yourself, you will be left behind.” And to that effect, Dr. Tharp takes over 200 hours of continuing education each year. He is also fortunate enough to be able to teach mini dental implant courses about ten times per year. Dr. Tharp has earned a mastership in Mini Dental Implants from the International Association of Mini Dental Implants. He has taught at his Alma Mater Northwestern University Dental School, University of Illinois Dental School and the Massad Learning Center in Oklahoma. He has also taught in three different countries and twenty different states. Dr. Tharp has done all of the Pankey, Dawson, and Piper Courses.


Kathy Ackerman, RN

Clinical Educator 

Kathy has her B.S. in nursing from D’Youville College and has been working with Dr. Sam Shatkin Jr. for over 25 years. She is the Nursing Supervisor at Aesthetic Associates Centre, which is an ambulatory surgery facility. She assists Dr. Shatkin in the operating room, performs consultations, lasers and has been doing Botox and fillers for 10 years.

Kathy is also a Certified Integrative Nutrition Coach and runs weight loss and nutrition classes throughout Western New York.


Abbe Clyde, PA-C

Clinical Educator 

Abbe has been a Physician Assistant since 2012 and currently works at the Aesthetic Associates Centre for Plastic Surgery and Advanced Skin Care in Amherst, NY where she joined the aesthetic team providing skin care solutions using injectables, lasers, peels and light and energy based devices. Prior to being in the aesthetic field, she worked for 3 years in primary care in Wilmington, DE and 1 year in the Emergency Medicine at Erie County Medical Center.


Michelle McCarthy, PA-C

Clinical Educator 

Michelle Doyle McCarthy received her Bachelor’s Degree in the Physician Assistant Program at D’Youville college in 2007. From 2007-2012 she worked in the dermatology department at Roswell Park Cancer Institute specializing in PDT, clinical research and skin cancer treatment. Michelle joined the Aesthetic Associates Centre and Dr. Sam Shatkin Jr. in 2012 to share her knowledge of skin care and learn new innovative treatment techniques for the aging face along with the AAC staff.

Michelle specializes in chemical peels, laser skin rejuvenation, injectables, micro-needling, and IPL. She is a member of AAPA, SDPA, WNYPAA, and NYPAA.


Natalie Talarico, Aesthetician

Clinical Educator 

Natalie is a licensed aesthetician and expert in the field of advanced skincare. With a passion for science as well as the beauty industry, the decision to become an aesthetician was inevitable. She studied Esthetics at the Salon Professional Academy and is a certified SkinPen microneedling instructor. Natalie has the ability to properly analyze the skin and create a personalized treatment course to produce tremendous results for each of her clients. She is an advocate for the amazing medical advancements in both skin care and in-office procedures. Natalie will be sure you look and feel your best, from the inside out!


Register Now!

Courses taught by the Aesthetic Learning Academy are limited in size to ensure a doctor-patient ratio conducive to learning. Please register now to reserve your course attendence.

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