Plastic and reconstructive surgery is a unique blending of both science and art. It requires the skills of a surgeon and the vision of an artist. Plastic surgeons are taught how to use measured aesthetic standards, but sometimes these standards will not produce the optimal appearance for a patient. Because every patient presents with different needs and goals, it is essential for the plastic surgeon to have a reliable aesthetic sense in order to best meet the needs of the individual. The surgeon’s training should be complimented by an understanding of balance and beauty.
Dr. McDaniel was drawn to both the arts and the sciences from an early age, taking classes in both drawing and structural design. He began studying the works and theories of famous photographers, such as Ansel Adams, while still in medical school. The landscapes of Montana and other state parks are his favorite subjects, and the quality of his pictures show a deep understanding of what makes something truly beautiful.
During the six years of training in plastic surgery, it was only natural that he should pick up a hobby that allowed him to create something with his hands. He began woodworking, learning of the intricacies of wood and how to bring out its natural beauty. While it may seem a far cry from plastic surgery, there are striking similarities. No two pieces of wood–even from the same tree–are alike, and each presents with individual challenges and possibilities. It is the job of the woodturner to assess its inherent strengths and weaknesses, and to bring out the unique beauty that can only be found in that particular piece.
Plastic and reconstructive surgery combines the beauty of our how our bodies are formed with the medical knowledge of how they work. The goal of the plastic surgeon is to optimize both form and function, thus infusing art into medicine. Dr. McDaniel pursues excellence in both the quality of his medical care and the craftmanship of his work. His dedication to his patients is evident in all he does, as he melds the skills of a highly trained surgeon with the vision of an artist.
To see a sampling of Dr. McDaniel’s work on our website, please visit https://www.gallatinplasticsurgery.com/homepage/our-practice/meet-dr-mcdaniel/the-artistry-of-dr-mcdaniel/.
Dr. McDaniel is the vice president of Bozeman’s own chapter of the American Woodturner’s Association, the Northern Rockies Woodworking Guild. A sampling of his work can be seen below.