One of the hardest things about becoming a plastic surgeon is the time it takes away from your family. The training process is grueling- 4 years of University, 4 years of Medical School, 3-5 years of General Surgery and 2-3 years of Plastic Surgery, more if you do a fellowship. During that time, you are working about 100 hours a week, leaving little time to spend awake with others.
Starting in practice is also difficult. Sometimes there are on call commitments for the emergency room, waiting for operating room times, and scrambling to build a patient base.
When you are fortunate enough to be successful, it is more hours operating on more patients, and then seeing them after surgery while also seeing the new consults. Being busier means more staff and more headaches. If only 1% of your patients are difficult, and you operate on 100 a year, that’s only one person to worry about. When it is 500 or 1000, now you have 5-10.
As I built Yager Esthetics, I have been fortunate enough to be able to expand twice in 15 years from 1500 sf to 6000sf, and from one employee to nearly 30. This can be stressful on your family life. This is why I make sure to leave the office by 5pm every day except Wednesday, when I start at 11 and stay to 7. I need to spend the time with my children before they go to sleep, or take them to school on my late night.
I am 1000% dedicated to trying to make every patient happy, and I work extremely hard to do things safely and with the highest standards of care. I do the same for my family. Balance is important, and it is surprising how you do not miss the time wasters like television that get eliminated when you enjoy the good things in life.
Your children are only young once, your spouse needs your attention too. No matter who you are or what you do, take the time for family.