This week’s Monday Q&A features Dr. Jill Murphy, a Nebraska native who graduated from the University of Nebraska — Lincoln and from medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She recently started practicing at Plastic Surgery Associates
Dr. Jill Murphy recently started working at Plastic Surgery Associates in Sioux Falls.(Photo: Elisha Page / Argus Leader)
This week’s Monday Q&A features Dr. Jill Murphy, a Nebraska native who graduated from the University of Nebraska — Lincoln and from medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She recently started practicing at Plastic Surgery Associates.
Question: What’s the best part about working in your field?
Answer: The best part about plastic surgery is the amazing variety of procedures that plastic surgeons can do. We are not confined to one area of the body, but can address surgical problems essentially from head to toe. There is also a lot of creativity involved in plastic surgery. It is definitely not “cookie-cutter” surgery. Many of the more complex procedures I have seen and done do not have a list of steps or instructions that can be found in a book. Instead, you have to draw from the fundamental principles and techniques that you have learned and put them together in a way that can solve each unique surgical situation that you are faced with. This does not just apply to the reconstructive side of plastic surgery. On the aesthetic side, every patient will have unique goals and anatomy which requires a personalized approach to help achieve the results desired. It’s this creativity that I really love about plastic surgery.
Q: What attracted you to Sioux Falls and Plastic Surgery Associates?
A: My husband and I were born and raised in the Midwest and did all of our medical training in the Midwest. We love the people, the atmosphere, the pace of life, pretty much everything about the Midwest. As we were looking for job opportunities after residency, we agreed that this is where we wanted to stay — we’re just not “coastal” people.
When I learned about the opportunity to join Plastic Surgery Associates of South Dakota, I was very excited. I had found an established and well-respected plastic surgery practice in the perfect location. Everyone I have met here so far has been incredibly kind and helpful, and the physicians offer a complete range of reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. With respect to their aesthetic practice, the focus is on natural-appearing results, rather than a Hollywood “plastic” appearance. Finding a group that emphasized these results was very important to me because that is the look I want to help people achieve.
As for the city, Sioux Falls is the perfect size for us. It has all the amenities of a big city but with a small town feel. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing. This was a very important factor for my husband, who loves outdoor activities and wants to share those types of experiences with our twin boys.
Q: What advice would you give to a young person thinking about entering your field?
A: A career in medicine is a huge commitment. It starts early with a lot of studying and test taking in order to be accepted into medical school. Once you are in medical school, you essentially lose control of your life for the duration of your medical and residency training. You will work long hours (up to 80 a week on paper, but a lot of times it is more than that). In the free time you do get, you will be studying because there is a tremendous amount of information that you have to learn in an impossibly short amount of time. You will accrue a huge amount of debt while all of this is happening, as well. Your family will need to be very understanding. It will not be your decision when you get to come home, when you have to leave for work, and whether or not you will get to be there for important moments such as family reunions, ballet recitals, football games, opening presents on Christmas Day, etc. When it’s all over, you might feel like you’ve given up your 20s and early 30s, and in some ways you really have.
That said, this is an amazing profession and you will get to play a unique and important role in many peoples’ lives. Surgery, specifically, allows you to work with your hands and your head, which is great for people who like a lot of variety in their work and love to constantly be doing something. This is a great profession for people who enjoy seeing and learning something new every day. It teaches you how to make the most of your free time, since you might have less free time than others. Despite the rigors of training and the intensity of this career in general, I would still do it again if I had the chance to go back.
Q: What motivates you to be active in your community or profession?
A: I’m very excited to become a part of the Sioux Falls community. My husband and I want to make this our home, and the more you learn about a place and get involved in the community, the easier that is. Finding activities for my boys to participate in is also very important to me. I want them to be able to experience a variety of activities while they are young so they can figure out what they like to do and hopefully focus on that as they grow up and turn it into a career they will love. With respect to plastic surgery, the desire to help people achieve their surgical goals and to continuously be improving the results I can deliver is what motivates me.
Q: Do you have a certain service organization or charity you like to support?
A: Not at the moment. I have volunteered for CASA (court appointed special advocates) in the past, and am currently applying to be a foster parent. My research in graduate school focused on breast cancer, so I’ve also got a special interest in that, as well.
— From staff reports