One of the most popular questions potential clients ask is what they should look for when choosing a Plastic Surgeon. And while the answer may not be the same for everyone, there are several factors you should consider. These factors should be the foundation for your search and will help you separate those that are qualified from those that are not. I talk about these in more depth on my “Selecting a Surgeon” page and encourage you to review this list when beginning your search. But again, these are simply starting points.
Once you have assembled a short list of qualified Plastic Surgeons, the next question is how you choose a surgeon that is right for you. To answer this, look at the type of person you want performing your surgery. And while talent and expertise should be a starting point, they are not the only factors to be considered. Most importantly, you need to know that this person will take care of you not only before and during your procedure but also long after. The relationship between a Plastic Surgeon and his patient lasts much longer than the actual healing time. For this reason, you want someone that will be there for you in the long run if you have questions or concerns about your original surgery or if you are simply considering additional procedures down the road. Plastic Surgery is an important decision that will affect you for the rest of your life. And the choice of who actually performs this surgery has far reaching consequences. Because this decision is so important, it is critical that my patients understand who I am as well as my philosophy towards Plastic Surgery. And my first statement will probably surprise you.
To begin with, I never wanted to be a Plastic Surgeon. Although I told my parents at the ripe old age of 5 that I wanted to be a doctor, I never envisioned a career in surgery—let alone, Plastic Surgery. I thought that the years of training required for any surgical sub-specialty were too long and I didn’t particularly have any bend towards the surgical profession. But that all changed the first day I began my surgical rotation. I clearly remember how amazed I was at the process of surgery itself and the complexity of the human body during these procedures. If you’ve never been in a surgery, you may find this hard to fathom but there is really no other experience like it. From that day on, I knew that I would do nothing else than pursue a career in surgery.
My specific interest in Plastic Surgery actually began a few years before this when I was an undergraduate. I used to study at the UCSD medical library and would often pore through Plastic Surgery journals amazed at the incredible transformations that these surgeons accomplished with victims of trauma, cancer, and congenital deformities. At the time, although I didn’t envision myself performing these surgeries, I gained a tremendous amount of respect for those who did. And it was only when I decided that surgery was to be my chosen profession that I put the two together. And after that, everything simply made sense.
I have always had an interest in the arts and how artists capture beauty through different media. I am an avid writer and photographer and joke that I have to work primarily to support my art collection. It is this connection that I feel has helped me most in becoming a good Plastic Surgeon. Success in my field is not simply the result of good technical skills. Success requires an aesthetic eye and the ability to identify how small changes will affect the overall outcome. In addition, a good outcome requires the ability to communicate with your patients. I feel so strongly about good communication and a customer-focused practice that I put these thoughts down in the form of my book, “Beauty and the Business”, which was published in January 2010. Since then, it has received international acclaim and has been used as a teaching component in a national training program for medical team members.
Over the years, I have had the honor of working with an amazing group of patients and look forward to many more ahead. Very little of what I do know was learned in residency. Instead, a good part has come from actual experience and the rest my patients have graciously taught me along the way. And for that, I will be forever grateful.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I look forward to working with you.