The ABFPRS is proud to announce that Drs. Theda Kontis and Catherine Winslow will receive the 2015 Larry D. Schoenrock Distinguished Service Award, which will be presented during the AAFPRS Fall Meeting in Dallas, Texas, this October. The ABFPRS grants the award annually to individuals who have made significant contributions to the facial plastic surgery examination program, its financial security, and/or its support within the specialty, organized medicine, and state legislative and regulatory bodies.
“Our Board’s examination is the jewel in our specialty’s crown,” confides Mark V. Connelly, M.D., ABFPRS President. “The success of our examination can be attributed to dozens of hardworking surgeons who dedicate countless hours every year to ensure that our exam is a meaningful and comprehensive tool for evaluating physician competence. But Theda Kontis, as the Written Examination Development Co-Chair and Catherine Winslow, as the Oral Examination Review Co-Chair, have been driving forces to ensure that our written and oral examinations are at the top of any psychometrician’s evaluation barometer. Their efforts, along with fellow Examination Co-Chairs Dr. David Hom, Dr. Cynthia Gregg, and Dr. Mimi Kokoska, have produced the best examination of its kind for any certifying board—bar none,” stated Connelly. “And no, I’m not biased,” he added.
Both Kontis and Winslow gravitated to otolaryngology as their specialty because it offered a complexity and precision to the dynamics of surgery. “I had intended to become an Ob-Gyn throughout my premed and early med school career,” relates Kontis. “However, when I did my third year medical school rotation in Ob-Gyn, I really disliked how little surgery was involved in that specialty. The otolaryngologists were welcoming and inclusive and complex surgeries were a big part of their daily practice so I decided that otolaryngology would be a good fit for me,” she notes. “I was also attracted to facial plastic surgery because I had a rhinoplasty when I was 14. I had a large Greek nose and was extremely self-conscious about it. After I had my rhinoplasty, I felt like I wasn’t deformed anymore. I re-live this feeling every time I sit with post-op patients and review their pre and post-op photos with them. I know first hand how correction of a perceived defect helps a person’s self-esteem,” Kontis confides.
Catherine Winslow’s pathway to head and neck surgery can be linked to circumstances that made an indelible impact during her residency. “The Columbine massacre occurred during my residency at the University of Colorado. I found myself helping to repair life-threatening and cosmetically devastating facial wounds in teenage victims. One of my patients suffered a point blank range shotgun blast to the face, and our fibular free flap reconstruction returned him to near normalcy,” relates Winslow. “From that experience, I elected to pursue a fellowship to further hone my skills with the amazing and inspiring Mark Wax. My fellowship training prepared me for another unexpected series of events when my subsequent Army active duty service was interrupted by 9/11 and the subsequent Iraq and Afghanistan wars that produced horrific facial injuries to our service men and women in those conflicts. My calling was clear,” Winslow adds.
As to their interactions with Larry Schoenrock, Winslow confesses that she’s read the compelling stories about Dr. Schoenrock’s influence on our specialty’s recognition in the book, “Here To Stay” by Robert L. Simons, M.D., and T. Susan Hill. Kontis had a personal interaction with the beloved doctor that reflected his willingness to share personal medical history that might be helpful to the next generation of surgeons. “I knew Dr. Schoenrock early in my career,” says Kontis. “He was an invited speaker at some early Botox courses we gave in Baltimore. He had blepharospasm, and one of the surgeons offered to inject him with Botox. I recall asking Dr. Schoenrock about a year or so later how the Botox had worked for him. He laughed and said it was terrible, since he developed bilateral ptosis from his injections!”
Dr. Theda Kontis currently serves as Secretary on the ABFPRS Executive Committee, has also been a member of the Resource Development Written Examination Committee since 1997, and has been Co-Chair since 2003. She is unstinting in her dedication and leadership for both of these committees and has been involved with the ABFPRS even before she completed certification in 1998. In addition to her twelve years as Co-Chair on the Written Exam Development Committee, Theda has not missed serving as an ABFPRS examiner since 2002.
Dr. Catherine P. Winslow is also recognized for her work as Treasurer on the ABFPRS Executive Committee as well as for her endeavors on the Oral Examination Review Committee. Catherine has served on the Oral Exam Review Committee since 2005 and became Oral Exam Co-Chair with Dr. Cynthia Gregg in 2007. As anyone who has been an examiner can attest, Catherine works tirelessly behind the scenes with Cindy to ready oral protocol questions for every examination cycle. She was also a Jack Anderson Prize Winner in 2003 and has served as an examiner since 2005.