YPDaily: Ryan Neinstein

Ryan Neinstein is in his fifth and final year as a resident in reconstructive and plastic surgery. After going through a previous seven years of school – he has a bachelor of science and his medical degree – this YP isn’t through yet. After his residency, Ryan plans to move to New York to complete sub-specialty training in cosmetic surgery at the Manhattan Ear, Eye, and Throat Hospital. Find out more about this 30-year-old young professional in today’s YPDaily.

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
Every day, residents are on the front lines of health care. In plastic and reconstructive surgery we are constantly challenged. We can be repairing a cleft lip one day and reattaching an arm in the middle of the night the next. The training is gruelling, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Why did you start working in your industry? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I always liked the idea of working in an industry that was fluid and constantly evolving, I realized medicine was right for me after spending a summer volunteering as a medic in Israel; I enjoyed seeing how knowledge converted into positive benefits for other people. During medical school, I spent a lot of time hanging around operating rooms. I would go to every specialty and every surgery I could. It was the plastics room that drew my focus. They could reconstruct someone’s face after a trauma and move muscles and tendons around to power a paralyzed limb. The chairman of our division introduced me to plastic surgery and continues to push me to be a better researcher and surgeon. He will continue to be my inspiration going forward.

Do you plan on starting your own practice one day?
Yes. I enjoy all aspects of plastic surgery and look forward to being able to practice reconstructive, trauma and cosmetic cases. I also plan on being actively involved in research to help advance our field.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is definitely interacting with the patients. Working in Toronto I get to meet people from all over the world and learn about different religions and cultures. The most challenging part of my career is balancing my personal and professional life. As a resident, I do a ton of calls. I don’t get to spend as much time as I would like with my girlfriend and my new nieces and nephew.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years I see myself in practice here in Toronto doing both reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. I want to be on the cutting edge of plastic surgery trying to advance our specialty.

What does success look like to you?
Success to me is a combination of getting to a point in your life where you do what you love to do everyday and being in a position to educate and motivate others to pursue their passions as well. Being respected by my team and peers, being appreciated by my patients and being passionate about what I do are what I strive to achieve.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Being recognized by the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery for having the best research paper at the annual international meeting. The best part was not winning the award but getting recognition for research that may help make breast reconstruction after cancer safer and more predictable.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Like Louis Pasteur said, “fortune favours the prepared mind.” Don’t leave life to chance. If you work harder and prepare more than the next guy, you will come out on top.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I support Rethink Breast Cancer and attend the Boobyball every year. Breast reconstruction after breast cancer is a large part of plastic surgery, and this group targets young women, a group traditionally left out of breast cancer awareness. Early detection of breast cancer is the most effective method of treating the disease, so educating this audience is crucial.

What is Notable to you?
A sense of humour. I always remember funny people. We are all so focused on serious stuff all the time, it’s important to not take yourself too seriously and remember to laugh…a lot.