Ten years ago today, November 1st, 2007, I became the owner and medical director of the Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, and my, what an adventure it has been! I thought I would take a few moments to reflect on these last 10 years, and I thought I should share those thoughts with you.
I am so honoured to be able to carry on the work started by Dr. Peter Wyshynski, who bought the historic Seagram house in 1990, and converted it to the modern medical and surgical clinic it is today.
I am always proud to tell our patients that top-notch aesthetic surgery has been going on in our facility for nearly 28 years. There are precious few other clinics in Canada that can claim that kind of consistency and longevity.
I am very proud of the wonderful staff we have built. As I write this, I am on a flight to a conference with Heather, our office manager, Ange, our operating room manager, and Barb, our patient liaison. They have worked with me from just about the time I started. I have worked with Patti, our scrub nurse, and Dr. Nicholas, our anesthesiologist, for 13 years. I have known Melissa, our senior recovery room nurse for 20 years. Laura, at our front desk, is the daughter of my accountant who has been looking after the Clinic and my family for 13 years. There is simply no substitute for the relationships we have built with each other over all these years. Our team is built of honest, kind, talented and hard-working people, and I love them all.
As the Clinic grows, our team continues to grow as well. We have added a few new key team members these past few years, and I look forward to writing about their ten year anniversaries in the future.
Over the past 10 years, the surgical team has grown as well. Back in 2007, I initially adopted the time-honoured tradition of the “solo surgeon”. Traditionally, that was how it was done in the world of aesthetic surgery, but the “traditional way” does not always equal the “best way”. The addition of Dr. Stephanie Ma has dramatically improved our ability to give the best care to the most patients. We are one team of surgeons, sharing one goal, sharing our experiences and ideas, and sharing patient care. We even share one big round desk in our shared office! After all these years, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be in practice alone.
We have overcome our fair share of obstacles over ten years. The most dramatic of which was “the great flood of 2010”. A pipe in the attic of the Clinic froze and burst. On the weekend. In February. Half the building was destroyed, and we had to move out for four months. The clinic was rebuilt, even better than before. The team, as always, was unflappable. They were all heroes in the face of the disaster. And the greatest miracle of all was that not a single surgical case was cancelled. Not one. We got every case done, safely and beautifully. Next time you are in, bring some coffee and ask one of us to tell you the flood story. It’s a good one.
I am also pleased to have been able to maintain my relationship with the Cambridge Memorial Hospital. During my ten years at the Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, I managed to also hold the positions of Chief of Surgery and Vice President of Medical Affairs at the hospital. Cambridge Memorial Hospital takes its share of undeserved criticism. I have been in and around many hospitals for the better part of 25 years now. I can think of no finer hospital with which to be affiliated. I hope that the staff of the Cosmetic Surgery Clinic will always maintain a happy, healthy relationship with our Cambridge Hospital colleagues.
I also remain pleased and proud of the work the Clinic has done to promote breast reconstruction surgery for the breast cancer survivors in the region.
Our surgeons are now doing a greater number and a wider variety of breast reconstruction cases than has ever been done anywhere in our region. We have been, and will continue to be loud and active advocates for reconstructive breast surgery.
In recognition of the tremendous support the people of the tri-cities region have shown the Cosmetic Surgery Clinic these last 10 years, we feel it’s time to give a little back. Throughout the course of this year, we will be announcing a series of charitable initiatives that we hope will enhance the lives of those who have been so kind to us these last 10 years.
And finally, at the center of the joy felt and seen at the clinic is all of you, our patients. You all have been a source of motivation and sustenance for us. Your happiness is what fuels us. Your smiles ignite ours. Your wishes are our wishes. Your disappointments push us to become better at our work. Your thank you notes and hugs fire our engines and bring us to work every day.
So, on this anniversary day, let me say, from all of us, thank you for making the last ten years wonderful, and together let’s make the next ten even better.