Why I Became a Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Zelken was recent mentioned in a Zwivel article!

Dr. Zelken poses in his Newport Beach reception area

Dr. Zelken poses in his Newport Beach reception area

 

Some surgeons say while they knew from an early age they were destined for careers in medicine, they never thought they would specialize in plastic surgery.

“When I was a kid, I thought I was going to become an orthopedic surgeon,” says Dr. Jonathan Zelken of Newport Beach, California. “I had my own left hip reconstructed 15 years ago after a freak skiing accident, then did 2 years of orthopedic surgery research, and even began applying for orthopedic surgery residency programs.”

While studying orthopedic surgery, Dr. Zelken took an elective course in plastic surgery. That one class, which he took in the fall of his fourth year of medical school, changed everything. “Immediately, I realized plastic surgery was colorful while orthopedic surgery was essentially black and white.”

From Zelken’s perspective, plastic surgery was also more expansive than orthopedic surgery, branching well beyond the musculoskeletal system. Plus, it invited a more creative touch.

“I saw how plastic surgeons operated head to toe, on every body part and organ system, and how artistic and creative this specialty could be,” said Zelken.