Plastic surgery has become a massive industry over the last decade. And while the clients of this industry are mostly women, the majority of the surgeons in the industry are men!
Dr. Rose Makerewich is a leading plastic surgeon at the SixSurgery Clinic in Toronto, and she finds that her experience as a woman (and new mom) has allowed her to better connect with patients on their surgical journeys. We sat down with her to discuss her career as one of the leading plastic surgeons in Canada!
Why did you want to become a surgeon?
For most of my life I wanted to be an architect. I loved math and art, and the creativity of dreaming up beautiful architectural works fascinated me. Looking back on these early ambitions, there are so many parallels between architecture and Plastic Surgery.
Plastic Surgery is a design specialty, no two operations are alike, and it is just as visual as it is technical. To solve problems, you have to consider both form and function. Your reconstructions need to respect certain structural parameters to be viable, and also need to consider aesthetics and create a beautiful result.
It really is like building and creating! Every day I get to design, use mathematics, be a perfectionist, and create something beautiful which satisfies all of my natural interests and skills.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
Caring for patients who are not committed to their own health and invested in their recovery. I encounter this more often in my hospital practice with sick patients who are sometimes unwilling to accept that they are ill or in need of medical help. It is very difficult to meet someone that I know can help, but who is unwilling to commit to their treatment plan.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Improving the quality of life of a person is so meaningful and brings me a very deep sense of joy and fulfillment. Whether that be through a life changing set of surgeries for a massive weight loss patient, a complex reconstruction to restore hand function, or a simply flawless breast augmentation that makes my patient smile, knowing that I have made a difference in a person’s day to day happiness is the best feeling.
What are your favorite surgeries to perform?
The answer to that question varies week to week! I get inspired by people and by hearing their visions, and when I truly believe I can produce results that will make someone very happy, their surgery becomes my “favorite”. If I had to choose a specific type of surgery, I would probably say breast surgery in general.
Every woman’s anatomy is unique, and breasts go through such a journey over a woman’s lifetime with breastfeeding, weight changes, etc. It is a privilege to be entrusted with enhancing such a feminine and special part of the body. The mommy makeover is also another favorite being able to see the overall impact it has, helping where diet and exercise may fail.
What advice do you have for young women who hope to become surgeons?
Don’t doubt yourself. If you are looking to pursue a specific career, and the people currently in that field don’t resemble you at all, don’t be afraid to be different – your differences mean that you are needed in that field more than you know! It takes all kinds to serve all kinds. Believe in yourself, work hard, rise, grind, and don’t give up!