- When did you know you wanted to be a surgeon?
I knew I wanted to be a Surgeon before I entered medical school. I had some work experience with a Surgeon and also saw some documentaries on TV. It was all quite inspiring.
2. What was the hardest part on the road to becoming a surgeon?
I think the hardest thing is the impact rotas, staff shortages and travelling can have on family life, especially when you have children.
3. What excites you most about the field?
The field is exciting as its constantly changing and advancing – new technology, new techniques and new ways of working. I am also excited about being in a consultation, explaining my thinking to an individual patient, giving them options that address their goals and concerns – the richness of that conversation can be very rewarding. The same goes for solving technical issues in theatre, making fine adjustments to get a better result and then seeing patients down the line saying how happy they are with their results.
I have always thought that Plastic Surgery blends science and art, technical skill, attention to detail, a breadth of anatomy and physiology and a deep understanding of the human condition. This is what makes every day different, fresh and exciting.
4. What is your most memorable moment in your career?
There have been several highlights. Founding the International Journal of Surgery at medical school, getting into Plastic Surgery training in the highly competitive London Deanery programme, graduating from my doctorate at the University of Oxford, getting my FRCS Plast. (Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons) and my Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and being recognised as a fully trained and accredited Plastic Surgeon on the GMC’s Specialist Register. That’s a few of them anyway! My family have been with me every step of the way and been a huge source of support.
5. What bit of advice would you give a younger Riaz.
I would say that it will all work out in the end in a good way – keep going and keep your chin up! You can never give up!
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