Physician Spotlight – Jeffery Janis, MD, FACS
In the next installment of our Physician Spotlight series, we get to know a bit more about Dr. Jeffery Janis, the Executive Vice Chairman for the Department of Plastic Surgery at The Ohio State University.
Q: Who or what influenced you to become a physician?When I was in business school at Washington University in St. Louis, I had the opportunity to take a Biology 101 class with a couple hundred people. I was not pre-med, and therefore was not known by any of the pre-med faculty. I ended up scoring #1 in the class and was called in by the Professor, as he did not know who I was, only knowing me by my Social Security number. When I met with him, he asked if I had an interest in biology, science, or medicine. I told him that I was graduating business. He saw promise and potential in me in a different field and encouraged me to look into it. His name was Professor Johns Hopkins, and it was really due to his encouragement that I ended up looking into medicine and eventually did 4 years of pre-med in a year and a half. I told myself I would continue as long as I was enjoying myself, and I have yet to look back.
Q: What’s the most important advice you have for patients?
Best results are obtained when both the patient and the physician equally invest in the outcome. Find somebody who cares about you as much as you do, and who you have a connection with. The journey and recovery are as much emotional and mental as it is physical.
Q: What is your practice philosophy?Simply put, I treat every patient as if they were my own family.
Q: What are your specialty interests? What are your research interests?My specialty interests are around complex reconstruction, surgical treatment of migraine headaches, and aesthetic surgery of the face, trunk, and breasts. My research interests are around abdominal wall reconstruction/hernia, treatment of migraine headaches using Botox and surgery, and education of the next generation of plastic surgeons.
Q: What current news, advancements, or technologies from your field do you find exciting and interesting to share?I think the most exciting and interesting new frontier in plastic surgery is around tissue transplantation. My patient from Dallas, Texas became the 1st full United States face transplant performed in Boston, which I had the honor of participating in. I was able to see first-hand how somebody’s life could be instantly transformed by such a tremendous gift from another, and look forward to seeing the limitless potential this type of reconstruction can provide, not only to our wounded warriors but also to those who are affected by trauma and cancer.
Q: How do you think your work benefits the field of plastic surgery or clinical plastic surgery? How does it benefit you?My work benefits one patient at a time, which is how I approach my entire practice. When I perform reconstructive surgery, the goal is to take somebody who has been affected by trauma, infection, cancer, or who has experienced complications and make them better, with the goal of getting them to become as close to normal as possible. When I perform aesthetic surgery, the goal is to deliver a consistent, reliable result that addresses a patient’s individual cosmetic concerns while prioritizing safety. My happiness is directly related to a patient’s satisfaction, and that is my overarching goal no matter what surgery I perform.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?There have been several patients that have come to me as “un-reconstructable”, as determined by other surgeons, whether it was a patient who had their scalp eaten off by a panther, patients who have incurred four degree electrical burns down to the bone, patients with such severe bone infections that they required an operation to literally cut them in half, and others who have literally had hundreds of operations. Each has represented their own unique challenges, but suffice it to say, with patience, experience, individualized treatment plans, and careful attention to detail, many of these patients have been able to be successfully reconstructed and have left the hospital to rejoin society, happy and healthy.
Q: What brought you to OSU’s Department of Plastic Surgery?When I was recruited from Dallas after spending 10 years on the faculty, and 15 years total including residency, I was offered the opportunity to join a world-class Department of Plastic Surgery at OSU and to take on new and exciting challenges. My experience as Chief of Plastic Surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital (the hospital where JFK was brought after he was shot) provided a wealth of experience in dealing with complex reconstructive patients. My successful aesthetic practice was honed in Dallas, a city where cosmetic surgery is very common and quality outcomes are the difference maker.On the personal side, I was raised in Columbus, and my entire family still lives here, so it was a great opportunity to blend new professional challenges with a personal connection to Columbus and getting back home to family.
Q: What makes the team at The Ohio State University unique?The emphasis on multidisciplinary, patient-centric care is the difference maker at The Ohio State University. Since the day I arrived, I have met outstanding physicians and surgeons who all want to put the patient at the center of the team, and who will work both tirelessly and fiercely in order to provide the best possible personalized care to the patient.
Q: What do you most enjoy about your work?That’s easy, I enjoy interacting with my patients the most and educating the next generation of plastic surgeons after that.
Q: What has been your proudest moment as a physician?My proudest moment was being part of the team in Boston that performed the first full face transplant in the United States. It was the first of its kind in this country, representing what can be achieved if you just believe in what can be done. More importantly, I saw the strength of the human spirit triumph over adversity as the patient never gave up, even when most other people would have.