I hate reading these bios on other surgeons’ websites. Too often they are formal, self-congratulatory, and provide little insight into the father, husband, and surgeon behind the surgical mask. Ultimately, the goal for you, the reader, should be to get to know me, why I do what I do, and why you should potentially consider me as your surgeon.
I grew up in a medical household. My dad is a pediatrician who was involved with medical research at the National Institutes of Health throughout my childhood. He later became chairman of Pediatrics at Duke University. My mom was a nurse who ran the geriatrics ward at the local VA medical center. Both of them were committed to helping people, and I’m sure it rubbed off on me.
I spent five years at Rush University in Chicago training to be a general surgeon. The training taught me how to operate but also, how to make decisions. The hardest thing to master as a surgeon is knowing when not to operate. I also learned that the exhilaration of seeing people get better before my eyes was intoxicating. Unlike general surgery, where patients were often at their lowest after a diagnosis of cancer, trauma, or while in pain from a chronic disease, plastic surgery offered primarily healthy patients who were happy and appreciative of my work. I was hooked.
On Plastic Surgery
Plastic Surgery is an art. We are trained to be the ones who other surgeons call when they get in trouble. When plastic surgeons sit for their board exams, the examiners want to know that you can get out of a jam. I remember being asked not just what to do to solve a problem, but what to do when that solution failed and the next solution after that. Such a breadth of knowledge is what sets plastic surgeons apart from cookie-cutter “cosmetic surgeons”. Our tool bag is full.
In high school, I saw a segment on 60 Minutes discussing the work of a group of volunteer plastic surgeons who traveled abroad to perform free surgery. The idea stayed with me, and I’ve had the opportunity to do such work on two trips to Africa, one to Kenya and one to Ghana. The trips are always a mix of emotions: humbling, gratifying, frustrating, and ultimately, never long enough to do all we want to do. They do put everything in perspective; not just regarding patients and their problems, but regarding life and what’s really valuable.
I tend to be one of those people who looks for a better way to do things. A blessing and a curse, just ask my wife. This character trait has led me to develop several new surgical techniques and devices some of which have altered the way we do plastic surgery. I’ve been awarded two US Patents, and I’m working on a third. Plastic surgery patients and problems tend to promote creative, outside-the-box thinking.
My success over the past two decades is a tribute to a dedicated office staff and the support of happy patients eager to refer their family members and friends. We enthusiastically look forward to meeting you and winning your recommendation.