Not a “Cookie-Cutter” Surgeon: Interview with Dr. Jill Murphy

by Gregory S


The Argus Leader recently issued a Q&A report with Dr. Jill Murphy, a plastic surgeon who recently started practicing at Plastic Surgery Associates. We liked her answers so much, that we decided to reprint some of her responses!

Q: What's the best part about working in your field?

A:The best part about plastic surgery is the amazing variety of procedures that plastic surgeons can do. We are not confined to one area of the body, but can address surgical problems essentially from head to toe. There is also a lot of creativity involved in plastic surgery. It is definitely not "cookie-cutter" surgery. Many of the more complex procedures I have seen and done do not have a list of steps or instructions that can be found in a book. Instead, you have to draw from the fundamental principles and techniques that you have learned and put them together in a way that can solve each unique surgical situation that you are faced with. This does not just apply to the reconstructive side of plastic surgery. On the aesthetic side, every patient will have unique goals and anatomy which requires a personalized approach to help achieve the results desired. It's this creativity that I really love about plastic surgery.

Q: What advice would you give to a young person thinking about entering your field?

A: A career in medicine is a huge commitment. It starts early with a lot of studying and test taking in order to be accepted into medical school. Once you are in medical school, you essentially lose control of your life for the duration of your medical and residency training. You will work long hours (up to 80 a week on paper, but a lot of times it is more than that). In the free time you do get, you will be studying because there is a tremendous amount of information that you have to learn in an impossibly short amount of time. You will accrue a huge amount of debt while all of this is happening, as well. Your family will need to be very understanding. It will not be your decision when you get to come home, when you have to leave for work, and whether or not you will get to be there for important moments such as family reunions, ballet recitals, football games, opening presents on Christmas Day, etc. When it's all over, you might feel like you've given up your 20s and early 30s, and in some ways you really have. That said, this is an amazing profession and you will get to play a unique and important role in many peoples' lives. Surgery, specifically, allows you to work with your hands and your head, which is great for people who like a lot of variety in their work and love to constantly be doing something. This is a great profession for people who enjoy seeing and learning something new every day. It teaches you how to make the most of your free time, since you might have less free time than others. Despite the rigors of training and the intensity of this career in general, I would still do it again if I had the chance to go back.

Thanks, Dr. Murphy! If you are considering plastic or cosmetic surgery, contact one of our representatives. We can align you up with a board-certified professional located in your area. We want to get you the results you want and the treatment you deserve! Call us today!/i>

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