Here Are Haute Doctor’s Light-Bulb Moments To Becoming Medical Professionals

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Deciding to go to medical school is by no means a decision that anyone takes lightly. It's a commitment that one has to be extremely confident in due to the years of schooling and training that it entails. Haute Beauty sat down with Haute Beauty experts to learn about their 'aha' moment of becoming a medical professional and if anyone inspired them along the way. Here's what they had to say:

Dr. Jeffrey Lee | Breast Augmentation | Boston

Growing up, my parents wanted me to become a doctor so as a teenager I did everything I could NOT become a doctor. In college, I literally tried to spark an interest in anything other than medicine which included bioengineering, economics, chemistry, and even acting. I searched for anything that I could see myself doing as a career and came up short each time. In the end, nothing offered all the things that medicine offered and I begrudgingly accepted the fact that my parents were right. I ended up going to medical school, deciding on becoming a plastic surgeon, and the rest is history. Fast forward to now, I am so thankful to them because I cannot imagine being in any other field!

For more information, visit Dr. Lee's website, Instagram, or Facebook!

Dr. P. Daniel Ward | Face | Salt Lake City

I realized that I wanted to be a facial plastic surgeon when I was a medical student. We were performing a procedure to remove a large tumor from the face of a patient. In the middle of the procedure, I realized that the removal of the tumor had made this patient look not only unrecognizable, but the patient had almost lost their individual identity due to the tumor removal. It was definitely uncomfortable to feel this way. As the case proceeded, however, I started to see the work of the surgeon come together to restore this patient's appearance and identity. Seeing the transformation was incredible. Taking this defect and turning it back into a face was miraculous.

This opportunity to treat the identity of an individual in a way that helped restore that individual's identity made me want to be a facial plastic surgeon. Now, as a facial plastic surgeon, I get to help restore identities through aesthetic procedures, such as rhinoplasty, facelift, neck lift, blepharoplasty, brow lift, and even hair restoration. However, I also continue to perform reconstructive procedures, such as the reconstruction of facial defects after skin cancer removal and restoration of facial function after the patient experiences facial paralysis.

For more information, visit Dr. Ward's website, Instagram, or Facebook!

Dr. Daniel Careaga, M.D., Careaga Plastic Surgery | Body | Miami/Fort Lauderdale

Some people go to medical school to become a doctor, I went to medical school to become a surgeon.  Since childhood, I was fascinated by the ability to heal using my hands. Early on in my general surgery residency, I had the privilege of working with Dr. John McCraw, one of the fathers of modern plastic surgery.  Spending time with him in the operating room was life-changing for me. He made me realize that my delicate approach to surgery would be an asset to aesthetic surgery. It was then that I fell in love with my specialty and 11,000 aesthetic operations later, still feel the exact same way.

For more information, visit Careaga Plastic Surgery's website, Instagram, or Facebook!

Dr. Jose Rodríguez-Feliz | Eyelid Surgery & Face | Miami/Fort Lauderdale

Both of my parents are physicians. My mom is a Pediatrician and my dad is a Pediatric Pulmonologist and Critical Care. I was fortunate to experience at a very young age what being a doctor really was. I essentially grew up in my mom’s office! We would go from school to her office (or my grandmother’s house if she was home). My earliest recollection of saying I want to be a doctor was on a day I went to do rounds with my dad on the weekend and the mother of a patient stopped him right before getting into the Pediatric ICU and said: “Thank you for saving my son's life." I remember probably being 5 years old and looking up at them and saying to myself: “I want to be a doctor." To this date, every time I tell the story I get goosebumps. It seems very surreal. But I guess it is always moments like those that take you down the right path in LIFE!

For more information, visit Dr. Rodríguez-Feliz's website, Instagram, or Facebook!

