A Body of Work, a Lifetime of Fun: DR. DAVID GOODKIND
by RONA MANN / Photos by Stephanie Sittnick
Dellouring the 1960s and ’70s Jim Bouton was a major league baseball pitcher, playing for several teams, most notable among them the New York Yankees. Bouton was good at what he did, but sometimes his mouth got him in trouble. Yet he realized that to be good…really good at what you did, you had to have an ego. An ego that was, according to Bouton,”big enough to remind you of your talent, but not so big that it got in the way.”
In all likelihood, Branford doctor David Goodkind can’t throw a ball over the plate, but when it comes to the art and science of being an outstanding aesthetic plastic surgeon, the doctor certainly knows how to hit a home run every time.
Open the yellow pages or go online and you’ll find many plastic surgeons listed; but once you meet Dr. David Goodkind you realize the difference that makes this man outstanding not only in his field, but as a caring, compassionate human being, fiercely loyal to the dignity, individuality, and value sets of his patients.
He didn’t get there overnight, however…not by a long shot. Early on Goodkind embarked upon a level of training that was over and above the norm. Growing up on Long Island, his earliest dreams were to become a dentist, so fascinated was he with the manual technical aspects of dentistry. In fact it was this fascination with manual technical skills that ultimately produced an intense interest in surgery. After graduating from Duke Medical School, supplemented by additional surgical training at both the University of London and Oxford, Goodkind opted for five more years of general surgery training in order to qualify for the more academically superior programs to ultimately become Board Certified in his specialty.
“I turned to the field of plastic surgery because it was about my effort,” the doctor began. “With plastic surgery I had total control of the situation. If you’re a general surgeon you need to depend upon others: cardiologists, orthopedists, etc. It becomes a huge intensive inter-operative procedure, whereas with my specialty I control everything. I monitor the entire process from the initial consultation to the recovery of my patients. Plastic surgery is all abut you and the patient and helping to guide them through the entire process.”
After completing five years at the University of Louisville where he was trained in hand and micro surgery (arguably the biggest center for this specialty in the world), Goodkind then returned to Duke to complete a two year fellowship. Without a doubt it all represented an enormous amount of education and preparation, but certainly an intensive background that makes him preeminent in his field today.
“I didn’t start practicing until I was 33 years old,” Goodkind relates. “I began in New Haven, had multiple offices, and initially worked in both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.”
Today, at Fuzion, his medical aesthetic practice in downtown Branford, Goodkind wants to educate people and show the world that plastic surgery is no longer just for the rich and famous and movie stars.”We’ve learned how to get a more natural result, so that you’re not trading wrinkles for an unnatural look. You don’t want to look ‘done’ or ‘pulled;’ you just want to look like a gentler and softer you.”
During a personal one on one consultation that takes a full hour and a half, Dr. Goodkind utilizes the time to both educate and evaluate each patient. “Yes, they often come with their photos of famous people, but it’s my job to show them why they are who they are…the bone structure they have, the amount of fat, the asymmetry. I educate them as to what they bring to me and what I can do to rejuvenate them. We deal in realistic expectations.”
Goodkind points to one of the biggest advances made in his field over the years, that of anesthesia. “It’s more gentle today, more kind, and done with more finesse, so that the patient is not ill following the procedure.” While many plastic surgeons perform their procedures in-office, Goodkind believes in utilizing the services afforded by an outpatient hospital setting because “it’s the safest environment. If I need others in the rare case of an emergency, I can instantly call on ten people smarter than me. I sleep better both before and after every procedure because of that.” It is to the doctor’s credit, experience, and enormous skill set that in his 35 years of practice, he has never had to call on one of “those people,” nor has he ever been involved in a malpractice action.
The consultation is of paramount importance to Goodkind. “We interview each other, and I let the patient know I will do everything reasonable, but not dumb. I tell them everything about what we’re proposing and what’s involved…good, bad, every detail, just shy of talking them out of it!”
The confidence of his patients is foremost to Dr. Goodkind. Without it, he has no practice. So dedicated is this man, that he will even make post operative house calls if the patient is not easily able to come to him. At the moment the doctor is enthused and energized over the addition to his practice of Dr. Kathryn Templeton, a psychotherapist who practices the art of ayurveda yoga which balances the mind in reaction to the body. “Her services will be invaluable to our patients both pre and post-operatively. I will work on the exterior; she will help calm and balance the interior.”
It’s been 35 years since Dr. Goodkind began his practice, and he still enjoys every day, every patient, every procedure. He’s still telling his patients, “This won’t change your life. I can’t promise you you’ll get married again, but I can promise you this will be fun.”
As for the doctor, his goal is simple: “I want to live long enough to go have more fun.”
Jim Bouton would, no doubt, approve. After all he always believed,”Forget goals,value the process.”
You may schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Goodkind at Fuzion, 2 Chestnut Street, just off Main in downtown Branford (203) 871-3799. www.fuzionct.com