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The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation

Dr. Gil Gradinger Honored with Career Achievement Award Print

Dr. Gil Gradinger Honored with Career Achievement Award

At the business meeting of the Aesthetic Society this year, an outstanding physician, educator and mentor was honored with the Society’s first Career Achievement Award. That member is Dr. Gill Gradinger. A much loved and visionary aesthetic surgeon who is one of the founding members of the organization.

In 2009, the Editors of ASN had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Gradinger. Excerpts of that interview are below:

Dr. Gilbert P. Gradinger may not have known that he was helping create a legacy through the formation of the Aesthetic Society in 1967, but his ideals on education and excellence have nonetheless remained a standard within the community of plastic surgeons. As a founding member, former president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and former chair of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Gradinger has contributed countless hours of service, research and experience to generations of plastic surgeons. He retired from his private practice several years ago and has dedicated great effort to the organization and maintenance of the Resident Cosmetic Clinic at the University of California at San Francisco. This effort has resulted in a busy cosmetic surgery practice for the senior and chief residents, as well as continuing his educational goals.

As a founding member, did you realize the potential for ASAPS?
I definitely lacked the vision to realize its potential back then—I had no idea it was going to become the important Society it is today. In 1967, I was approached by Simon Fredricks to join a travel club of young plastic surgeons surgeons (because we were young at that time) and by the next meeting in 1968, we became the Aesthetic Society. I was concerned at the time that it would be divisive and would disrupt the community, but it was definitely an underserved subject. We needed the teaching and it just grew from then. When I considered it from that standpoint—I was pleased to be a founding member.

When did you realize the Aesthetic Society was something substantial in the plastic surgery community?
After two or three years it really began to grow. The membership requirements were hard to reach back then in terms of cases and years of practice. In the beginning, there was just an annual meeting and the first program was a visiting professor program. It was only one person per year—I did mine in 1982 and I visited 24 different residency programs during that year. You didn’t turn down any invitations.

What do you feel is the Society’s role now that plastic surgery is in the mainstream and all over the media?
I think the Society’s primary role rests in education—both clinical and investigative. I think the formation of Quad A (The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF) and the research foundation (ASERF) are extremely important functions that benefit all plastic surgeons. A major secondary goal is the ethical promotion of the member’s needs and interests. In terms of the public, we should aid in informing and protecting the public.


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