Michael J. Will, MD, DDS, FACS, is a man with a plan. As incoming president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS), he intends to focus on member education as well as expanding the Academy’s cosmetic surgery fellowship programs and offerings.
A tall order, but Will is certainly up for the challenge.
An Army man, Will retired from the military with more than 20 years of service as a maxillofacial and cosmetic surgeon. His final military assignment was as chairman, residency program director, and consultant to the surgeon general in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He currently serves on the medical staff at Frederick Memorial Hospital and Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Frederick and Rockville, Maryland, respectively.
Plastic Surgery Practice checked in with Dr Will about his goals for his term, his military background, and his take on a different type of war—the core wars.
1. What are your goals for your term as AACS president?
One goal is to reinstate our facial cosmetic surgery fellowships. The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery previously certified in three areas of cosmetic surgery. However, in recent years the board-certification process transitioned to a single certificate, certifying in only general cosmetic surgery. As a result, we lost all of our facial cosmetic surgeon candidates.
I will also work to increase the number of general cosmetic surgery fellowships. Additional goals include increasing our membership, reinstating our live surgical workshops, completing and implementing our procedural database and fellowship match program, and ultimately creating webinar-based distance learning opportunities.
2. A presidency can eat into a practice and personal time. Are you prepared for this?
Yes. I have a supportive office staff and family, and I am committed to fulfilling the obligations of the presidency without reservation.
3. Tell us more about your time in the US Army, and how it affected your training.
I spent the majority of my 21 years of military service managing facial trauma and reconstructing injured service members with various cosmetic and reconstructive procedures to address blast injuries sustained during conflicts in the Middle East. During those high-conflict years, I was working 70 to 80 hours, 6 to 7 days a week. The surgical skills I gained in that environment would not have been obtainable in a civilian environment.
4. What procedure(s) do you specialize in?
Facelift and facial fat grafting. Facelift because there’s a comfort level with facial anatomy, balance, and proportion, and I also love what I can do in just a couple hours to transform a patient’s facial appearance. Fat grafting allows three-dimensional enhancement that addresses a major component of aging, which is volume loss.
5. What trends are you seeing in practice?
There has been an increase in noninvasive and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures using radiofrequency, ultrasound, and various laser and light energy devices, along with neurotoxins and dermal fillers. Patients do not want lengthy recovery times and don’t want to miss extended periods of work.
6. What technology could you not practice without?
The endoscopic tower for minimally invasive facial cosmetic surgery, and laser platforms for skin resurfacing and nonablative rejuvenation. These technologies allow patients to recover quicker, with less downtime.
7. Any thoughts on the so-called core wars?
The core wars are generally related to egos and economics. Cosmetic surgery is owned by so many different specialists, from otolaryngologists and maxillofacial surgeons to oculoplastic surgeons, ophthalmologists, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and others. Nobody owns this industry; it’s truly a multidisciplinary specialty, where contributions have been made by so many.
8. Tell us something we don’t know about you?
I’m pretty conservative in nature due to my military background, and I’m very dedicated to the organization.
9. What do you do when you are not in the operating room?
I like golfing, skiing, hunting, fly-fishing, travel, and most importantly, spending time with my family.
10. Where do you get your industry news?
American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery Times, Plastic Surgery Practice, and the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal.
William Payton is a contributing writer for Plastic Surgery Practice magazine. He can be reached via PSPeditor@allied360.com.