Get to know Mark Mandel, MD, plastic surgery resident.

Career goal: I want to be the most excellent plastic surgeon and human being that I can be. One day, I hope to focus on anti-aging, rejuvenation and reconstructive measures for all kinds of people, particularly those who wish to recapture not just the look, but the feeling of youth and good health.

“Medicine is a team sport, and at LVHN it definitely feels like it.”

What makes your LVHN training program different than other programs across the country?

What makes LVHN special for me is the relationships I have with my mentors. Not only are they talented surgeons, but they also have a passion for teaching. My co-residents and I share that passion and are looking forward to welcoming new trainees each year so that we can build our LVHN family to the fullest.

What has been the most unique part of your training experience so far? 

Unique parts of my training have been the ways in which my specialty rotations elucidate the finer aspects of my chosen concentration. For example, when I was on my burn rotation, I learned so much about plastic surgery from those attendings. The interface between our fields is constant and collegial – I am grateful to learn the planes of my profession from both the perspectives of plastic surgeons as well as surgeons of other specialties to whom we share patients. Medicine is a team sport, and at LVHN it definitely feels like it.

What is one memory you have from your training so far that will stick with you for your career? 

One of the most impactful experiences for me was when I was on my hand rotation and there was a pediatric patient who had a terrible injury disfiguring his hand. In the midst of the horror of the accident, I experienced that team mentality among my colleagues. The hand specialists, the pediatric surgeons, the plastic surgeons and everyone else were pulling for this kid. As a younger doctor who does not yet have children, I could not appreciate the acute distress of the situation from the perspective of a parent. Even so, I watched my colleagues, many with children the same age of this patient, throw themselves into the meticulous process of reconstructing this child’s hand. In a very dark hour for the patient and the patient’s family, my attendings and senior residents were not just stoic skilled surgeons, but also kind and deeply empathetic figures that this family and child relied on during a horrible time. It showed me that even through such a catastrophic accident and subsequent repair, these men and women were human beings while being doctors. They never closed themselves off as so many need to do in order to cope with the trauma of seeing such carnage. Instead, they leaned into the desperate reality of the situation, and guided this family through the healing process, physically and emotionally.

What is one piece of advice you would share with someone as they select a training program?

Remember that in the end, all programs are made up of people. All patients are people. Although the process of choosing a program is easily reduced to statistics, charts, percentages and profiles, the choice you make will be to join the ranks of colleagues and mentors who will shape the kind of doctor and person you become. I could have chosen LVHN for its reputation as an excellent integrated plastic surgery residency program. I could have chosen LVHN because it is close to my family and in my home state. I could have chosen LVHN for a lot of reasons, but in the end, the deciding factor for me was the way I felt during my interviews, away rotation and when discussing my options with my mentors. My advice to you is to remember the way you feel when you are going through this process. When I needed to make my decision, what made me choose LVHN were the feeling of collegiality, the atmosphere of a fierce dedication to the practice of medicine and to the welfare of patients, and the feeling that I would be a valued member of a team. 

What does it mean to be a resident at LVHN?

It means to be a member of the team and of the family.

Plastic Surgery Residency

Learn more about LVHN’s Plastic Surgery Residency program.

Program overview