Dr. Patrick Sullivan works with Operation Smile. He started his international work in India at age 20 and has continued ever since. He is a plastic surgeon who has been referred to as a “Tom Brady in plastic surgery.” He has been designated in the top 1% of plastic surgeons by U.S. News and World Report as well as Castle Connolly. He is internationally known for his artistic ability to shape and contour faces producing natural enhancements. He is invited regularly to teach plastic surgeons throughout the United States but also all over the world and has now done so on five continents as well as performing surgery on three continents.
Pat takes us back to his humble beginnings growing up on a farm in Minnesota. He was the youngest of nine kids. Although his family didn’t have much money, he explains that his mom was an extraordinary role model of hard work and serving the less fortunate.
During his college years, he worked at a summer job where he had the good fortune to meet a Harvard professor, Physician and Jesuit Priest by the name of Dr. James Gill. Dr. Gill encouraged Pat to become a physician and arranged for Pat to travel to India to work in a medical community. This seven-week experience changed his life. After India, Pat worked in east Africa. When he returned, he became engrossed with the idea of becoming a physician.
Pat is one of the top plastic surgeons in the world and he’s been referred to as the Tom Brady in the field since he’s able to see things that others couldn’t. In this area of medicine, Pat can incorporate his medical knowledge with the artistic side of his brain.
In 2021, Pat decided to pivot away from his thriving aesthetic surgery practice and focus full time on his work with Operation Smile. For Pat, the beauty of Operation Smile is that they treat the whole person. They do everything from the surgery and dentistry to the speech therapy, and they even take care of the family’s needs. As he says, “they develop an infrastructure in an area where they are working so the child isn’t left behind when the surgeons go home.”
In honor of their 40th anniversary, Operation Smile is doing bike rides all over the world from Madagascar to Rhode Island to raise awareness and funding for the organization. It’s called Cycles for Smiles. If you are interested in joining Pat’s team or learning more about Operation Smile and Cycles for Smiles, you can click right here.
Pat says that asking better questions is a very important practice that he does on a daily basis. For example, each day he tries to ask himself these five questions:
What am I grateful for?
How can I be the best person that I can be for myself and others?
How can I make the biggest impact?
How do I maintain a positive outlook?
How can I invest in relationships and connections that make a difference?
And if someone experiences a setback, Pat offers one further question to ask: what can I learn from this? Instead of blaming others or giving up, this simple question can help shift the mind into a more positive and productive state.
Again, if you are interested in joining Dr. Pat Sullivan’s Cycles for Smiles team, please click right here.
You can also learn more about Operation Smile here.
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I loved the podcast! The challenges he overcame, his strengths, and his passion! He is amazing! The “can do” is such a strong message for all the kids out there! Especially, the ones he’s working with in Operation Smile! Making a difference together!