Once upon a time, I was a medical student at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine. The motto of the school, “Serving the People,” aligns with its mission to train primary care physicians to serve the underserved areas of Michigan. When I started medical school, I thought I wanted to become a Family Practitioner. I would care for my patients from the cradle to the grave, helping them with all their medical concerns along the way.
There was one problem: the only part of the Family Practice rotation that called to me was the office surgery we did on Fridays. I felt like I was home during my surgery rotation, and my fate was sealed. And then, on a quiet general surgery day, I scrubbed in with a plastic surgeon who was doing a facelift. The stars aligned that day. I knew from the first incision to the last suture that plastic surgery would be the specialty for me.
So what was a young medical student to do? As it turned out, another student just one year ahead of me thought the very same thing. He managed to come from a primary care school and land a residency in plastic surgery. Luckily, he was kindhearted and happy to advise me. I rotated with him as a fourth-year student when he was a first-year intern. He shared his spreadsheet on residency programs and, later, when I was nearing the end of my plastic surgery residency, his spreadsheet on cosmetic surgery fellowships. We stayed in touch after we were in practice, he in Michigan and me in New York. Eventually, when I decided to make the move back to Michigan, he made space for me to work with him in his office. With his help, I was able to get busy from day one. When I decided to make the leap to solo practice, he was nothing but supportive.
Dr. Anthony Youn, America’s Holistic Plastic Surgeon, has been like my big brother in plastic surgery. While working with him, he facilitated my appearances on TV shows “The Doctors” and “@This Hour” on CNN. Through his connections, I was asked to comment for People, OK!, and Life & Style magazines. Today, he is known for his informative (and comical) TikTok channel. He has 4.5 million YouTube subscribers. He is the author of three bestselling books. I don’t think he sleeps.
In 2018, Dr. Youn invited me to be on his podcast to dispel common plastic surgery myths. You can watch the show here.