By Frank Lewis
Dr. Jessica Suber was bright, talented and excited about the medical field and thought she knew what specialty she would step into.
“I was doing a rotation at the University of Alabama, because, as a medical student, you can rotate to various other medical schools and you can try out their residency programs to find a good fit for you,” Suber said. “At the time I thought I was going to do general surgery. And I got there and I did a case that was a little child that needed an ear reconstruction and I saw them take a rib and make an ear out of it. Then, the next day I saw them take belly tissue and make a breast out of it, and I thought, this is really cool. It was just a chance to make a huge difference in someone’s life by fixing this defect or after-cancer treatment or after trauma. It’s just making someone feel better about themselves.”
Suber knows that when most people think of plastic surgery their thoughts just naturally go to cosmetic surgery, and while that is part of what she does, there is plenty more.
“I’ll be doing both reconstructive and cosmetic,” Suber said. “Some plastic surgeons do 100 percent reconstruction. There is so much more to it than people imagine. We do burn surgery. We do wounds. We cut out cancer and fill in the hole. We do fractures of faces. We do hand surgery. It’s a huge variety. We have intense training for six years so we can offer these services.”
Suber is from a little town called Wildwood in Central Florida. She went to college at Florida State University and continued on at Florida State College of Medicine, finishing her residency training at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
“This is my very first job out of training,” Suber said, sitting in her new office in the Braunlin Building on the campus of Southern Ohio Medical Center. “It’s exciting.”
Suber said she learned about SOMC because she knew Dr. Murielle Brohez, who trained with her in Tampa.
“She knew that I was looking for a small town and thought that I would be a good fit for the job,” Suber said. “Then, when I called and talked to Dr. (Vincent) Scarpinato, he was my first point of contact and he was a huge seller of coming up to at least check it out. So then I came up and met with everybody and I was just blown away. I was blown away by everyone’s niceness and how well everyone got along. You could tell everyone was passionate about their job and that you would enjoy your job every day.”
Suber said she had certain criteria such as wanting a job that she would enjoy. She wanted to be in a smaller town and she wanted to be able to do a variety of plastic surgery. She is part of the team known as the SOMC Surgical Associates. Dr. Scarpinato is my partner and Dr. Brohez and Dr. (Jeffery) Parker.”
“Usually you will narrow down your niche,” Suber said. “I would say my niche is breast reconstruction, general cosmetics, cutaneous cancer surgery and wounds.”
Suber said patients come by way of referral to her or make appointments on their own.
“Many times it is by referral because someone will see their primary care doctor and they will tell them they have a need for that,” Suber said. “Or they can call from their home and say they would like to make an appointment, either way.”
Suber said she is looking forward to getting to know her patients.
“These are truly my patients, which is pretty exciting,” Suber said. “I get to know them and to have the opportunity to hopefully change their life for the better.”
Suber is married and expecting a child in December.
Suber said anyone needing to make an appointment may call her office at 740-355-6938.. The office is located at 1711 27th St. in the Braunlin Building, Suite 402 in Portsmouth.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 1928, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.