Mastery Is An Asymptote: My Plastic Surgery Journey
I am constantly refining my work so that you have a better and better result every time you see me. An example is I started to use microcannulas for facial fillers in November 2010. Since that time I have advanced in my skills with my cannulas to do more and more creative facial injections to simulate a fat transfer. I can now even do lip injections without blocks and without needles with no pain, bruising, and swelling. It is truly a miracle. I have many patients whom I have not seen in a year and who return to me surprised at how many new advances that I have personally developed.
I believe that true mastery is never attainable. You always strive to be better next year than the year before. Think of the technological breakthroughs with the iPhone. Each model is a major or minor step forward from the last one. I now have ways to do facelifts without incisions that are a far cry from the threadlifts of a bygone era. I am always seeking new and better ways to enhance a face. When you never accept what you have is good enough, you will get better toward an elusive asymptote. It all starts with a passionate drive to become better tomorrow than you were yesterday.
Mastery is an Asymptote in Plastic Surgery
Samuel M. Lam, MD, FACS is a board certified plastic surgeon in Dallas, Texas. To learn more about Dr Lam’s facial fillers please visit our website www.LamFacialPlastics.com or call (972) 312-8188 to schedule a consultation.
The Road to Mastery in Plastic Surgery is an Asymptote
The author Malcolm Gladwell argues that you need 10,000 hours doing something to become a master at it. An example is to be a world-class chess player who no matter how good he is or could be does not achieve mastery until he has been practicing his art for 10 years. I have certainly put my 10,000 hours into my profession. However, I believe that mastery is achieved only if you desire that mastery and push toward it. I am constantly attending meetings, lecturing, thinking, writing, speaking, and inventing new methods. Patients who have not been into my practice for 3 to 6 months are astounded that I have developed another small technique improvement. The reason for this is that I am constantly working on getting to become better and better at my craft. It all starts with a deep level of passion and desire that drives me to become better at what I love to do.
I believe that no matter how much mastery you achieve, you can never be perfect enough or have attained a level of perfection that there can be no room for improvement. Think of Apple, Inc. The iPad 2 is much better than the iPad and I am certain the iPad 3 will be leaps and bounds in quality over the second-generation model. Technology changes and how an individual can leverage that technology can improve as well. An example is last year I started to use these wonderful French microcannulas that have literally revolutionized my ability to perform injectable products like Restylane. Recently, I switched over to a Japanese version that is even better. During this time I have invented multiple different techniques that leverage the benefit of these cannulas in astounding ways.
Accordingly, no matter how good you can become at your practice, the ongoing development of new technology and new ways to harness that technology makes mastery an elusive goal. At least I would say that we strive toward ongoing improvement and we get closer and closer to an ideal but never arrive there. Remember the asymptotic line we learned in high-school math. We approach the line but we do not ever arrive there. I created the enso logo for my spa that in Japanese culture symbolizes this concept very well. The open circle means that life is a journey of constant movement but it is open because we never achieve completion. Always starting with passion can drive an individual to be better and better to get closer to that asymptote even though we never reach it.
Samuel M. Lam, MD, FACS is a board certified plastic surgeon in Dallas, Texas. For more info, or to schedule a consultation please call (972) 312-8188. If you would like to ask Dr Lam a question please visit our plastic surgery forum.