The Aging Plastic Surgeon

Although this is my 17th year in private practice, I still feel like I am early on in my career as a cosmetic Plastic Surgeon. It is still exciting to me, and I enjoy meeting and helping patients reach their esthetic goals. How long will this feeling last?

I recently met with a Plastic Surgeon in New York City who has been in practice around 40 years. He is proudly 74 plus, and still maintains a private office as well as positions of respect and authority in major hospitals and universities here. He enjoys teaching and still actively operates both in his office and at the hospital. I asked him if he still enjoys what he does. He replied “Absolutely.”

He shared with me his disdain for the politics of the profession, and recounted several events in which he was left to battle for what was rightfully his. He let me know it was not always pleasant, but when someone pushed him, he pushed back harder.

One always thinks of working hard and then retiring to “enjoy life.” I think retirement would kill this man, as his identity is so tied up in his profession. His dedication for so many years is not something he is willing to walk away from.

What will the future bring for me, say after 20 more years? I would like to think I would still want to be helping the Hispanic Community and doing what I do best. I hope to age gracefully, but keep my passion and enjoyment in the field of Plastic Surgery.