The Right Mindset

The Right Mindset

I’m Dr. Chinoy’s clinical agent. Dr. Chinoy specializes in invasive cosmetic — aesthetic or appearance-related surgery, like Facelift, Eye-lift, Wrinkle reduction, Nose jobs, Facial implants, Lip enhancement, Liposuction, Tummy tuck, Breast enlargement, and reduction. I dishearteningly approved these procedures. I had to. That’s how I earned my living. Dr. Chinoy got paid a lot for his work because only the rich could afford his services.

I didn’t know why people want to go under the knife for unnecessary procedures like breast augmentation, nose jobs, or Lip enhancement. Nevertheless, I praised his every after-surgery look.

“Wow!” The other day I remarked in the highest adulation, “Dr. Chinoy, you made her look gorgeous with a little lip filler.” I egged on the doctor to go for lots of unnecessary procedures like that. 

This adulation would add a bonus to my already high salary. Plastic surgery is all about using plastic to make people look pretty, right? No, and never repeat those words.

No! Don’t get me wrong. If you couldn’t already tell, I’m enamored with plastic surgery. It’s like science fiction. What I admired most was reconstructive plastic surgery, which included surgical procedures to correct facial and body abnormalities that were caused by birth defects, like cleft lip, reconstruction for severe traumatic injuries, and diseases like breast reconstruction after mastectomy for breast cancer. Plastic surgery was on the cutting edge of innovation in medicine.


One day Dr. Chinoy met an eleven-year-old girl — right outside his clinic, selling cheap artificial jewelry. Her little booth was like bees to a honeypot. Females of every age were buzzing at her booth. Most of them looked poor, yet wanted to look beautiful.

“What are you selling, girl?” Dr. Chinoy asked.

“I make jewelry, and sell it, to enhance beauty just like you do,” she replied with an innocent smile. “But my stuff is cheaper,” she added. “Do you want one? You do wonders with your hands, Doctor. You are an angel. Could you make me beautiful too?”

The doctor, in dismay, looked at her pensively. 

A few months later, when I arrived at the clinic, I saw speech therapists, orthodontists, and ten plastic surgeons who were known to be experienced in handling complex plastic surgical cases for cleft patients.

“Dr. Chinoy, what’s all this?” I cornered him and asked in surprise.

“There won’t be cosmetic surgeries here anymore. It’s my first step to establish a cleft center to coordinate comprehensive care and follow-up services.” He answered. “The ability to do one of these repairs, which might take an hour and a half to complete, can make a life-changing difference. I don’t want to see a child shunned because of a cleft lip. Poor and rich will get the same service in my clinic.”

I was in awe, thinking how adulation from unexpected avenues can bring back zest like magic, as I saw Dr. Chino welcomed his first cleft-lip patient walk into the clinic — the same girl, who was selling cheap artificial jewelry.  
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