Medesthetics

NOV-DEC 2013

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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HITTING A CURVE BALL OUT OF THE PARK M. Bradley Calobrace's 16,000-square-foot facility includes a surgery center, cosmetic breast center and two-level medspa. Life was good. The year was 2007. You know what happened next: a little snafu better known as a global economic crisis shattered the stock market, demolished the housing market, and led to soaring unemployment. "For a few months it was pretty darn scary," admits Dr. Calobrace. "All I could think was, 'What a horrible time to grow my practice.'" But a funny thing happened on the way to feared financial ruin: Dr. Calobrace's practice got busier. "Yes, surgery bookings went down, because people waited to have expensive facelifts," he says. "But Botox and Sculptra and other nonsurgical appointments went up. The stars just aligned for us, and we got through it. "Though I don't suggest anyone else try that path," he hastens to add. "Stars successfully aligning" seems to be the story of Dr. Calobrace's practice—at least on the surface. But dig a little deeper, and it turns out that the neat arrangement of astral bodies actually involves only 54 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013 | MedEsthetics a smattering of good luck, which is underlain with a lot of hard work and a savvy business sense. Born To Be a Doctor As a child, Dr. Calobrace—who grew up in a working-class, blue-collar family from Indiana—didn't seem destined for a successful career as a plastic surgeon. "When I was in college in the early 80s, I didn't even know what plastic surgery was," he admits. But if plastic surgery was a mystery, the medical field always held appeal to him. Even as a small boy he was fascinated by the secrets and knowledge held in a thick medical book that his mother pulled out of a drawer whenever someone in the family fell ill. "I got the fever to be a doctor in 2nd or 3rd grade," he says. "And to this day, I still am in awe of every doctor I meet. It's such a heroic career." During his third year of medical school, a nutrition professor, whose sister was undergoing reconstructive surgery after a car accident, suggested he look into the plastic surgery. "It's a perfect fit for you," she urged. So when it was time to choose a specialty for his surgical rotation he followed her advice. It was an instant fit. "I found plastics to be extremely satisfying. I am creative and artistic, and I understand aesthetics. I always did well with special orientation. And I love anatomy of the entire body—face, head, neck, chest, legs, feet, hands." New Doc in Town After completing residencies in general surgery and plastic surgery at the University of Southern California (USC), plus a two-year cosmetic and breast surgery fellowship, Dr. Calobrace headed to Louisville in 1997 to hang his shingle. "I was looking to establish my practice in the Midwest to be closer to home, closer to family," he says. But it wasn't easy being the young new doc in town. "It's hard to get referrals when you start from scratch," he says. "I didn't step into a machine that was already created. I didn't know anybody. I felt like I

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