It is my belief that God gives each of us special gifts and expects us to use those gifts in his service. If you know me, then you probably know, I am far from perfect. I am not trying to come across as overly pious, but merely trying to describe why 11 years ago I elected to join the Army Reserve. Since I was a very young child, serving in the United States Military was something that I felt would make me feel proud. As a young boy I was more likely to have a toy gun in my hand than a stethoscope. The right opportunity for my service did not present itself until after I had finished medical school. When I entered my Ear, Nose and Throat (aka – otolaryngology – head and neck surgery) residency I was informed my specialty was something the Army considered to be a Critical Wartime Shortage, or in short, a specialty the Army really needed. The Army Reserve seemed perfect because I knew I wanted to have a private practice in plastic surgery, but I also felt if the Army needed my skills then I should be willing to help, especially since this country has given me more than a person could ever hope or dream of having.
To the Army’s credit, they have done everything they said they would, and allowed me to have a private practice, not requiring much of me up until this point. However, about six months ago, I began receiving emails and phone calls with requests for me to spend more time at drill, and make sure all of my credentialing was current. I was suspicious they had plans for me, and my suspicions recently proved to be true. I have received orders to go to Iraq as an ear, nose and throat and plastic surgeon in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. I leave on December 30, 2016 and will be gone for three months. Please note, this is only a fraction of the time most soldiers have to spend on their deployments.
My reason for this letter is two-fold. First, I want to let all of my patients know why I will be absent and when I will return. I leave December 30, 2016 and will return in early April. During my absence, I am fortunate enough to have Dr. Paul Critelli, a skilled plastic surgeon, continuing to see patients and providing our community with all of the great injectables, plastic surgery and medspa care they are used to receiving from Flower Mound Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Spa. Our current team with the exception of myself will be there as well. In short, it’s business as usual. Second, I want to ask for your continued support and loyalty during my absence and upon my return. It is my hope when I leave and come back I do not find a dramatic drop off in my clinic visits and patient care. Stick with me and I will make it up to you when I get back. If you need to get in for your Botox or fillers, I will be seeing patients through December 28th and plan on spending December 29th at home with my family until my departure on December 30th.
J. Drew Sanderson, MD
Owner – Flower Mound Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Spa