I grew up on a ranch in North Dakota, and rarely traveled more than 100 miles from my home for the first 16 years of my life. It is exceptionally beautiful and rugged central plains country in the United States, albeit especially rural. Even though my world was large enough for me at the time, from a young age I knew that the world out there had much to offer, and I could not wait to explore when I was old enough. Attending university in North Dakota provided me with some broadening of my perspective. The world beckoned, and I responded. I made a covenant with my parents: if they would give me leave to wander Europe and South America for a year, I promised them that I would pursue medical school. For the next year, I learned invaluable lessons before embarking on medical school. Since then, my travels have continued to take me to realms both mundane and exotic, all exciting as I traveled and lived in Europe (especially Austria). My professional training saw me living in such diverse cities as Houston; Ann Arbor; Boston; Oxford, England; and now Dallas.
Travel in my professional career continues to occupy a significant amount of my time as I lecture and operate globally. I continue to learn so much from every trip each time I leave the United States. Two lessons in particular seem to repeat themselves. The first lesson is the value of obtaining a broad perspective of ourselves as plastic surgeons and physicians, and of life as a whole. I live and work in Dallas, a major center of plastic surgery in the United States. Being situated in Texas helps create a sense of bigness and self-importance that is perhaps inevitable but not entirely justified. Travel outside of Dallas always reminds me that my department is precisely not the center of the universe, and while that realization is somewhat humbling, it is refreshing and eye-opening. Recent months have seen me travel to numerous other cities in the United States and Canada, and in June to So Paulo, Brazil. Plastic surgery is alive and well all over the world, and I enjoy seeing what my colleagues are doing. They have much to teach me, and all of us, and I especially enjoy learning wonderful nuanced techniques from them and insight they have into how to run a department and clinical practice. Travel gives a much better global perspective; this world is large, beautiful, and full of wisdom everywhere, and we need to interact with and learn from national and international colleagues.
In addition to perspective, the second gift of travel is the call to serve. Just as I need to receive insight from others, I need equally to give back to them what I myself have learned. Travel makes me keenly aware of how blessed I am, and how I need to serve my colleagues. The greater the knowledge and more experience I gain, the more I am indebted and desire to give back through service. Service to fellow plastic surgeons is especially important to me in light of my career choice and with the positions I hold. Even though I have always viewed the editorship of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (PRS) through the lens of service, I feel it even more so as the Journal reaches out to international plastic surgeons.
In early June, both Jim Stuzin, Co-Editor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and I had an opportunity to visit So Paulo, Brazil, and participate in the 32nd Jornada Paulista de Cirurgia Plástica, a meeting of the Sociedade Brasileira de Cirurgia Plástica. It was a truly incredible event; we were welcomed as visiting lecturers at this annual meetings with almost 1500 plastic surgeons. In the southern part of Brazil, So Paulo is a city of over 20 million people in the greater metropolitan area, larger than the general metropolitan population of New York City!
Plastic surgery in Brazil is truly a cultural phenomenon. In many circles, undergoing cosmetic surgery is a rite of passage. It is a regular topic of conversation among all sectors of the population, and plastic surgeons are often regarded as celebrities. Ivo Pitanguy is revered almost as a national hero. In this environment, plastic surgery is not only thriving but booming, and the need and hunger for knowledge and expertise among plastic surgeons are truly amazing and overwhelming. At the Brazilian Society meeting, the quality of the presentations and the patient care quality were tremendous and they are seeking to go to the next level of excellence in both plastic surgery education and research and advances in clinical medicine and outcomes.
This is obviously an incredible role for the Journal and on behalf of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and PRS, we were proud to sign a collaborative publishing and content hosting contract with the Brazilian journal Revista Brasileira de Cirurgia Plastica and PRS (Figs. 1 and 2). This contract will allow us to have a Web platform that hosts both journals together—unified on our Web site—and to allow the readers of PRS to see what is going on in the amazing and beautiful country of Brazil.
We will also be providing Revista with two PRS articles monthly that will be freely available to the Brazilian Society members on their new Revista Web site, and we will be interchanging three articles annually in both our journals. American Society of Plastic Surgeons members will have full access to the Revista content on the Revista Web site and, in addition to the Revista content and the two PRS articles monthly, the Brazilian Society members will also have access to the Baker-Gordon videos and the PRS Evidence-Based Medicine articles. As we look forward, this is a golden opportunity to do this not only with Brazil but with many other countries forthcoming, including China, Korea, India, and many others. The goal of PRS is to advance plastic surgery globally, not just in North America, and to serve you as our readers and to give back and help make the world a better place: One reader, one patient, one new piece of information at a time so all of us can be better doctors and deliver better patient care to all our patients globally. That is the role of your Journal and your editorial board.
Rod J. Rohrich, M.D.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
5959 Harry Hines Boulevard, POB 1, Suite 300
Dallas, Texas 75390-8820
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