The Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset believed that a generation lasts about eight years. For most of us, 10 years is a good time frame to look at the past, reflect upon our lives and build upon these experiences as we move forward. I am making this usually solitary process public because I feel that the next 10 years are critical for our patients and the next generation of physicians.
In medicine the passage of knowledge to the next generation is a structured and even sacred tradition. During the last 10 years, while serving as President of both the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, it has been my distinct honor to improve the quality of medical care delivered to patients across the nation while ensuring the next generation of physicians uphold Hippocrates’ noble principles. Currently, I continue to direct the University of Washington’s Fellowship in Facial Plastic Surgery, teach and direct national and international courses, as well as maintain our commitment to ongoing pro bono activities. Quite simply, medicine remains my passion in life and I am honored with my recent election to the two-year term as President of the International Federation of Facial Plastic Surgery Societies.
“It is essential to refine how we understand each face – not only in scientific terms, but as artists.”
At the Larrabee Center we have remained dedicated to our goal of advancing the specialty of facial plastic surgery. The continued development and publication of our two text books – Surgical Anatomy of the Face and Principles of Facial Reconstruction – inspired me to create the the American Medical Association (AMA) Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery for the advanced surgeon. The journal remains the most respected journal in facial plastic surgery and I am privileged to continue as the editor.
My first step in the journey into the next decade begins this year with our international release of a new book: The Art and Craft of Facial Rejuvenation. This text illustrates our surgical techniques which allows us to tailor procedures precisely to each individual patient. We will continue to refine these procedures and, more importantly, use this knowledge for the benefit of our patients.
During the last 10 years we have been able to invest in a range of programs to help victims of domestic violence in Seattle as well as children with cleft lip/palate and other facial deformities in Latin America and Asia. It is my goal to expand upon our humanitarian contributions over the next 10 years as we enter into a partnership with Seattle Surgical Outreach to provide reconstructive surgery at the Black Lion Hospital in Ethiopia.
“Our goal is to provide the best clinical care and achieve the best surgical outcomes for our patients.”
Another dream I have is to develop the first Center of Excellence for Facial Paralysis on the West Coast. Such a facility would centralize resources for unparalleled treatment of these patients. With the combined efforts of Dr. James Ridgway and myself, I look forward to bringing this dream, and others, to fruition.