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Where Medicine, Art and Creativty Unite
An Interview with Dr. Kenrick A. Spence, M.D., F.A.C.S
The Business of Winning

- Cynthia J. O'Brien

The mere idea of undergoing elective cosmetic plastic surgery can be daunting. The prospect of wearing forever after someone's surgical skills on your person can be downright terrifying. The proliferation of reality shows about extreme makeovers and Hollywood sitcoms about high-rolling plastic surgeons pay scant attention to what makes a doctor of aesthetic plastic surgery truly great in his field and what could engender such trust on the part of a patient.

To experience these two, meet Dr. Kenrick A. Spence, M.D., F.A.C.S. You will find yourself surprised by his peaceful demeanor and quiet, humble attentiveness. Learn his history and acquaint yourself with his philosophy of medicine, and you'll begin to understand how a surgeon builds greatness and why patients travel across the country for his services and those of his staff.

Born in England, raised in Jamaica and schooled in the United States, Dr. Spence initially entered the school of Dentistry. There he was hammered daily by a professor, "What are you doing here? You shouldn't be here."

Sometimes others can see things in us we can't; Dr. Spence came to find his true calling was in the practice of medicine. In Texas, Dr. Spence met Dr. Steven Blackwell, a cranial facial surgeon, who became his mentor and eventually a life-long friend and colleague.

Dr. Spence soon found medicine was his medium and surgery his passion. In performing surgery he found he could combine and apply his unique talents in art, medicine and creativity.

In looking back on the practice he's built, Dr. Spence is quick to credit the dedication and compassion of his staff, not once, but often. His practice is a team environment and he sees his patients supported by the whole team, always treated with dignity, respect and the utmost confidentiality.

The values and principles on which he's achieved excellence in his field all focus on elevating the patient's experience. Dr. Spence feels it is a privilege to be a surgeon and thanks the patients for enabling him to practice medicine, art and creativity.

His first belief is in education. "A surprised patient is an anxious patient; informed patients make the best decisions," says Dr. Spence. This is why he conducts multiple consultations and provides ample time for one-on-one interactions with them in his schedule. This emphasis on educating the patient is woven throughout his practice. Dr. Spence conducts workshops examining various topics related to plastic surgery throughout the year that serve as a foundation from which patients and potential patients can evaluate alternatives.

Another point of departure which distinguishes Dr. Spence's practice was a conscious decision he made years ago to not try to be all things to all people in the arena of plastic surgery. His objective was to narrow his focus and excel in what he enjoyed the most. Today his practice concentrates on facial cosmetic surgery, body contouring and surgery of the breast.

While his passion is surgery, he adheres to the mission of performing the simplest operation available to get the patient the results they desire. His dedication to his patients is demonstrated in his commitment to maintaining his proficiency in the latest surgical techniques that provide longer lasting results. Over 66 percent of Dr. Spence's patients own their own businesses or have prominent, high- profile positions, making extensive downtime impossible. Along with the objective of performing the simplest operation to achieve the desired results is Dr. Spence's emphasis on planning appropriately. "Most people underestimate the planning involved," with a successful operation, remarks Dr. Spence. Along with the given realities of a patient's employment demands and health considerations, Dr. Spence's adage is, "Mark three times, but only cut once." Planning is critical to the overall success of the entire process.

Truly listening to the patient and knowing precisely when to operate is another often overlooked aspect of successful cosmetic surgery that shouldn't be underestimated, notes Dr. Spence. "How is easy. Knowing when to operate and who is an appropriate candidate is much more involved," cautions Dr. Spence. Perhaps no other key element depends so much on the surgeon's depth of artistry and ability to communicate with the patent.

It is imperative, Dr. Spence feels, to be devoid of value judgments or to project your own personal inclinations on a patient's vision of the end result. Rather than move to surgery, Dr. Spence has been known to view, review and review again pictures and conversation notes from consultations with a patient until he can see what they see through their eyes. This is precisely the kind of patience, skill, dedication and artistry necessary to avoid multiple surgeries with different doctors that perpetually fail to deliver the "expected" results.

Dr. Spence's view of his place and his role in the overall process of cosmetic transformation is uniquely, although not surprisingly, humble. He understands that his patients have a variety of needs, both before and after surgery. He's developed a concierge of highly regarded professionals that provide support for everything from nutrition, and aesthetician services to professional makeup application and more.

Lee Tillett, President of Kroma Makeup Studio in Winter Park, provides professional makeup consultations and application services to patients throughout various stages of recovery after surgery. She's been associated with Dr. Spence for years and confirms what throngs of his patients have come to know. "He has the best educated and the most highly satisfied patients with whom I've had the pleasure to know and work. Working with him has made me feel better about at what I do."

Who wouldn't trust a skilled, patient doctor and creative, insightful artist - all in one person - to deliver lifelong results of such critical importance?

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