Dr. Friedland, an associate professor of plastic surgery, Mayo Medical School, believes there is far more to being a good physician and surgeon than skill. The way doctors treat their patients is also important, he says.
Always understood customer service Dr. Friedland grew up in East Chicago, Ind., located just south of Lake Michigan."It is a very industrialized area with steel mills and oil refineries," Dr. Friedland says.
His father, Peter, was an attorney, his grandfather had a general store, and Dr. Friedland was a paper boy, juggling the delivery of several different papers on his busy route. He learned early on that people respond positively to personal service and respect, even if you broke a window when throwing their newspaper to the second floor, Dr. Friedland says.
Throughout those years, Dr. Friedland always knew he would be a doctor — probably, he says, a surgeon. He ventured out of East Chicago, to go to Northwestern University, where he met his wife, Harriet. They've been married 42 years.
"It is unusual to meet anyone who has been married that long; second to meet a doctor that has been married that long; and third to meet a plastic surgeon who has been married that long," Dr. Friedland says.
Drawn to people, plastic surgery After graduating with a medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School, Dr. Friedland completed a straight surgical internship and general surgery residency at New York University-Bellevue Medical Center, followed by the completion of a plastic surgery residency at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery in New York City.
"I went and (trained in) general surgery, and then I had to go into the service because that was the middle of the Vietnam War," he explains.
Dr. Friedland was not able to pursue plastic surgery while in the service, but could finish his general surgery training.
Later, while at NYU, Dr. Friedland trained under Dr. Jon M. Converse and Dr. Thomas D. Rees, who became one of Dr. Friedland's mentors and close friends.
"(Dr. Rees) was an excellent surgeon and specialized in aesthetic surgery. He treated all of us in the training program ... with great respect. I learned lots of things — not only about surgery and plastic surgery, but about lifestyle and how to handle people," he says.
Dr. Friedland was drawn to what plastic surgery offered — the aspect of art, the creativity.
"The whole concept of being able to visualize the end result before you start ... You make your game plan and there you go, and I really love that," he says.
While his practice today is devoted to aesthetic surgery, he says that he has a special place in his heart for children born with congenital deformities and continues to do cleft lip and palette procedures. He has gone to Third World countries, including the Philippines, China and Ecuador on missions, operating on children with cleft lips and palettes.
Known for facial surgery Dr. Friedland is best known for the surgery he does above the clavicle, including surgery of the face, eyes, forehead, neck and nose.