Surgeon Carves out Time to Create Art

Dr. Jeffrey Rosenthal's office is as much a personal art gallery and studio as it is a waiting room. The muted brown walls of the room, containing only a few chairs and with soft music playing, are adorned with original artwork by the Fairfield-based plastic surgeon.

The 25-year plastic surgery veteran is no stranger to sculpting—or painting or drawing or photography. He realized his artistic ability in a psychology class in medical school. While the professor lectured, Rosenthal doodled. His intricate Asian-themed pen-and-ink doodle hangs in his office today. Self-taught and constantly experimenting with his technique, Rosenthal creates art that has been shown in exhibits locally and abroad. Recently, he created 20 paintings to exhibit in a United Nations-sponsored show in Vienna to benefit breast cancer research.

Rosenthal uses this same attention to detail in his practice, scheduling only one new consult per hour and one major surgery per day to be able to devote himself to that patient. He does reconstructive surgeries but cosmetic procedures dominate his time. The former trauma surgeon specializes in making people the best they can be.

"I can see someone and in seconds know what I have to do," Rosenthal says. "Everything I take apart, I rebuild and support. It' s like sculpting. A stonecutter has to think many steps in advance and then go back to the beginning."

His painting "Body Parts" also hangs in his personal office. Silhouettes, backsides and limbs in blue cover the canvas. Rosenthal says the painting is about motion.

"I've always been fascinated by the human body, always amazed as how it functions, how it can move. That's why I'm a physician.""Taking the bandages off of someone," he says, " is like opening a present. It's very satisfying."

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