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John Cook MD

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American Board of Plastic Surgery

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Whole Beauty® Institute
Phone: (312) 751-2112
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737 North Michigan Ave., Suite 760, Chicago, Illinois 60611 - United States

Whole Beauty® Institute
737 North Michigan Ave., Suite 760, Chicago, Illinois 60611 - United States

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I was fortunate to discover plastic surgery relatively early in medical school at Northwestern. I felt an immediate affinity for the field. From that point forward everything I did during my training was oriented toward plastic surgery, to the occasional frustration of my teachers in different fields.

When I applied to surgical residencies, I intentionally choose the more difficult path, with a complete training in general surgery prior to plastic surgery. Although these eight years of advanced training tested even the endurance of a distance runner, I know that my patients benefit from the breadth of experience that I obtained. I believe that there is no substitute for a strong background when patient safety is concerned. Although it was known that I would ultimately become a plastic surgeon, I was treated well by my professors of general surgery at Rush. I was selected to be the Chief Surgical Resident in my final year and received both the General Surgery Department Award and the Surgical Sciences Award for Research. Also at this time, I obtained a Master’s degree based on a year of scientific research related to plastic surgery.

I returned to Northwestern for my residency in Plastic Surgery. It was truly a pleasure to develop my skills in all aspects of this wonderful and diverse field. Already at this time I had a sense of the areas within plastic surgery where I would ultimately apply my talents and energies. I developed a great interest in breast reconstruction. I enjoyed the technical challenge of the work and also appreciated the tremendous help that this brought to patients. I knew that this would be the major focus of the reconstructive aspect of my practice. I was also deeply interested in aesthetic plastic surgery. I have always felt that this is the most artistic part of the field of plastic surgery, so it was very much aligned with my interests going back to my earliest years. Here, I felt, was an area where one could fuse technical expertise with artistic vision. I also began to realize that current techniques in the field, although helpful, did not always obtain an entirely natural result. I sensed the possibility for innovation.

When I completed my plastic surgery training, I knew that I wanted to remain in the Chicago area. Friends and family are very important to me. I was fortunate to be welcomed back to Rush University Medical Center in the Department of Plastic Surgery as an independent private practitioner. This remains the ideal setting for me. I enjoy the intellectual give and take of the academic setting, and I enjoy teaching others. I also feel that my patients benefit significantly through my academic affiliation. Rush is almost unique in the Chicago area for allowing its surgeons the freedom of independent private practice. This was critical to me as well, since I focus on a high-quality, service-oriented approach to my patients that seems to be very difficult to obtain when doctors are hospital employees.

I began my independent private practice in 1988, and I feel that I am truly blessed to practice in a field that is so aligned with my interests and abilities. I am grateful for the freedom to focus on the areas of plastic surgery in which I find the greatest interest facial aesthetic surgery, plastic surgery of the breasts, and advanced body contour surgery. This focused practice allows me to concentrate on the nuances of each operation. I have always been interested in improving the process of everything that I set my activities to, rather than “just getting the work done and getting out to the golf course.”