Healer. Musician. Missionary. Leader.
Profession: Plastic Surgeon
My HWS education was a great foundation and stimulus for my training in medicine. I received a true liberal arts education in a small, safe environment. It felt like there was no such thing as failure, and it was instrumental in my being able to do what I want in my life.
When I think back on my HWS experience, I was lucky to go to a small College. The environment bred closeness, and I was able to forge life-long friendships in that intimate setting.
During my senior year, I was part of the housing lottery on campus, and I received the number one! Someone actually offered me money for my number, but I wasn’t willing to part with it. At the time, the best rooms were the split doubles on the first floor of Medbery, so that’s where I lived.
I took an elective in plastic surgery as part of my surgical rotation during medical school, and I found it to be the most aesthetically creative area of medicine. I had loved the art classes I took at HWS, so the creativity of plastics really appealed to me.
I’m a Clinical Instructor in Plastic Surgery in the Harvard Plastic Surgery Residency program, but I also have a private practice, Plastic Surgery Specialists, Inc. Most doctors opt to go into private practice or teaching practice, but I decided to do a hybrid. My practice is important to me, but I enjoy working with residents, too.
I’ve traveled to South America each year for the past ten years with Healing the Children. While there, my team performs 45-60 reconstructive surgeries over nine days. It’s very tiring, but it’s the most rewarding thing I can think of. Because of my dedication to South America, I’ve been able to establish really strong relationships with my foreign colleagues and provide continuity of care for the children.
When I started going to South America, I knew absolutely no Spanish. Now I know two words! Every year, I try to learn a bit of the language before we set off, and I always pick up new words while we’re in Colombia, but every year, I lose it all after the trip.
Music has always been a part of my life. Nowadays, I play the drums in a rock and roll cover band, The Regressions. Almost all of us have other jobs—a lot of us are doctors, actually—so we usually only perform at fundraisers. It’s mostly for fun; music for the soul.
My band, The Regressions, played at the Walk for Hunger on Boston Common in 2005. Our show attracted 43,000 people and raised more than $2 million! It’s always exciting to be on stage, and we’ve played for some big crowds, but that was the coolest performance ever.
As a student, I was active in the Hobart Student Government during a very tumultuous time on campus. I was always involved, but it was enforced at Hobart and gave me an attachment to the College that led to my interest in the Alumni Council.
Currently, I’m serving as President of the Hobart Alumni Association. The Association is made up of interested, involved alumni that volunteer their time to foster the long term success of the Colleges. I’m looking forward to serving as President of the Council. I plan to do whatever is needed to really advance the mission of Hobart and William Smith.
Check back each month for two new Experience Maps.