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Diversity Is a Bedrock of the Johns Hopkins Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Diversity Is a Bedrock of the Johns Hopkins Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Diversity and inclusion are integral to the excellence and success of all institutions and this is especially the case for academic medical centers such as Johns Hopkins, where the promise of trust and healing is essential to the delivery of an extraordinary experience for patients, faculty and staff members, trainees and community members. The core values of diversity and inclusion are key to Johns Hopkins’ mission of research, education and patient care, and they are equally crucial for the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Fostering Work-Life Balance for Faculty

“Most surgical fields, especially plastic surgery, have been historically male-dominated,” says Kristen Broderick, assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery. She recalls being the only female in about 15 people interviewing for residency positions. At Johns Hopkins, department director W. P. Andrew Lee “has done a good job in actively seeking out a more diverse faculty as well as residents,” she says.

While being recruited two years ago, Broderick was upfront about being married to another surgeon and having two young children, one of whom required frequent medical appointments. Lee has been nothing but supportive, she says. Some standing faculty meetings now occur at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, instead of 6 a.m. Fridays—before day care centers open. Call schedules are established in advance, which helps her accommodate family events and her husband’s call schedule. Broderick has been able to call in to some meetings, and on a rare occasion, she or her husband have brought their kids to the hospital to wait for each other to finish an operation and take them back home, or alternated watching the kids while the other rounded on patients.

“Surgery is evolving, and Dr. Lee recognizes that we as a department want to present a variety of role models who trainees can relate to in order to help them envision their lives and their careers,” says Broderick. “When my residents are in the OR with me, they will hear about my kids and my husband. Some residents are choosing to not go into surgical fields because of lifestyle. I want to encourage people that you can be a surgeon and have whatever lifestyle you want to have, you just have to set things in place to make that happen.”

Mentoring International Trainees

amir dorafsharAmir Dorafshar

When Amir Dorafshar, clinical director of the face transplant program, was two years old, his parents emigrated from Iran to England to escape the revolution. During his senior year in medical school, he went to the University of California, Los Angeles, for a plastic surgery rotation, where he had such an outstanding performance that he was invited to come back as a research fellow after graduation. He spent two years conducting research at UCLA, then completed residencies at the University of Chicago and a fellowship at Johns Hopkins. He joined the faculty in 2009.

Dorafshar is now a mentor for other international medical graduates, including two residents in the department, Angelo Leto Barone and Georgios Kokosis, who hail from Italy and Greece, respectively. The three worked together on a study looking at factors (such as high board scores, honors and research experience) that allow international medical graduates to match to U.S. residency programs. 

Dorafshar is hardly the only immigrant faculty member in the department.  Six other faculty members grew up outside the U.S.: Gerald Brandacher (Austria), W. P. Andrew Lee (Republic of China), Byoung Chol Oh (Korea), Giorgio Raimondi (Italy) and Hooman Soltanian (Iran).

The Core Values of Diversity and Inclusion Are Key to the Department’s Missions


Front row, from left: Wilmina Landford, Franca Kraenzlin, Chris Frost, Lauren Geiser, Phil Hanwright, Akash Chandawarkar, Angelo Leto Barone, John Rose, Jennifer Sabino (baby Gianna), Melanie Major.

Back row, from left: Sami Tuffaha, Robin Yang, Karan Chopra, Nima Khavanin, Bart Kachniarz, Keli Kolegraff, Colton McNichols, Brian Cho, Howard Wang, Adekunle Elegbede, Georgios Kokosis, Raghu Nandan

2017 New Integrated Residents

nicholas calotta
Nicholas Calotta
hillary jenny
Hillary Jenny
melanie major
Melanie Major
amy quan
Amy Quan

2017 New Independent Residents

melissa mastroianni
Melissa Mastroianni
john rose
John Rose
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