Dr. Jason Bloom | Face | Philadelphia

My road to becoming a facial plastic surgeon started when I was growing up in Michigan. I have clear memories of my father, an oral & maxillofacial surgeon, calling his pre & post-op surgery patients on the phone, easing their anxiety the night before surgery and then letting them know that everything went well after surgery. I also used to shadow and follow him in the office from a young age and witnessing how he treated men, women and patients of all ages and the rapport he created from seeing patients in the office and operating room. It was these experiences that initially interested me in the fields of medicine and surgery.

Not only were these initial experiences important in influencing what I do today, but my college studies at the University of Michigan were instrumental. I was a Biopsychology & Cognitive Science major and History of Art minor in college and always had an appreciation of art, beauty, and the human form. It was this blend of science and art that eventually became the basis for my interest in aesthetic surgery.  The mix of art and science is crucial to everything I do as a facial plastic surgeon.

Additionally, I always loved the complexity of the head and neck anatomy and the precision necessary to operate on and transform an area of the body that is unable to be covered up and is central to human aesthetics. These important aspects of facial plastic & reconstructive surgery were obtained during my residency at the University of Pennsylvania and fellowship at NYU. The techniques and anatomical knowledge that I gained during my training furthered my love for what I do.

Lastly, my role as the UPenn facial plastic surgery fellowship co-director comes back full circle to my childhood memories. My father was not an academic in the sense that he would publish many journal articles, but he was the program director of an oral surgery residency program in Detroit, Michigan and he always loved his role as a teacher, mentor and educator.  In fact, he continues to interact and teach residents to this day, working with them in their residency clinic in Detroit. My passion for the field of facial plastic surgery is always invigorated by working with young residents and fellows in the field and passing on the knowledge that I have learned over the years from giants in the field and my mentors.

For more information, visit Dr. Bloom's website, Instagram, or Facebook!

Dr. Lindsey Marshall | Smile | Philadelphia

Choosing a career in dentistry began when I was in third grade. I had surgery on my ears and from that point on I knew I wanted to be in medicine. As the years went on I loved and excelled at science, math and art. When I was in college I was a biology major and a studio art minor and taking all of my premed/predental requirements. One day I was chatting with a friend and he was applying to dental school. His dad was a dentist and he told me how he loved how it combined science and art, it did not have daily life and death interactions and he saw how his dad could balance family life well with his practice. I attended Harvard School of Dental Medicine where we were completely immersed with the medical school for the first 2 years before moving over to dental school full time. While I loved learning everything we needed to learn medically, and I had such a great foundation for understanding how dentistry relates to full-body health and wellness, I knew dentistry was where I needed to be. Once I started practicing I quickly realized how much I loved doing cosmetic dentistry because I could use my creative artistic side and I could change people's lives. So I then continued my education to learn about aesthetic dentistry and technology to focus on having a cosmetic practice. Working with my hands, interacting with patients, performing minor surgical procedures AND literally changing people's lives was the perfect career choice for me. I am so glad I had that conversation with a friend 30 yrs ago!

For more information, visit Dr. Marshall's website, Instagram, or Facebook!

Dr. Mark Albert | Nose | New York

I didn’t necessarily have a lightbulb moment. I always knew that I wanted to go into medicine and my dad was also a doctor. When I was in my third or fourth year of medical school, I rotated in a lot of surgical specialties. At first, I narrowed it down to three and then finally I decided that plastic surgery was the one that appealed to me the most. In hindsight, I'd say my dad was my inspiration to join the medical field.

For more information, visit Dr. Albert's website, Instagram, or Facebook!

Dr. Kiran Gill | Body | Naples

I think my light bulb moment was as a medical student, walking into an Operating room where the surgeon and the chief resident were both women. I knew, at that moment, that I wanted to be a surgeon. It was the artistry in plastic surgery that ultimately led me to become a plastic surgeon.

For more information, visit Dr. Gill's website, Instagram, or Facebook!

Dr. Brian Machida | Face | Los Angeles

When my friend in college was thinking about medical school, he was saying that it was difficult to deal with life and death issues. I really had no problem dealing with those issues so I thought I would be better able to help those patients. That was my moment of decision.

For more information, visit Dr. Machida's website, Instagram, or Facebook!