Medical School...

I'm a board certified facial plastic surgeon, with a passion for beauty in all forms inside and out. I love human faces. I love my dogs tail. I was born and raised in Mississippi where I spent my entire childhood doing everything I could to move to New York, be an actress, moved to LA, and as it turns out, most of my grown up life trying to get back home. I have a very deep passion for truth, beauty, parlor, bathroom type truth. I think that as women we are best when we're inspiring and sharing with other women things that typically you see in a beauty parlor or a long bathroom line and I think that's where magic happens. I value honesty more than anything and I cherish. I mean beyond cherish the trust that so many people give to me. I never get tired of hearing "whatever you think." When someone comes to me and says, "I just want whatever you think." I literally see every detail in everything. Always have. 

I see every detail. When I decided I would, well I'm not sure I decided or it chose me, but when I realized what I wanted to do at can remember my dad saying, "I don't think you could have found a more perfect career for you and from now on, when people say you're so picky, you can say it's my job" It's really hard to believe it is my job because I've always been that way, but it's always, it's never really helped anyone.

I am so appreciative to my family, to God, and to the universe for bringing me almost kicking and screaming into a career in medicine, coming from a family of doctors I never dreamed that's what I would do. I couldn't imagine how you could sit through a chemistry class and find it creative. I've always been really creative and I would look at my dad or my sister with these lifelong plans of knowing what they wanted to be. And all I could think was I just want to be an actress. I just want to be somebody else. I love to debate is very good at debate.

I like country music and heavy metal, but if you knew me, you'd know it kinda all goes together. I think that as you find your passion and your path to the career, that really, if you'll let it will choose you. I think there's a confidence that I don't think there's any other way to get and  I want that. Not just for me. I want that for everyone and the only way I know to be a part of that is to share my journey.

I love seeing happy people. I'm too sensitive for death and dying and that kind of how I landed in plastics. I went to medical school almost on a whim. I went through pretty much every career I could and then found myself back in Mississippi where I'm from and try and decide where I wanted to do.

I took the medical school entrance exam and somehow did well and in spite of my interviews was accepted. Which I look back on those interviews they asked me about favorite author. I told them honestly is Sidney Sheldon, because I think it's great that he can write books and wrote I dream of Jeannie. I'll never forget how they looked at me, but that just shows you the power of good test scores. I'm sure they thought I was nuts. 

On the first day of medical school they went around the room and asked all of us, "why are you in medical school?" And all these people have these great things to say. I can remember thinking, I mean just being so intimidated, I thought these are really, these are really smart people. I just don't belong here. 

When it came to me and I said, well, I really wanted to be an actress but I want to give something back to the world. So I decided that I would come to medical school and I want to be a doctor on a soap opera because that will combine everything I want and I can bring truth and education because in soap operas, a lot of times if they're on a ventilator, they're talking, well, I would like to change that. So that soap operas can reflect real life. Real medicine. I don't think anyone talked to me for a minute. I had a toe ring and they did not want me to wear it. I think that when people started to like me was when we started gross anatomy and no one really wanted to skin the face and I love the face, but I didn't want to dissect the guts and the other parts so I traded. It was interesting to say the least, but I guess I always felt like I didn't belong because I didn't feel the way these people felt. I didn't think I was as smart as them, although in retrospect I was. I just didn't always know what I wanted to do and I would just blurt things out without realizing the effect it had and I don't think I ever realized I was different. Sounds kind of silly now, but it's found its place somehow.

I don't think I ever knew where that gift was going to fit and I really didn't think it would ever fit. Still can't believe it does, but in retrospect it all makes sense. So medical school lasted for four years. I had one or two really good friends. I mean it was, it was a lot of studying and, but I don't, it wasn't really until my third year that I started to think about what I really wanted to do and I'm one of those people that I go by my gut. One day I was operating with my dad as part of a rotation when he was closing the neck and he put staples in the neck. I said, "dad, why would you do that?" And he said, "I just cured her of cancer." I said "the only thing she's going to see is the staples."

He taught me to sew skin with sutures on a trash bag. One day on a human, I saved the package of suture because it was the best feeling I ever had. I can still remember how it felt and I was so proud of how it looked. It's like everything I love came to be focused on the face, whether the lights, the shadows, the way it all reflects, and over time I realized that that's, that's my gift and that's what I wake up for. I love is creating beauty.

Melanie Petro3 Comments