Southern Plastic Surgery Intern Spotlight: Meet Hiroki

A Gainesville, Georgia native, Hiroki started his professional career working for a global animal pharmaceutical company for a decade before deciding he wanted a career change.  After growing tired of the monotony of his office job, Hiroki found medicine to be his calling as it would provide the challenging rigor he found most rewarding and also be a way he could help give back to the community.  Currently majoring in Osteopathic Medicine from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Hiroki has been an outstanding example of hard work and dedication to improving the medical field as a whole and we wanted you all to get to know him a little bit.  This month we turn our spotlight on Hiroki and wanted to get the scoop on his time spent interning with me and the rest of the Southern Plastic Surgery team:

SPSIntern(Hiroki)Describe your internship in ONE word.  AWESOME!

What skills have you learned that you think will be most valuable in your medical field?  Grace under pressure.  Dr. Whiteman would often quiz me while in the Operating Room (OR).  Being put on the spot while in the OR is an intense experience with an audience of the OR staff, being scrubbed in and maintaining the sterile field, all while focusing on assisting on the case.  Sweating under the bright lights, I would always find myself fumbling through a response.  Fortunately, Dr. Whiteman was always patient and after listening to my rambling, he would explain how he would have answered the question.   Most importantly, he would map out how to organize my medical knowledge in order to come up with a cohesive and concise answer to any question that might be asked of me during my training.

What’s been the greatest lesson you’ve learned so far during your internship?  Don’t stop suturing to think about a question from your Attending!

What’s been the biggest challenge?  Transitioning from being less of a medical student and more of an actual physician has been the biggest challenge.  As a student, you spend all your time learning medical facts such as anatomy and physiology.  However, as a doctor you need to utilize all the medical knowledge you have learned in a problem solving capacity.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  In an Anesthesia Fellowship, potentially Pediatric or Regional Pain.

What’s the best thing about interning with Dr. Whiteman?  Dr. Whiteman is an excellent teacher who provided me with guidance and excellent insight to prepare me for residency.  It was truly one of my best rotations as he provides ample opportunity for hands-on experience; from being first assistant in the OR to being the point of contact for his plastic surgery patients.  It was a Resident level experience.

As a husband and father of three kids, Hiroki stays busy but still manages to find some time doing what he enjoys to help maintain a healthy work-life balance:

Hobbies: Spending time with my family.

Favorite movie: Forgetting Sarah Marshall (my guilty pleasure movie).

Do you have a personal motto?  “Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better, do better.” -Maya Angelou

If you didn’t practice medicine, what would you do professionally instead? A chef, without a doubt. The kitchen is hands down my favorite creative outlet.

Favorite weekend activity in Atlanta:  Picking up a great brie and fresh baked bread from Star Provisions.

Pick one: breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner?  Brunch.

We are excited for Hiroki’s next journey (he recently matched into Anesthesia at LSU-Shreveport) and wish him nothing but the greatest of successes in his academic and professional future!  Check back each month as we feature more of the SPS interns.  Feel free to also contact Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C. with any questions you may have about our practice or cosmetic procedures.  You can also stay connected with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.