Music City Plastic Surgery - July 2019


JULY 2019



DON’T BE VANILLA! Picture this: It’s late afternoon, and you just got off work. The temperature is so high that you can see those wavy heat lines steaming off the sidewalk in front of you, and the sun blares down on you, causing you to squint from the brightness. Even in the quick

cream, and sprinkles, the ice cream itself is forgetful. The same goes for taking a “vanilla” approach to life. Aiming to be just like everyone else — with no added flavor or toppings to jazz you up — is safe, but it is also boring. For example, if I wanted my practice to be vanilla, I would have made it resemble a hospital: stark, sterile, and cold. Instead, my team and I have decided to make the office stylish, welcoming, and spa-like. We want our patients to feel comfortable and are constantly looking for ways we can make the experience even better. “Don’t be vanilla” was a personal motto long before it was ever a professional one. Even in high school, I dared to stand out. Whether I was in classes, with my friends, or out on the football field, with my mullet flowing out from under my helmet, I endeavored to make myself known. Being a face in the crowd never excited me, and I just think that life is more fun if you’re able to be your true authentic self without fear of striking out. Even now, I try to add a little extra flair and style into my wardrobe to keep things light and interesting. I’ll wear crazy socks or pocket squares to work as a lagniappe , a Cajun word I learned that means “a little something extra.” Sometimes, it needs a lot of extra, as evidenced in the Christmas edition of this newsletter where I highlighted some of my favorite holiday suits — either way, it’s never just boring old vanilla.

jaunt to your car, sweat beads start to form on your brow. It’s been a long day at the office, and this heat is only making it longer. What’s the one thing that could make this sweltering day better? A sweet, delicious, freezing-cold ice cream cone! When you go into an ice cream shop, which flavor do you look for first? Mint chocolate chip? Cake batter? Pistachio? Rocky Road? With literally hundreds of flavors to choose from, you can either stick with your all-time favorite flavor or you can try something new. In all of your pondering though, I’m willing to bet my right ear that you didn’t pick plain ol’ vanilla. “AIMING TO BE JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE — WITH NO ADDED FLAVOR OR TOPPINGS TO JAZZ YOU UP — IS SAFE, BUT IT IS ALSO BORING.” “Don’t be vanilla” has been my life motto for as long as I can remember. It’s the one I use both at work and at home to help me remind myself and others that standing out in a crowd is better than blending in. While vanilla ice cream works well as a base for toppings like hot fudge, whipped

future children. Fortunately, I haven’t had to try too hard to convince any of them. They are so far from vanilla as individuals that they just don’t need that much encouragement. It’s truly amazing to witness. To anyone out there who needs an extra dose of confidence, I’m here to tell you that life is so much more fun when you are living it like your favorite ice cream flavor. Putting yourself out there is scary. I get it. But living a life stuck in vanilla is so much scarier.

–Dr. Mike

When my oldest son was born, I vowed to impart this motto to him and any of my

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