Why I do what I do (Part 2) With Dr. Landon Mclain
After finishing dental school then medical school, the one thing I appreciated was the vastness of scientific knowledge available. But at some point, the schooling must cease and mastery of one particular discipline should begin. I completed my general surgery internship which included ICU, trauma surgery, transplant surgery, surgical oncology, endocrine surgery, ENT and facial plastics among others. I realized that all the exceptional surgeons, irrespective of their background or discipline, had found a passion in their work. What separated good and competent surgeons from their more rare counterparts, the extraordinary ones, was simply the desire to become the best. This began a new search for purpose in my career. After completing my maxillofacial residency, I found myself wanting more focus in my training. I was fortunate enough to be exposed to and perform a significant number of cosmetic procedures during residency, but I did not feel that I could offer the full spectrum of cosmetic surgery, particularly the more challenging cases. At this point, most surgeons decide to fore-go additional training as the mid-thirties and mounting debt approach. But, as previously mentioned, I am a bit of a glutton for punishment.
I would be lying if I said that I knew I had made the right decision from the beginning. It truly wasn’t until about halfway through my fellowship training that I realized my intense passion for my craft. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term fellowship as it applies to surgical training, it is considered the absolute highest level of training and implies exceptional focus to either one discipline or sub-discipline of surgery. As a surgical fellow, I had never been left with so much responsibility or operated so much in my life, but I finally found passion in what I was doing. The grind had ceased and despite the hours worked I found myself looking forward to the next day. The surgery was elegant, beautiful, artistic and rewarding, but more importantly the atmosphere of the practice, one dedicated exclusively to cosmetic surgery, was exhilarating and downright festive at times. There is nothing more rewarding than making patients feel better about themselves. It is a known phenomenon that when we humans feel better about our appearance, we perform better, our relationships are more successful, our confidence grows and we are more fruitful in our endeavors. There is no better place to witness this than in a successful cosmetic surgery practice. Two more truths were realized by the completion of my fellowship: 1) the desire to look our best is as old as humanity and is an innate human trait (this is not a bad thing mind you… it is actually quite healthy when applied in moderation) and 2) serving others is the most fulfilling aspect of life. These are the reasons behind what I do. A wider smile, a new hairstyle, a change in wardrobe, a blossoming personality, or simply a brighter glow in a patient’s face are indicators of a successful transformation. These are the things that bring real and lasting satisfaction to my job and is truly why I do what I do!
Dr. Landon Mclain
When work is a pleasure, life is joy! When work is a duty, life is slavery.