When someone (no matter what their profession) volunteers, most people agree that it says something about that person’s character. Now, I think I may go so far as to say that people in certain professions have a responsibility to volunteer their time and their services. In my opinion, plastic surgeons are among those professionals. We are healers of mind and body, and we should share those gifts even with people who cannot afford to pay.
Some examples of volunteer organizations that I have been a part of:
- Phillipine and American Group of Educators and Surgeons (P.A.G.E.S.)/Operation Hope. This group of doctors and nurses operates on children born with cleft lips and cleft palates in the Phillipines.
- Orthopaedic Overseas. I volunteered as an orthopaedic surgeon throughout the entire country of Bhutan assessing patients’ orthopaedic concerns as well as assisting in orthopaedic operations.
- Overseas Health Outreach. I co-founded, organized and participated in this program during my time at Jefferson Medical College. We worked with doctors in rural Honduras, providing primary care to the indigent population.
What It Means For You
Why should you care whether or not your surgeon has volunteered their plastic surgery services to those in need? I can answer from personal experience. My Walnut Creek breast enhancement, body contouring, and facial rejuvenation patients can learn from my volunteer background that I am a person of integrity. My volunteer work also indicates that I am devoted to my craft, not just because of financial gain, but because of the improved confidence, health, and quality of life it can provide to patients. I think that this knowledge can help men and women feel more comfortable in their choice of surgeon.