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Plastic Surgeon

Plastic Surgery-On becoming a Plastic Surgeon

It started with my Grandfather

People often ask me when I realized I wanted to become a doctor, specifically a plastic surgeon. Coming from a medical family, and having a father who was a noted plastic surgeon, I was always drawn to the medical field. It started with my grandfather, Dr. Harry Fleming. He was a small town country doctor in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. He worked long hours, made house calls and often got paid with a baskets of vegetables or a cake or a pie. My father Dr. Joseph Fleming, followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a plastic surgeon and heading up the Texas Institute of Plastic Surgery. My mother worked at his side for many years as his nurse. As you can imagine, plastic surgery was a common topic of conversation in our house as I grew up. It seemed inevitable that my brother and I would also choose to go to medical school and then go on to become surgeons like our father.

It’s funny how things go full circle. My first year working as a plastic surgeon I had an older gentleman as a patient. He told me that as a young boy he had had his tonsils removed by a Dr. Fleming in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. That was my grandfather.

 

Dr. Frank Fleming performing surgery with his father and brother.

Performing surgery with my father, Dr. Joseph Fleming and my brother, Dr. James Fleming.

I had another patient my first year in practice who sustained a critical injury but had no insurance or money to pay me for my services.  Of course, I performed his surgery and never billed him. Every year, on the anniversary of his accident, this patient from long ago, brings me a cake or a pie as a gesture of thanks. Somehow it always makes me think of my grandfather all those years ago, working as a country doctor and getting paid with a basket of vegetables, or a cake, or a pie, and the family legacy that he began.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Raymond_Fleming

 

https://www.plasticsurgery.org/