Plastic Makes Perfect

Name: Dr. Anthony C. Griffin
Age: 40
Occupation: Plastic surgeon
Location: Beverly Hills, California
Duties: Consults with and performs cosmetic procedures on clients

When Anthony Griffin was a young boy back in Chicago he used to spend his days drawing sketches of his favorite comic book characters. One day, while he was flipping through one of his mother’s magazines, he saw an article that would etch out not only the course of his life, but the lives of many others, forever.

“One of my brothers was always running in and out of the hospital with asthma, so I knew I always wanted to be a doctor. And then I saw this article in Ebony magazine called ‘Operating Room Artists,’ and I said to myself, ‘Yeah, this is what I want to do with my life.’ It combined my love of art with my passion for becoming a doctor.”

Griffin received his undergraduate degree from Brown University in Rhode Island and his master of pharmacology and doctor of medicine degrees from Washington University in St. Louis. He completed seven years of residency, the last two with a specialty in reconstructive surgery. Earlier this year, Griffin opened up his own plastic surgery clinic, the Beverly Hills Cosmetic Surgery Institute.

From tummy tucks to nose jobs, crafting people’s features for the past 10 years has earned Griffin a host of luxuries, including a home in Beverly Hills and top-of-the-line automobiles, but he cites volunteer trips throughout the world as the highlight of his career. “I was in Kenya in 1995 operating on kids [with deformities] that you would never see in this country because every child is taken care of here. After I finished a procedure [which only took about 45 minutes], the parents were so amazed at their child’s [new] appearance.” Though they tried to give Griffin what little they had, he refused payment. “It was out of the goodness of my heart.” It was on a trip to Kenya that Griffin met his wife, Belle.

Salary: First-year salaries can start as high as $100,000 to $150,000, says Griffin. “From there, the sky’s the limit.”

Training: Requires four years of undergraduate college and five years of medical school. In addition, a five-year general surgery residency and a two-year plastic surgery residency at a hospital are required in some programs. Griffin also suggests that plastic surgeons looking to open their own practices take courses in marketing and communications, which will equip them to run a successful business.

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