Annals of Plastic Surgery, December 1, 2009 – Paces Plastic Surgery Oculoplastic and Aesthetic Fellowship

Paces Plastic Surgery Oculoplastic and Aesthetic Fellowship in Atlanta, Georgia

It was a distinct honor and pleasure to complete the 6-month oculoplastic and aesthetic fellowship at Paces Plastic Surgery and Recovery Center in Atlanta, GA from July through December 2008. The faculty is world-renowned, the facilities are comprehensive, and during my tenure I was always treated by my mentors as a valued colleague.

The teaching staff is comprised of Drs. Rod Hester, Foad Nahai, Sonny McCord, Mark Codner, Farzad Nahai, and Kristin Boehm. Their leadership, finesse, and skill both inside and outside the operating room create the backbone of this fellowship—it was a privilege to work with these fine people each day. The lone fellow may “cherry pick” among this group’s daily cases and office visits, with a strong emphasis on maximizing educational benefit.

The majority of the experience is hands-on in the operating room, 5 days per week. At least one full day per week is devoted to oculoplastic surgery, while cosmetic facial procedures, breast refinement, and body contouring fill the remaining time. I particularly enjoyed learning midface lifting with Dr. Hester, intricate lid procedures and anatomy with Drs. Codner and McCord, and advanced brow and autologous fat grafting with Dr. Nahai. Transaxillary endoscopic breast augmentation, central mound and vertical reduction mammaplasty/mastopexy, combination-modality body lipocontouring, and primary/secondary rhinoplasty were highlights as well. Patient office visits may be attended at the fellow’s discretion, and formal didactics are provided individually as well as integrated with weekly Emory plastic surgery residency conferences. Medical students, visiting faculty, and international guests regularly circulate through the surgery center.

The facilities are sophisticated and spacious, including 3 accredited operating rooms, 5 overnight suites, multiple procedure and examination rooms, a dedicated photography studio, and a luxury spa. Ancillary services include lasers, peels, and a high volume of injectables and fillers. During the 6-month term, the fellow is accommodated in a Paces-owned condominium that is within a 2-minute walking distance from the OR and office suites.

“Scut work” is not part of this fellowship. The attending surgeons are well-staffed with nurses and administration, so that the fellow may concentrate on clinical and academic interests. Responsibilities include daily assistance in the operating rooms, nightly post-operative checks and patient care in the overnight suites, local privileges at Piedmont Hospital, contribution to scientific literature, and Emory resident and student teaching. I spent time in the Emory cadaverlaboratory, attended the 2008 American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) meeting that was held in Atlanta, and participated in multiple industry-sponsored educational events. I also found time to study for the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) Written Examination and to manage the details of my solo practice start-up in Ohio.

The practice is located in Buckhead, which is an attractive and affluent section of Atlanta. There are many nearby restaurants, shopping areas, and outlets for nightlife. The city has warm weather, professional sports, and active cultural arts. There are numerous parks and recreational facilities for families as well.

Fellowship application and prerequisites include satisfactory completion of plastic surgical residency, letters of reference, curriculum vitae, and personal interview. Selections are frequently made more than 18 months in advance. A sincere and demonstrable interest in oculoplastic and advanced aesthetic surgical techniques is encouraged.

Jeffrey H. Donaldson, MD
Donaldson Plastic Surgery
Columbus, OH

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