Dr. Nina Lu, of Seattle, Washington, earned the highest score on the 2019 ABFPRS examination in Washington, D.C., and will be honored with the Jack R. Anderson Prize for Scholastic Excellence at the AAFPRS Fall Meeting in San Diego.
What started Dr. Lu on the path to medicine for her career? “I was first exposed to medicine by my maternal grandfather who was a physician in Shanghai, China. He practiced traditional Chinese medicine, which is quite different from what I do now, but his passion for treating his patients and desire to perfect his craft were undeniable. He worked into his 80’s and even after ‘retiring,’ you could always catch him reading a medical book for leisure or giving advice to a neighbor,” relates Dr. Lu.
Dr. Lu’s grandfather wasn’t her only source of inspiration—her mother was a gifted artist who instilled a love for art and nature via traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy. “She would use simple materials such as rice paper and black ink to mimic the phenomena of the physical world—everything from a single flower to a mountain range could be captured via her beautiful artistic renderings,” Dr. Lu recalls. “She inspired a love for art and nature that I believe planted the seed for my penchant for facial plastic surgery.”
Dr. Lu completed the honors program in medical education at Northwestern University and went on to finish her residency in otolaryngology at the University of Kansas where she met two of her mentors, Dr. J. David Kriet and Clinton Humphrey. From there she matched for an AAFPRS fellowship at Johns Hopkins University with Drs. Patrick Byrne and Ira Papel. While she was at Hopkins, she was also mentored by Drs. Kofi Boahene, Shaun Desai, Theda Kontis, and Lisa Ishii. “Working with them and seeing what facial plastic surgeons could accomplish for patients sealed the deal for me,” confessed Dr. Lu.
Dr. Lu is joining the faculty at the University of Washington in Seattle where she hopes to develop a broad practice in facial plastic surgery with special expertise in facial paralysis. “I hope to stay in academic medicine for my career,” confides Dr. Lu. “I definitely gravitate towards the more classically ‘reconstructive’ patients, although I think all procedures are simultaneously cosmetic and reconstructive in nature. As my mentors have taught me, form and function are perpetually interconnected and there is no distinct boundary between the two. I love incorporating cosmetic techniques in reconstructive surgery to get the best outcome, because at the end of the day, I just hope to help patients improve their lives and feel good about themselves with whatever I do,” she concludes.
Dr. William H. Truswell, ABFPRS President, adds this thought: “We’re all extremely proud of Dr. Lu and her accomplishment. The ABFPRS Board of Directors and I wish her every success as she pursues her career and, hopefully, ABFPRS certification.”
The 2020 examination will be given June 25-26 in Washington, D.C. To register for the exam or apply for certification, go to: www.abfprs.org and click on Applying. Or contact the ABFPRS office by emailing: [email protected] or calling (703) 549-3223.