While it’s no secret that Dr. Biesman is a Board Certified Oculofacial plastic surgeon, chances are you may not know much more about him than that. Dr. Biesman deeply values his relationship with each patient and always strives to make them feel like the priority upon every visit. So given the nature of his “you-focused” mentality, this month, we sat down with Dr. Biesman for a Q&A to turn the tables and provide you with a little more context about the man behind the practice.
Dr. Biesman was born in Fort Meade, Maryland but at the ripe age of 2, he moved to Flint, MI where he’d spend his childhood growing up. Michigan went on to be a significant source of “home” – even into his collegiate years. “I attended the University of Michigan for both Undergraduate studies and Medical School. Even to this day, my blood still runs Maize and Blue!”
So what made Dr. Biesman take an interest in oculofacial plastics? “Honestly, it was sort of by happenstance” he tells us.
“I loved general and vascular surgery but all of the surgeons I knew who had been practicing in those fields for many years hated their jobs due to the hours and stress and advised me to do something else. All of the Ophthalmologists I knew were very happy with their career choice and their lives. I started an Ophthalmology residency and realized that I didn’t enjoy working on eyes as much as I hoped, but I did love plastic and reconstructive surgery of the eyelids and face and decided to pursue this as a career path. In my 2nd year out of training (1994), while an Assistant Professor in Boston, I had the opportunity to do some of the earliest work with cosmetic lasers and injectables. Little did I know that this experience would plot the course for my entire professional career. I pursued my surgical and nonsurgical interests over time and eventually moved to Nashville where I have continued to practice, teach, and do research to develop and evaluate novel techniques, technologies, and products to enhance our ability to make patients look as good as they feel.
Who, or what, has been the biggest teacher in your career?
“I have had 3 different individuals who I considered professional mentors. These special people taught me more about how to be incorporate the values of empathy, professionalism, strength of character, integrity, and how to always “take the high road” even when it is not the easiest path. Unfortunately none of these mentors are currently living but their teachings are with me every day. They include my Fellowship Director, Albert Hornblass, M.D., the former head of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital, Dr. Robert Goldwyn, and my father-in-law, Herman Kaplan, M.D.”
Of course, these aren’t the only people who have inspired Dr. Biesman over the years. “My wife Didi has also been an amazing personal mentor to me, keeping me grounded and providing me with wise counsel, guidance and support.”
If Dr. Biesman hadn’t become a doctor, what might have his profession been you ask? “That is an easy one” he tells us. “A Marine Biologist!”
COMING TO NASHVILLE
Dr. Biesman moved to Nashville in 1998 and ever since, it’s become home. “I’ve developed so many ‘favorites’ since moving here, I couldn’t begin to name them all!” When he’s not cheering on the Tennessee Titans or the Nashville Predators, his favorite professional sport teams, you might spot him around town at one of his favorite eateries. “I love the Palm and Kayne Prime, and often find myself at Bricktops for a quick dinner after work. I also love Park Café as a great neighborhood spot which is also extremely conducive to doing business meetings, or Rush Bowls for a healthy treat after working out!”
When Dr. Biesman isn’t working, he stays busy with a wide variety of passions and interests, including fishing, reading, traveling, working out, and spending as much time with family as possible. “I love to travel with my wife and our family to explore interesting new places- especially destinations that involve an ocean and fishing!”
What type of reading do typically enjoy?
“My work requires me to do a tremendous amount of reading. Due to the diverse nature of my interests and the extremely rapid pace at which our field changes and evolves, every month I need to reach scientific journals covering the topics of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, advances in Laser Medicine and Surgery Oculofacial Plastic Surgery, and a host of others. When I am reading for pleasure (which I like to do every night), I prefer to keep it light- Authors such as Tom Clancy, Brad Thor, Lee Child, Clive Cussler, etc.”
Let’s talk music: you seem to have a wide variety of music playing at the office! Tell us about your favorite musical influences.
“Wow, I have a wide range of musical tastes! Having grown up in Michigan which was known for its early Rock scene I grew up listening to Bob Seger, Madonna, Ted Nugent, and the entire Motown sound. Today I have diverse tastes including pop Country, any genre of rock, current pop hits, hip-hip (especially West Coast!), Blues (especially Chicago style), Jazz, New Age (I love Mannheim Steamroller and Enya), and even classical.”
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
Q: What’s the best concert you’ve ever attended?
“Tough question! I loved taking our family to Lollapalooza a few years ago so we could enjoy some music together but then break up into groups and hear some of the bands/genres we loved. It was a fabulous.”
Q: What would your last meal be?
A: Fresh fish, steamed veggies and cold beer!
Q: Where is your happy place?
A: On the water (preferably a warm beach or on a boat) in the early morning as the sun is coming up, fishing.
Q: What energizes you and brings you excitement?
A: Taking on a challenging problem and solving or overcoming it.
Q: If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
A:Try to learn to play the guitar.
Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
A: I really don’t drink much alcohol, but I do enjoy an excellent single malt scotch
Q: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
A: Relax more and enjoy the ride!
One of the best pieces of advice Dr. Biesman tells us he has ever received was to find a niche for himself– and that’s clearly something he’s done with his practice. But as we inquired more about his personal and professional values, it became abundantly clear that there’s been more to the equation that has lead to his success.
“For me, success means having earned the respect of my family, staff, patients, and peers– and I strive to achieve that every single day.”
But when we asked Dr. Biesman to pinpoint his greatest success or proudest accomplishment to date? “It is tough to identify a single proudest accomplishment. Being a father to 3 great kids and married to an amazing woman for 26 years are both right up there. Professionally, I’m proud that I’m able to have a practice built on the principles of compassion and excellence while maintaining the highest ethical and moral standards. That may sound trite but it is really true!”