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Arthur Swift, MD, CM, FRCS: Ahead of the Curve

Swift’s work with Victoria Park Medispa has involved clinical research for innovative skin care offerings.

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By: Abby Penning
Posted: June 24, 2010, from the July 2010 issue of

“Be passionate about what you do, or stay home. Don’t consider aesthetic medicine as a part-time endeavor to supplement income. Be committed to the profession, and take the time to learn and be properly trained to perform the delicate procedures.”

These are words of advice from Arthur Swift, MD, CM, FRCS, a Montreal plastic surgeon who also is, among other things, a founder of The Westmount Institute of Plastic Surgery, his current practice; medical director for Victoria Park Medispa in Westmount, Quebec, Canada; the creator of a beauty amplification concept called BeautiPHIcation; and clearly a man who likes to excel at his ventures.

A solid start

Swift spent his undergraduate and medical school years studying at Montreal’s McGill University, initially exploring trauma surgery before being turned on to the aesthetic side of medicine. “I enrolled for a two-month elective in trauma surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami,” he explains. “The trauma elective hours as a junior were grueling, and the department advised me that a two-month stint was never recommended, and that I should choose another elective for the second month.”

After finding the hours to be less physically demanding for the plastic surgery elective, Swift switched gears. “As it happened, the plastic surgery service at Jackson Memorial was headed by Ralph Millard Jr., MD, FACS, a giant in the field, and his love of his craft was contagious,” says Swift. “He took a shining to me, and it was a career-changing experience. I loved the diversity, creativity and innovations of the surgery. So I set my sights on becoming a reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgeon.”

Swift finished medical school in 1981, going on to train in the United Kingdom and complete a fellowship with Millard, again in Miami, in 1986. Returning to Montreal in 1987, he found the plastic surgery environment there to be quite competitive. Accepting a position with a local hospital, he began his hunt for patients by calling area medical clinics out of the phone book and asking if they had a plastic surgery consultant. “I ended up consulting to 23 clinics both on and off the island of Montreal, often spending two days mostly driving in my car to see an occasional patient in far away places,” he says. “Eventually, I collated all the patients back to my office, promising to accommodate the clinics’ remote referrals in a timely manner.”