Welcome back to another installment of our intern spotlight series. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Whiteman prides himself on not just providing the best cosmetic surgery experience to all of his patients, but also in mentoring, teaching and helping prepare the next generation of medical professionals. This month, we’re excited to focus on our latest Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS) guest resident, Jim. Jim has been interning here at SPS while he wraps up his studies at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM). It’s been a pleasure having Jim in our office learning from Dr. Whiteman and the entire SPS team. Between Jim’s hard work, attention to detail, and professionalism, he has made significant contributions during his time interning and we are proud to call him part of our Southern Plastic Surgery team.
What made you choose a career in medicine?
I was a chiropractor in my previous career. I really loved helping people and making a difference, but I wanted to be able to do more for them. Medicine gives me the tools to really make a huge difference in people’s lives. Especially in surgery! I know that the minute that the procedure is over, that I’ve helped to make a huge difference in that patient’s life. I am very visually orientated so surgery is a perfect fit for me.
What has been your favorite memory from your internship so far?
Being in the operating room. It’s the place that I feel most comfortable and where I feel like I can make a difference. Also, the staff in the operating room at Gwinnett Medical Center are all great people and wonderful to work with every day. They made me look forward to going into work every day.
Describe your internship in ONE word.
What skills have you learned during your internship with Dr. Whiteman that you think will be most valuable in your medical field?
Putting the patient first is number one. Listening to the patient to find out what it is that they want, and speaking honestly with them about their expectations. I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard Dr. Whiteman tell a patient that he wouldn’t recommend a procedure because it would be a waste of their money or they wouldn’t be happy with the results. Sometimes he’d suggest a much cheaper treatment or tell them not to do anything at all. He and all of his staff truly care about their patients.
Another skillset that I’ve learned is believing in myself and my abilities. Dr. Whiteman is a great teacher and pushes his interns to learn more and do more than we have before. I know that when I go on to my audition rotations later this month, that I will have what it takes to succeed no matter what I face.
What has been the greatest lesson you’ve learned so far during your internship?
“The patients come first” and “talk less, listen more”.
What has been your favorite part of interning with Dr. Whiteman?
The encouragement and support from Dr. Whiteman. He truly cares and wants his interns to learn and succeed. He’s been the best preceptor that I’ve had and I can’t thank him enough.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far during your internship?
Stepping up to the task of being an intern is a new challenge all in itself. We are given responsibilities that we haven’t been given before and it puts to task all of our medical knowledge. Dr. Whiteman is there to help guide us through it, but he expects us to find the answers on our own. While this is a challenge, it’s one of the reasons that I feel so prepared to face my future rotations.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Just finishing up my surgical residency and either beginning to work at the Veterans Affairs hospital as a surgeon or continuing on to begin a fellowship in a surgical subspecialty.
What are your personal hobbies?
I enjoy outdoor activities like kayaking, white water rafting, hiking, bike riding and scuba diving. I love to be out on the water as much as possible.
What is your favorite movie:
I’m not sure actually. These days I watch more fun comedy movies than action/adventure movies, but I like both. Lately tt seems like I watch more animated family films than anything else.
Do you have a personal motto?
Since I’m pursuing a very competitive specialty, i.e. surgery, I stick by these two mottos:
I will fight for it. I will never give up. I will reach my goal. Absolutely nothing will stop me.
Keep on working until you can say, “scalpel please”.
If you weren’t practicing medicine, what would you be doing professionally?
I don’t know for sure. I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. Medicine is such a rewarding profession. I love the beach and the ocean so I’d probably do something that combines the two. Being a scuba instructor, marine biologist or maybe a pilot all sound interesting.
What is your favorite weekend activity in Atlanta?
Studying, with a nap thrown in as a reward
Pick one: breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner?
After working closely together, it’s only natural that our interns begin to feel like part of our Southern Plastic Surgery family over time. And while it may be sad to see Jim leave, we couldn’t be happier about the time we spent with him during his internship. We are extremely excited to see where his career in medicine takes him and have no doubt that Jim will be a terrific doctor and make an excellent addition to wherever he ends up. For more information about Dr. David Whiteman or if you are interested in a plastic surgery consultation, please contact Southern Plastic Surgery today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more plastic surgery tips and updates.