DECEMBER 2018 Presidential Message

Dear CSPS Family,

In the midst of the busyness of the holiday season, I wanted to pause and say how thankful I am for all of you and all you do on behalf of our patients and our specialty!  I could not be more proud to represent you and our Society, knowing all the amazing things you, our CSPS Family, does every day educating and advocating for our patients and plastic surgery!

I also want to thank many of you for expressing concern for the many Californians affected by the 2018 California wildfires, the most destructive and deadly on record.  I am also deeply touched by the desire of many you seeking ways to be of assistance.  CSPS member Michael Fealy of Thousand Oaks is among those who lost their homes in the fires.  Member Heather Furnas and Paco Canales lost their home to in the Tubbs Fire October 2017 and shares her inspiring story of strength and resilience in her PRS November editorial – click here to read article. She personally shared with me that gift cards were much appreciated as they were rebuilding after the fire.  If you would like to help, Michael, his family and others affected by these fires, please click on the links below to donate:

Fealy Family GoFundMe Page

Red Cross

Feeding America through Amazon

Finally, I want to make sure you are all up-to-date as to the many ongoing activities of our Society and Members as well as introduce another new leader and spotlight a new member!

ABPS Board Certification Process
We all understand the importance of Board Certification, thus I was especially pleased to see 11 CSPS members in Phoenix as Oral Board Examiners November 8-10, 2018.  Amongst our CSPS contingent, we can pride ourselves for having the distinguished oral examiner, Mary McGrath, recognized by all as the examiner with the most years of experience as an oral examiner for ABPS.  She reminisced on her experience with me, sharing how the location has moved and the exam has evolved over time, with it becoming a much more consistent and fair exam.  All agree that this is one of the most important activities we are involved in as it has a direct impact on who may carry the seal of quality, “board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.”

Legislative and Advocacy Efforts
In line with preserving the integrity of board certification, our Legislative and Advocacy Committees continue their preparation for the special Medical Board of California meeting to rule on the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery’s application for equivalency. This meeting has been set for December 18th at 12:30 pm to be held in both Sacramento and Los Angeles, with a webcast between sites.  At this point, the only formal presentation at this time will be from the MBC Reviewer specifically responding to lingering questions by the Board.  They will then open for public comment, allowing 3 minutes per speaker.  We will have both Northern and Southern California Delegations representing our position against ABCS equivalency.  If you are interested in participating, please contact our Office (link to office contact) so we can coordinate our efforts.

2019 Annual Meeting Update
Our Scientific Committee, led by Co-Chairs Amanda Gosman and Rahim Nazerali, has also been busy reviewing 143 submitted abstracts and preparing for our 69th annual meeting to be held in Sacramento, May 30 – June 2, 2019.  Abstracts were called earlier this year to allow for accepted abstracts to be printed in our May 2019 CSPS-APS Supplement alongside select manuscripts from abstract presentations from our 2018 San Diego meeting.  This new effort has been led by Rahim Nazerali, new Co-Chair for the Annals of Plastic Surgery Review Committee.

CSPS Members’ December Spotlights

Rahim, born and raised in Calgary, Canada, he earned a BScH in Life Sciences with a specialization in neurophysiology from Queen’s University, Kingston in Ontario, Canada.  He then migrated south to the US where he earned an MHS at the John’s Hopkins School of Public Health in Health Systems Management followed by his MD in the Dartmouth/Brown Medical Program.  He eventually moved west to complete his plastic surgery training at the University of California Davis and furthered his training with a microsurgery fellowship under the tutelage of Gordon Lee at Stanford University.  He is now a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford University.  To learn some more personal and fun facts about Rahim, please click here.

Finally, I want to shine this month’s New Member Spotlight on Wai-Yee Li.  Born and raised in London, England, she earned her BS in pathology as well as her Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Birmingham, England. As a general surgery resident at the Royal Marsden Hospital, she became interested in breast reconstruction, and embarked on plastic surgery training at the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead followed by a Ph.D. in wound healing and craniofacial development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, granted by the University of Manchester.  She then completed her residency in plastic surgery at University of Southern California followed by a pediatric plastic surgery fellowship at the University of British Columbia, Canada.  She now practices at City of Hope National Medical Center, concentrating on post-cancer reconstruction.  To learn some more personal and fun facts about Wai-Yee, please click here.

With my warmest wishes to you and your families for an especially blessed holiday season,



Michael S. Wong, MD, FACS

President, California Society of Plastic Surgeons