Dr. Kevin Robertson, Robertson Plastic Surgery and RENEW Skin and Laser Center

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Dr. Kevin Robertson, managing member and CMO, Robertson Plastic Surgery and RENEW Skin and Laser Center.

1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

The challenge is to establish a consistent history of beautiful and lasting natural results in a patient population that is inundated with misinformation. Unlike Hollywood tabloids, sensational celebrity examples, or “Real Housewives” caricatures, the best cosmetic surgery results are those that go undetected. Therefore, the reward is providing the return of self-esteem and confidence to patients who seek my care. Especially when they look so natural that they can share their secret with others, or keep it personally to themselves.

2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

Dr. Steve Dayan of Chicago. He was my junior resident, but has been on a trajectory unlike any peer. He owns a busy surgical and non-surgical practice, a monthly national publication, a thriving surgicenter, a research center, and he lectures internationally, directs a spin-off public relations firm, and even wrote a New York Times bestselling book. I am constantly amazed at his business productivity.

3. What has been the high point of your career so far?

Transitioning from an academic professorship to a private practice ownership. When I left the UW Hospital in 2005 and created Robertson Plastic Surgery I had to invest in brand new skills and disciplines, concepts that are often foreign and difficult for physicians. Self-educating in P/L analysis, HR, inventory, business development, and branding all were exciting and fulfilling. But the best reward was the personal control of my life that I reclaimed, and the resultant rededication to my family.

4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

I had a great time balancing academics, athletics, work, and social life all the way through college, med school, and residency. So, applying the question to when I landed my first real job in my early 30s, I would counsel myself to resist convention. Meaning that professional happiness is not driven by cookie cutter, buttoned up, predictable personality or decision-making. It begins with being true to yourself, your personality, your strengths, and your ambitious dreams. After that realization, pursue with the zest and authenticity that big dreams deserve. As I tell my kids, life is too short to be mediocre.

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5. What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

Dane County is great to work in because there is wonderful balance between work aspirations and play opportunities. There are brilliant minds and businesses everywhere, but they conduct themselves with such ease and professionalism that cutthroat experiences and confrontational relationships are rare. And even if you do have a rare off day, time on the multiple lakes or rolling your bike through gentle countryside will make you grounded again.

6. Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I love working with my hands and keeping busy. So, despite being a weekend sports warrior, I also feel accomplished in softer pursuits like cooking and even needlepoint. I have made a Christmas stocking for all my children, and a keepsake needlepoint project like a Robertson tartan throw pillow or framed tapestry for all of them.

7. What are your guilty pleasures?

I have a horrible sweet tooth, and luckily a metabolism to allow some indiscretions. So, I can sneak into the kitchen for a little ice cream once the family is asleep.

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