Plastic surgeon, educator, author, and philanthropist Dr. Rod J. Rohrich has tackled nearly every aspect of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery throughout his distinguished career. He has served patients through a caring clinical practice, trained hundreds of surgeons in plastic surgery and subspecialty fellowships, collaborated with colleagues throughout the world, and worked tirelessly to advance his field while supporting his community and profession through charitable leadership. Although his interests and skills span the entire spectrum of plastic surgery, Dr. Rohrich has cultivated special focus and expertise in rhinoplasty, facelift and facial rejuvenation, post-mastectomy restorative breast surgery.
Best known for his tenure as chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center from 1991 to 2014, Dr. Rohrich was instrumental in building the department into the leading plastic surgery program in the world. In 2014 US News and world report identified the program as the top residency program in the world for plastic surgery. Dr. Rohrich was also awarded the first Crystal Charity Ball Distinguished Chair and the Betty and Warren Woodward Chair in Plastic Surgery. He now trains plastic surgery residents as a Distinguished Teaching Professor and has been recognized for educational excellence with an award that carries his own name: the Rod J. Rohrich MD Distinguished Professorship in Wound Healing and Plastic Surgery. He conducts his clinical practice at UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Outpatient Building and at the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute, where he sees patients on a daily basis.
Dr. Rohrich received undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota, respectively. He earned his medical degree with highest honors at Baylor University College of Medicine and completed a plastic surgery residency at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Dr. Rohrich trained in pediatric plastic surgery at The Radcliffe Infirmary/Oxford University in England and completed a fellowship in hand and microvascular surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School before joining the Division of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern in 1986, and accepting the Department Chairmanship in 1991.
Committed to the Education of Plastic Surgeons
Under Dr. Rohrich’s leadership, the UT Southwestern plastic surgery department became one of the largest and most productive academic plastic surgery departments in the world, and it is now widely considered to be a top institution for plastic surgery training, with numerous significant fellowship programs for plastic surgery subspecialties. In 2014, the UT Southwestern plastic surgery residency program was voted number one in the U.S. by physicians. In addition to his work at the university, Dr. Rohrich has been named a Visiting Professor to more than 150 national and international medical societies and has delivered more than 2,000 presentations on plastic surgery. He has performed and taught plastic surgery in third world countries and further contributed to the education of plastic surgeons and advancement of his field as editor-in-chief of the medical journal, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
In addition to teaching and administering programs at UT Southwestern, Dr. Rohrich has helped set standards for the education of plastic surgeons everywhere through participation in and leadership of several curriculum-based associations, not the least of which as President of the Association of Academic Chairmen of Plastic Surgery. While he was president of AAPS, Dr. Rohrich spearheaded the creation of a more uniform and comprehensive educational curriculum for all plastic surgery residents in the USA.
Dr. Rohrich is deeply involved in certification of new surgeons, not only board certified himself, but a Chair of the Oral Exam Committee and past Director of the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, the organization responsible for certification. Among many other awards and recognitions of his work as an educator, Dr. Rohrich twice received the esteemed Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation distinguished service award and remains the only plastic surgeon to receive the award more than once. The foundation supports innovation and research to help people worldwide through plastic surgery.
Furthermore, as a demonstration of his personal commitment to the support of physician education, through the Rod J. Rohrich, M.D. Foundation, the Dr. Rohrich annually supports a medical student who will practice primary care in his native state of North Dakota.
Advancement of Plastic Surgery
Dr. Rohrich has worked diligently to advance and set new standards in education and promote innovations and patient safety in plastic surgery through leadership in numerous professional organizations, in many cases serving as president and or an officer and leader of committees and special projects. Of particular note, he served as president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world. Over the years, he has held many other distinguished leadership roles for respected national and state plastic surgery societies.
Dr. Rohrich has made extensive contributions though his lectures, case studies, medical papers, clinical research, and medical textbook chapters. In addition to having published more than 700 articles and contributing to more than 150 chapters in books about plastic surgery, he serves as editor-in-chief of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, the official journal of the ASPS and the top technical peer-reviewed reference for plastic surgeons in all specialties throughout the world.
As a founding member and past president of The Rhinoplasty Society, an organization with strict membership standards, Dr. Rohrich has long served as an advocate for the exchange of innovative ideas and techniques designed to improve results, safety, and reproducibility in rhinoplasty and nasal reconstruction, often considered one of the most difficult anatomical areas in plastic surgery. In support of this work, Dr. Rohrich is the lead author of Dallas Rhinoplasty: Nasal Surgery by the Masters, one of the most influential on rhinoplasty which brings together knowledge and techniques from many of the courses and presentations at the Dallas Rhinoplasty Symposium, which Dr. Rohrich also chairs. The annual symposium, one of the largest and most significant courses on rhinoplasty, is well attended by surgeons from around the world. Through this venue, over the past 25 years, Dr. Rohrich has trained over 5000 rhinoplasty surgeons worldwide.
Dr. Rohrich’s special interest in restorative breast surgery for post-mastectomy patients is reflected in his founding membership in the Alliance in Reconstructive Surgery (AiRS) Foundation, which helps breast cancer patients after mastectomy, an often overlooked part of the healing process. He also holds a patent for a breast implant and has developed educational models for bringing new technology in this area to plastic surgeons.
Dr. Rohrich has served enthusiastically as a charitable leader in his profession through his work with ASPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AiRS, The Rohrich Family Foundation, and many other organizations. In addition, he is a passionate civic leader in Dallas, serving both public and private charities. He has served as a board member for charities ranging from the March of Dimes and the American Cancer Society to Save the Children Dallas.
Dr. Rohrich and his wife were named Honorary Co-chairs of the Dallas for Children Foundation, which assists in early childhood development programs for underprivileged children. The doctor also was responsible for organizing the East Dallas Mobile Health Unit to assist in immunization of homeless and underprivileged children. In alignment with his background in pediatric plastic surgery, he has taken his skill to third world countries, where he reconstructed severely burned and congenitally deformed children.
Throughout his career, Dr. Rohrich has been a passionate advocate for the establishment and maintenance of professional standards that assure patients of safety and satisfying results. He has taken the lead in innovation, with many of his peers, to continually improve the artistry and outcome of surgery and better the lives of patients and help consumers understand how to choose the best and correct Plastic surgeon for their needs.