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Image of Anthony Youn

© Gilles Perrin http://www.gilles-perrin.com/

Anthony Youn
Plastic Surgeon and Author of In Stitches

The first patient whose life I changed, whose life I “saved” as a medical student, I didn’t actually perform any procedure at all. I was just sitting there talking to him, convincing him to have a life-saving surgery, whereas nobody else would bother. He was ready to die. As a medical student I had no skills, but I had time. And that was the one thing I could give this guy was time—time listening to him, time talking with him, and time getting to know him so he trusted me. I convinced him to have a surgery that saved his life. The doctors didn’t have time to do that. Well if he’s not going to sign for surgery, if he’s not going to sign the consents, then fine, we can let him die. And he said, “Fine, I will.” They said, “Tony, why don’t you go talk to him and see if you can get through to this guy.” And as a medical student that’s what you have, you have time.

From June 15, 2012, interview