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Breaking News - Community Engagement Awards
Nine members of the UNLV School of Medicine are being honored by UNLV's Office of Community Engagement for exemplary work in the community. Ginger Christian (class of 2021) won the Student Service Award. Dr. Laura Culley and Dr. Paul Chestovich received honorable mention awards for their Faculty Service Learning/Community Outreach. Medical students Donnis Davis, Carmen Hollifield, Kelsey Kincaid, Isami Lines, Mason Montano, and Cole Crosby received honorable mention awards for Student Service.
Making the Rounds with Founding Dean Dr. Barbara Atkinson
 Issue 186 - March 12, 2019
Friends and Colleagues,

Like Dr. Richard Baynosa, the chief of plastic surgery and program director for our plastic surgery residency, I am pleased and excited to welcome back Dr. Joshua Goldman to a full time faculty appointment under the UNLV School of Medicine Department of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Goldman, who completed his plastic surgery residency here last year, will return this summer after completing his current fellowship in integrated craniomaxillofacial and microsurgery fellowship at Michigan’s Beaumont Hospital. As Dr. Baynosa points out, Dr. Goldman’s “demonstrated enthusiasm and work ethic will be critical” as he adds even more value to our plastic surgery department, including the building of a team to establish Nevada’s first and only gender affirmation surgery program for patients with gender dysphoria. Read on to learn more about this talented young surgeon.
Barbara signature, first name only
Dr. Joshua Goldman, former chief resident of the plastic surgery department, will return to Nevada this summer to join the faculty of the UNLV School of Medicine. He is shown here with his fiance, Dr. Karen Nelson, at a performance of the Nevada Ballet. She will be an orthopedic surgery trauma fellow next year at UMC.
Ask Dr. Joshua Goldman what makes a good doctor and he offers a reply that belongs in

“Once you have all the certification and experience that make a competent physician -- these are a necessary foundation -- what makes a great doctor is personality, compassion, drive, individuality, and sincere desire to connect with, and care for, patients...It is a mixture of knowledge of, and adherence to, evidence-based medicine and dedication to patient-centered care. For some ‘professionalism’ means clean shaven, buttoned up and character-job compartmentalization. For me, it means advocating for patient and physician wellness, involvement in professional societies, scientific pursuit, engagement in quality improvement, giving back to the community and the world of medicine at-large, late nights studying for tomorrows, really knowing the people I work with, making the hospital and OR home, and going the extra mile to leave a place better than I found it. An innovative mindset in all of these pursuits is paramount. Driving the future of healthcare is just as important as its provision in the present. “

Yes, the good Dr. Goldman thinks things through.

He specialized in plastic surgery because he says he has a disposition “eased by art and knowledge, and...innovation. The scope of plastic and reconstructive surgery is so wide that I regularly operate on a patient’s vertex scalp and the next patient’s dorsal foot so the specialty literally goes from head to toe. There is a creative aspect and a pursuit of perfection that appealed to my personality originally, and my early interest in oncology has an outlet in oncologic reconstruction.”

Dr. Goldman took his six years of residency training in plastic surgery at the UNLV School of Medicine because he saw how it could help make him the plastic surgeon he wanted to be. “The opportunity for full-scope training is simply unparalleled. From working with world-renowned aesthetic surgeons to complex trauma, congenital, and oncologic reconstruction, to burn, hand, and adult and pediatric craniofacial surgery...I saw all of it...The curriculum design includes progressive autonomy, which makes certain that every resident leaves the program a confident plastic surgeon capable of performing at the highest level in any practice setting.”
“The opportunity for full-scope training is simply unparalleled (at UNLV). From working with world-renowned aesthetic surgeons to complex trauma, congenital, and oncologic reconstruction, to burn, hand, and adult and pediatric craniofacial surgery...I saw all of it."
That he’s returning to our medical school this summer to teach and practice following a two year subspecialty fellowship in Michigan is for him, a no brainer.

