It is time to dress up your book-reading list with some newly minted titles that I found fascinating and recommend wholeheartedly. As this editorial will be read during the month of November, it is not too late for you to add some or all of these books to your reading wish list.
Hair Transplant 360 (Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers; 2010) is a comprehensive, two-volume tome about hair transplant surgery written by Samuel Lam, MD, and Emina Karamanovski. It is a kind of be-all end-all on the subject of hair restoration and hair transplant techniques. The first volume, written by Lam, is intended for use by physicians and covers the clinical side of hair restoration and hair transplant surgery.
The second volume, by Karamanovski, is written specifically as a training tool for medical assistants and offers invaluable and practical information on approaches to staffing and staff management, as well as guides covering the process of hiring and properly training assistants.
E.R. Mayhew’s excellent 2006 book The Reconstruction of Warriors: Archibald McIndoe, the Royal Air Force and the Guinea Pig Club (Greenhill Books; 2006), documents the creation of a specialized medical service in the Royal Air Force during World War II, which was set up to treat aircrew members who suffered burns and injuries due to combat and noncombat operations.
The hero of the story, British surgeon Archibald McIndoe, created a revolutionary new medical regime from scratch, reversing medical orthodoxy and working against the will of his superiors. Uniquely concerned with holistic care, McIndoe also brought in the local civilian population to assist him.
Although the book skirts most technical descriptions of how surgeries were performed, The Reconstruction of Warriors is a fascinating document that covers an important “hot period” in the development of plastic surgery procedures and burn management therapies.
Even Doctors Cry—Love, Death, Scandal and a Terribly Flawed Medical System (Langdon Street Press; 2010), by Alvin Reiter MD, veers off into what is for me very interesting territory: a successful Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who was diagnosed with incurable Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and given less than a 40% chance of living 6 years, while his wife was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in 1999 and given a 95% chance of total cure. He became her full-time caregiver, quit his practice, and she died 3 years later after the worst possible medical care imaginable, which he documents. It is a beautifully written story told from the heart.
In Faces, Souls, and Painted Crows (Chronicler Publishing; 2008), author Rudi Unterthiner, MD, FICS, creates a thinly veiled autobiography of a well-known plastic surgeon in Hollywood who tries to juggle his professional world with his calling in a completely different sort of world: as a healer in a Mexican coastal village. The novel is richly detailed in describing the protagonist’s rise and concurrent disdain for his profession, as well as the moral and spiritual choices he makes (and forces himself to make)—regarding the larger issues and concerns that haunt him.
Of the several books that talk about the business of running a plastic surgery practice, a few stand out as exceptional. For essential insights into the practical side of doing business as a physician, I recommend The Business of Plastic Surgery: Navigating a Successful Career, by Joshua M. Korman and Heather J. Furnas (World Scientific Publishing Co; 2010).
This volume features excellent essays and contributions by noted surgeons and business specialists. It underscores the reality that while plastic surgeons may go through several years’ training to be excellent clinicians, the business of running a medical business is not formally taught. This book addresses this glaring weakness very nicely.
Lights! Camera! Action! (AuthorHouse; 2010), by Angela O’Mara, comes with a mouthful of a subtitle, “The Power of PR: The Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon’s Guide to Obtaining Priceless TV, Magazine, and Other Media Exposure.” Don’t let that or the thinness of this well-written marketing and PR tutorial dissuade you from reading this invaluable reference. O’Mara leads the reader carefully through the arcane topic of how aesthetic practitioners can successfully work with the mass media.
CORRECTION: Due to a typographical error, the September 2010 cover of PSP should have rendered “Suzanne Quardt, MD, FACS” as “Suzanne M. Quardt, MD.”