Southern Plastic Surgery Intern Spotlight: Meet George

So far you’ve all had the chance to get to know a little bit about our past interns in our intern spotlight series.  We’ve introduced Lila and Hiroki, but now we’d like to introduce you to George.  An Augusta, Georgia native and a current 4th year osteopathic medical student at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine – GA Campus, George has been a great addition to the Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS) family during the duration of his medical internship.  It’s always great to have interns that are dedicated, focused and hard-working in regards to making the most of their internship and being proactive in their learning; and George is no exception!

SPS internWhat made you choose a career in medicine? I grew up in a medical household. My father is an osteopathic physician, my mother is a registered nurse practitioner, and I’ve just always sort of been drawn towards medicine. In fact, when I was around 8 years old I dressed up as a doctor for Halloween and my mother never let me forget it!

What’s your favorite memory so far?  Among many great memories, Dr. Whiteman’s staff is tremendous. Great people, great at what they do.

Describe your internship in ONE word.  Fascinating.

What skills have you learned that you think will be most valuable in your medical field?  Steady hands – invaluable in medicine.

What’s been the greatest lesson you’ve learned so far during your internship?  Never leave the office until all of the work is done. You’ll just have more to do tomorrow.

What’s the best thing about interning with Dr. Whiteman?  Dr. Whiteman tries to come across as the “tough professor” in the beginning of the internship, but by the end we all know he’s just a big teddy bear.  Seriously, he is an excellent doctor and teacher, and he doesn’t accept a job performance less than well done.

What’s been the biggest challenge?  Managing time – without a doubt; there never seems to be enough, does there?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  Practicing medicine and somewhere on a beach or a golf course.

When George isn’t finessing his plastic surgery surgical skills, in hopes of one day specializing in Internal Medicine, he leads a very active lifestyle here in Atlanta and is quite the renaissance man (fun fact about George: he taught himself how to play five different instruments with only the help of the internet – and he’ll eagerly share that this was back in the days of dial-up!).

Hobbies: I have a wide variety of hobbies.  Sports, music and good food/beverage are pretty close to the top of the list.

Favorite movie:  Tommy Boy. Don’t judge me; it’s a classic from my childhood.

Do you have a personal motto?  Always be better than the guy before you, and make it extremely difficult for the guy after you.

If you didn’t practice medicine, what would you do professionally instead? I’ve always wanted to open a restaurant. Maybe someday further on down the road…

Favorite weekend activity in Atlanta:  A day at the park with my dog, Murphy.

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

Everyone at the office has enjoyed George’s time here and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!  Check back next month as we feature our next SPS intern feature.  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.

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.

Southern Plastic Surgery Intern Spotlight: Meet Lila

Each year I mentor several medical students that spend a few weeks interning in our office to get hands-on learning in the field of reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery and I thought it was about time we introduced the bright students that are going to be the future of medicine!  For the 4th year interns who choose our practice for their elective internship, we really wanted to give them a well-rounded scope of topics we feel are important to helping future physicians properly care for their patients; from surgical techniques to office management and patient caretaking.  First up on our spotlight is Lila.

dr david whiteman southern plastic surgeryOriginally from Alpharetta, Georgia, Lila is an aspiring pediatrician who we have had the pleasure of working with for the past several weeks.  Lila received her Bachelors of Science in Biology (with a minor in Global Health) from Emory University and is currently studying at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine – Georgia Campus.  We sat down with Lila and asked her a few questions about her time spent interning with the Southern Plastic Surgery family:

What made you choose a career in medicine?  For as far back as I could remember being a doctor is what I said when people asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I have a brother who had very bad childhood asthma, and to me, the doctors that looked after him during his really terrible asthma exacerbations were miracle workers. I wanted to do for other families what they did for mine.

Describe your internship in ONE word.  “Independence”.  Dr. Whiteman really pushes his interns to think independently, but will never abandon us and will never waste an opportunity for us to learn something.

What skills have you learned that you think will be most valuable in your medical field?  I won’t be doing a lot of plastic surgery in my practice, but nonetheless have learned some incredible things that I will carry with me throughout residency and my practice.  Dr. Whiteman has really helped me improve my suturing and surgical skills.  What I’ve learned will be invaluable throughout my emergency medicine rotations and pediatric surgery experiences.  I also have learned so much about wound care and management, post-operative care for patients, and am now able to confidently discuss the risks, benefits and process of certain procedures that I will be referring my pediatric patients to plastic surgery for.

What’s been the greatest lesson you’ve learned so far during your internship?  I’ve learned that it’s ok to ask for help! I won’t always know the right answer or what to tell my patients – but its ok, that’s why I’m working with the best to learn!

What’s been the biggest challenge?  How to transition from thinking like a student to thinking like a physician.  Suddenly, it isn’t about just diagnosis anymore, it’s about recognizing disease states and conditions, testing for them, efficiency and being economical with my time and tests I want to order.

What’s the best thing about interning with Southern Plastic Surgery?  Some may say plastic surgery is a very superficial or shallow field of medicine, and I admit, before I started I can’t say that I completely disagreed.  But, working with Dr. Whiteman, I’ve really been humbled by his work, his patients, his attitude and the relationship he has with his patients.  It isn’t about looking “pretty” or “beautiful” – although all his patients I’ve seen certainly do look so, but rather it’s about how his patients FEEL and celebrating who they are and how they feel about themselves.  He helps patients who have lost over 100+ pounds celebrate by removing excess skin and helps women who have beat breast cancer rebuild a part of their bodies that are so associated with femininity.  He treats every patient that walks through his door like family – and that is something that really made an impression on me and I aspire to achieve in my own practice.

What’s your favorite memory so far?  Dr. Whiteman dancing to “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars in the operating room while his patient got settled, so she was more at ease.  It is surgery, yes, but he always made it fun!

Then, we asked her the really tough questions:

Hobbies: Traveling, cooking, spending time with family & shopping.

Favorite movie: The Princess Bride

Do you have a personal motto?  It is a quote from a famous Persian poet that my father read to me growing up, “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”

Fun fact about yourself:  I never use my given name, Lila!  My nickname, which everyone knows me by, is only a one letter difference from my given name!  “Lily” Is my nickname.

If you didn’t practice medicine, what would you do professionally instead? A wedding planner! One of my hobbies is decorating and party planning, but a lot of why I enjoy this is because I love celebrating happy occasions with families!  In medicine, when my patients gets discharged from the hospital after several days and get to go home healthy again, it’s always a mini-celebration!

Favorite weekend activity in Atlanta:  In the spring I love to get lunch from Alon’s Bakery and have a picnic at Piedmont Park!

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

Stay tuned for more intern spotlights in the upcoming weeks to learn more about the stellar group of men and women you may see around the office from time to time.  Feel free to also contact Southern Plastic Surgery, P.C. with any questions you may have about our practice or procedures.  You can also stay connected with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.