Plastic surgery, while medically unnecessary for many, is vital in restoring health and quality of life to those afflicted with birth defects or who have been left disfigured due to accidental trauma, or otherwise. Plastic surgeons certainly do not get the respect they deserve among some circles of society–as some cater to the vanity of wealthy celebrities who are preoccupied with their images. Should this be the primary purpose for plastic surgery? Not according to Dr. Rudi Untenthiner, plastic surgeon and author of Faces, Souls, and Painted Crows.
This is the story of a highly successful plastic surgeon that became disillusioned with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. No longer satisfied with catering to the vanity of the stars, Dr. Paul Reiter walked away from his practice and embarked on a life-changing journey that took him to the small village of Puertecitos, Mexico.
As a plastic surgeon, Paul was looking for validation, for worth, for purpose–he was searching for his soul. The people he encountered in Puertecitos were nothing short of remarkable, like the child whose disfigurement Dr. Reiter knew he could correct. Indeed, these were gentle, caring people–some of whom had genuine medical needs. The surgery and care he gave while in the village helped him gain a new, more balanced perspective on his work. This poignant story allows the reader to see right into the soul of a man tormented by self-doubt.
Offering his skills as a plastic surgeon to the poor villagers of Puertecitos was both cathartic and restorative for patient and doctor. He saw children gain confidence among their peers; he saw parents overjoyed at bright futures the good doctor brought to their children. He saw the practice of plastic surgery gain respectability.
Just as he helped the people of Puertecitos, they, in turn, helped Dr. Reiter along his journey of self-discovery. He learned true compassion and understanding, and he learned that self-worth doesn’t necessarily come from a six-figure income. If all he did was to make a child feel better about him/herself, like the painted crows, then it was worth the sacrifice of having left a lucrative practice, because what he gained was worth so much more.
Faces, Souls, and Painted Crows by Rudi Unterthiner is a must read; it will lift your spirit and restore your faith in mankind. It’s the kind of story that you don’t want to end–it will touch you in the deepest part of your soul.
Find out more about Faces, Souls, and Painted Crows by visiting Amazon.com