“Dr. (Richard) Baynosa (the UNLV Chief of Plastic Surgery and Residency Program Director) exemplified consummate professionalism and leadership throughout my residency training, and his patience for teaching difficult tasks like microvascular surgery and commitment to providing Southern Nevada with the care and attention to detail it deserves from its healthcare providers inspired my choice to pursue further subspecialty training...and to return... All of the faculty acted as mentors in different ways, and I have tried to incorporate the things I admire most into my own practice of plastic surgery. They have set the plastic surgery program on a path of exponential growth with unlimited potential, and I could not be more excited to be part of it.” 

Dr. Goldman grew up in Texas, the oldest of four children. “My dad is an investigator for attorneys who’s laid back personality and mantra, ‘keep the calm, keep the cool,’ still informs my approach to complex surgery.” His mother, a nurse, wanted her son to be without the arrogance sometimes found in the medical field. “My mom.....told me, before starting residency ‘to be kind to everyone in the hospital -- patients, nurses, the cleaning crew, other physicians..and everything else will follow.’ She was right.”

Why did this Texan, who went to Stanford for his undergraduate work, want to become a doctor?

“When you are applying to medical school everyone asks why you want to be a doctor and then quickly qualifies the one thing you can’t say in your application because it’s considered generic -- ‘I love science and I want to help people.’ But there is truly no more clear and distilled version of my core reasons for pursuing medicine. I was always fascinated by math and science. My sixth grade science project investigated, ‘The Effects of Beta Carotene on Cancer in Plants.’ Naturally, that led to a path in medicine relatively early, and my interests were reified by attending a health careers magnet high school and taking part in extracurricular activities like Health Occupations Students of America. At Stanford, I really had the opportunity to take part in productive basic science research, introductory seminars on things like cancer and immunology and current concepts in transplantation, and was exposed to ideas and people I still draw on. All of it, again, confirmed my path.”

He attended Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine to be closer to family and because he hoped in-state tuition would minimize ballooning student loans. Still, despite having won several scholarships, he says today he’s nearly $300,000 in debt and calls the student loan debt situation “nothing short of an epidemic crisis.” A winner of an essay contest sponsored by the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Goldman’s thoughts on medical education and debt are more fleshed out at:

During his integrated craniomaxillofacial (CMF) and microsurgery (Micro) fellowship in Michigan, Dr. Goldman says he will perform over 100 microsurgical breast reconstructive procedures. On the craniofacial side, he runs a clinic, treating pediatric and adult patients with cleft and craniofacial conditions. He notes that the “integration” of CMF and Micro “comes from the idea that the most complex patients benefit from the most modern, sophisticated surgical techniques. In April he will travel to Belgium to learn the microsurgical techniques that are used in gender confirming surgery.

Upon his return to Las Vegas this summer, Dr. Goldman will be working with many complex patients, including those with gender dysphoria. “I’ll be working with the rest of the faculty to build and grow a gender affirmation surgery program. Over the last several years, a classically marginalized group has built a strong voice with growing acceptance, which has resulted in a global push to provide much needed surgical and medical services to the population. My training in general plastic surgery, coupled with sub-specialization in microsurgical and craniofacial techniques, will allow me to provide both top and bottom surgery as part of my practice. The challenge in building a program is the need for interdisciplinary teamwork. We certainly have the surgical expertise among us to perform surgeries, but we will have to build a team of physicians and healthcare professionals that are as passionate as us about serving this community. The new medical school will help bring a lot of those providers together, and I look forward to spearheading these efforts.”

Dr. Goldman couldn’t be more ready to get to work in Las Vegas.

“My fellowship experience has afforded me a lot to bring back and add value to our existing program and to build new programs for currently underserved patients.With the medical school and the efforts of Dean Atkinson and other founding members, Vegas is set up to become a leader in the nation across all specialties and I’m thrilled to have something unique to contribute. The final key is demonstrating the value of that to the community. I really believe the plastic surgery department can be to medicine in Las Vegas what the Vegas Golden Knights was for sports. I’m excited to be part of the group building a community around healthcare advancement.” 

UNLV Medicine Plastic Surgery: (702) 660-UNLV
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In its first ever report on gender confirmation surgeries, the American Society of Plastic Surgery found that 3,200 transgender-related surgeries were done in 2016, an increase of nearly 20 percent from 2015. The procedures can include anything from facial and body contouring to gender reassignment surgeries.

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