Today I saw a 60 yr old patient on which I had done a breast reconstruction for a follow up office visit. Our goal with the surgery was trying to improve some piecemeal work from a previous surgeon. On this visit though, she wanted to tell me about her abusive parents, her cold husband, and her troubled kids. This was more important than my medical analysis of our past surgery. I let her talk and we truly connected. In the end, she does not feel good about herself, but I proved to her by her measurements – 40/31/40 – that her figure is almost ideal. She has done everything she could to fix her family problems, and I tried to convince that she needs to pay attention to herself now.

I like to think that I helped.

There is a strong cross-training trend between surgery residents who quit and go into psychiatry, and vice versa. The older I get, the more I enjoy being a life-counselor and a psychiatrist for my plastic surgery patients. In today’s rushed world it’s a frequent complaint that patients don’t get to spend enough time with their doctors during their office visits. I want to be there for my patients for both their physical and emotional healing. I believe that plastic surgery can be life changing and can give people back the confidence they lost.