I have performed more than 15,000 facial procedures during my medical career, but let's see how I got here.
As a child and teen, I won several art scholarships (Mom's gene). Later, my Bachelor Degree was in Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in New York. For the next twelve years I was a fashion designer in New York City. Somewhere between becoming a vegetarian and wanting to justify the space I was taking up on this earth by helping people directly, I decided to try saving lives and stamping out disease.
I went to medical school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and remained there for a residency in Ophthalmology. Why Ophthalmology? The eyes and the orbit and all their associated structures are the most complex part of the face, needing to be both beautiful and functional. It also involved microsurgery, for me, the perfect blend of working with my hands and working on the tiniest structures with the tiniest instruments (we cut our surgical teeth working under a microscope). And the extra attraction was that there was this great subspecialty, Oculoplastic (or more recently titled, Oculofacial) and Reconstructive Surgery of which I became enamored from the outset.
The year I applied for the Oculoplastic fellowship, there were only nineteen of them available in the country, and Duke University Medical Center was the program where I spent two extraordinary years. After over 900 operations of nothing but lids, orbits and faces, I came to Sarasota in 1993. About a year later I opened my own practice, and as the old artist resurfaced more and more, I realized that even if I wasn't destined to save lives, I could really improve the quality of them. By the end of 1999 my practice had segued, driven by patient demand, to become completely cosmetic, and over the years I've taught extensively in addition to my work with patients.
In addition I have:
I hope this still justifies that space I'm occupying.
Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon, Sarasota, Florida
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