Plastic Surgeon in Beverly Hills, CA for 10 years
Featured on Extreme Makeover
Plastic Surgeon with Operation Smile since 1995
Graduated from Brown University
M.A. in Pharmacology
Completed training in plastic surgery from USC
MORE THAN SKIN DEEP
Dr. Anthony Griffin has been a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, CA, for ten years. He says there has been a stigma that plastic surgery is only for cosmetic purposes. People think it is all Hollywood glamor and that changes only affect the surface. But there is a difference between having plastic surgery to help with self-esteem and surgery that is vanity. Plastic surgery can dramatically change a life, especially in the cases of physical deformities like cleft lips. Many times he says his collegues tell him he should do more of the "glamorous cases," that would be more lucrative. But Dr. Griffin likes to use his gifts and talents for God and he says God gets glorified because of this. He asks God to use his gifts and God equips him, even during the times he feels inadequate.
An example of how God has helped Dr. Griffin is in the case of Jeff Oliphant, who was featured on ABC's TV show Extreme Makeover. Originally Jeff was turned down for the reconstruction of bilateral cleft lip, because his case was complicated. Jeff had gone through multiple surgeries since he was a baby and had extensive scarring as a result. However, Dr. Griffin prayed about it and decided to proceed with Jeff's surgery. The surgery was a success and a testimony to God. It was a blessing to Dr. Griffin and Jeff, who is also a Christian.
ON A MISSION
Dr. Griffin grew up in a fairly religious home. He accepted Christ when he was 12, then rededicated his life to Christ in 1986. Upon rededicating his life to Christ, he realized why he was here and his purpose in life – that life should not be lived for himself but for God and His purposes.
Dr. Griffin always knew he wanted to be a physician. He had four brothers with asthma. As a result of frequent visits to the hospital for his brothers' condition he was surrounded by the presence of medical professionals. When he was in junior high, he saw an article on plastic surgery. Upon reading this article he found that only a few African Americans were plastic surgeons at the time which inspired him. However, what appealed to him about specializing in plastic surgery the most was that plastic surgery "combined art with medicine." He called one of the doctors who was featured in the article who later encouraged Anthony to pursue his dreams of becoming a plastic surgeon.
While he was doing his residency at USC he worked on over a thousand cleft lips. The doctor he worked closely with at the time also worked with Operation Smile. This doctor encouraged Dr. Griffin to go with him on an Operation Smile mission to Africa. During this time, Dr. Griffin had been widowed six months earlier and was looking for direction. So, in 1995 Dr. Griffin went on his first Operation Smile mission to Africa which really had an impact on him. After one of the cleft lip surgeries he did, the change was so dramatic that the mother didn't recognize her child. Dr. Griffin continues to go on Operation Smile missions. He will be going on a Honduras mission trip with the organization in February 2006. He says part of the journey of faith is not knowing the end. We find out our paths on a need-to-know basis – whatever you're called to do, do it unto the Lord.
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