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915 Olentangy River Road, Suite 2140
Columbus, OH 43212
Ph: 614.259.7920
Fax: 614.293.9024

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Physician Spotlight – Albert Chao, MD


The physicians at the OSU department of plastic surgery are committed to providing you with the highest quality in patient care. Fostering relationships with our patients is an integral part of our patient care philosophy. In our newest blog series, Physician Spotlight, get to know our incredible team!

Our first spotlight is Assistant Professor of Clinical Plastic Surgery, Albert Chao, MD:

Q: Who or what influenced you to become a physician?

Part of the reason I became a physician was because, for me, it was the perfect combination of science (one of my interests/strengths) with personal interaction to improve the human condition.

Q: What’s the most important advice you have for patients?

One of the most important pieces of advice I have for patients is to carefully research any treatment you are considering undergoing. Although physicians are experts in their respective specialties, some questions that are specifically important to you may not be apparent to your physician nor you until you have independently looked into things on your own.

Q: What is your practice philosophy?

My practice philosophy is to develop customized treatment plans specifically designed for individual patients based on multiple factors, including their particular medical condition, history, occupation, and personal preferences.

Q: What are your specialty interests? What are your research interests?

My specialty interests include cancer and trauma reconstruction, microsurgery, and free flap (DIEP, TRAM, SIEA) and implant based breast reconstruction.

My research interests primarily focus on clinical outcomes following reconstructive surgery. This includes study of the effect of newer multimodality cancer treatments on the approach (method, timing, patient selection) to oncologic reconstruction. In addition, he has interests in the role of technology in plastic surgery, such as novel imaging and monitoring devices, and how they may alter understanding of reconstructive concepts or enhance patient outcomes.

Q: What current news, advancements, or technologies from your field do you find exciting and interesting to share?

One of the advancements in plastic surgery that is exciting is composite tissue allotransplantation (such as face and hand transplants), which have the potential to shift our paradigm in the management of traditionally difficult reconstructive problems.

Q: How do you think your work benefits the field of plastic surgery or clinical plastic surgery? How does it benefit you?

As an academic plastic surgeon, I believe that my work benefits the field of plastic surgery in several different ways. Since I practice at a tertiary center, I have the privilege of being at the forefront of medicine to offer patients the most current and effective methods of treatment. In addition, I also perform research and am involved in training our residents to become future plastic surgeons, which I believe are activities that also advance our field.
My work benefits me in that I find it very fulfilling to strive to provide excellent care for my patients.

Q: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced in my career is providing excellent care for my patients within a healthcare system where there are sometimes external pressures and forces that can serve as obstacles to that goal.

Q: What brought you to OSU’s Department of Plastic Surgery?

I came to OSU’s Department of Plastic Surgery for several reasons. One of the primary reasons is that both our department, and the medical center as a whole, are considered rising stars on a national level that offer the highest quality of patient care.

Q: What makes the team at The Ohio State University unique?

One of the things that makes the team at OSU is unique is the pride that all practitioners have in providing only the highest possible quality of care to patients.

Q: What do you most enjoy about your work?

One of the things I enjoy most about my work is knowing that me and all the providers with whom I work are providing excellent care to all patients on a daily basis.

Q: What has been your proudest moment as a physician?

One of my proudest moments as a physician was to be able to join the Department of Plastic Surgery at OSU, which is considered one of the best on a national level and holds within it many plastic surgeons who are leaders in their respective subspecialties.

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