It’s unusual to meet someone who’s known since childhood what they want to be when they grew up. Dr. George Pope is one of those rare individuals. And the enthusiasm he shows for his work and his patients comes through loud and clear.
“I was one of those kids who knew from a very early age that I wanted to be a doctor. I was influenced by one of our neighbors in Tennessee who was a general surgeon, and I was friends with his kids. It was interesting how I locked onto that goal all through elementary school,” he recalls.
“Even when we moved to Louisiana and I started high school, I never looked back. I kept thinking, ‘I want to go to medical school.’ Then, when I went to college, I picked pre-med as my major.” After that, it was straight on to medical school at LSU School of Medicine.
Without pause, Pope continued on to the next step – an ear, nose and throat residency at Tulane, followed by his plastic surgery residency in Louisville, Kentucky. Finally, with training complete, in 1988 he moved to greater Orlando where he's had offices in Winter Park as well as Orlando.
It was during his third year in medical school that Pope discovered his niche. “I watched a tummy tuck being performed on a man who'd lost 100 pounds, which left behind a lot of hanging skin. Seeing the results was pretty incredible. It really helped his self-esteem.”
During the first 30-plus years of his practice, Pope’s focus was reconstructive surgery. “For years I did surgery on people who’d been in car accidents, women with breast cancer, children mauled by dogs. I hung onto it a lot longer than most.” Currently, he limits his practice to most types of cosmetic surgery. “I get personal satisfaction by helping someone improve their appearance. I like making people feel better about themselves.”
The list of services offered is broad. “I do pretty much all types of cosmetic surgery, including facelifts, eyelid lifts, otoplasty for children with prominent ears, breast augmentation and reduction, breast lifts, tummy tucks and liposuction,” said Pope.
In 2021, he was among the country’s top 150 plastic surgeons recognized by Newsweek, being listed in all four categories. “My daughter texted me and said to look at the latest issue. I didn’t know anything about it, so that was a nice honor,” he recalled.
Because he works long hours and doesn’t have much free time, Dr. Pope and his wife make it a point to get away whenever possible. “We like to spend weekends camping with our 1985 vintage Airstream motor home. Sometimes we go to St. John’s River and set up camp on the riverbank. One time we took it to the west coast of Florida to go scalloping.”
They usually take their two small rescue poodles along for the ride. “We travel a lot and like to take our pets,” he shared. Dr. Pope and his wife are big supporters of the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.
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We all go into medicine because we have a desire to help people. If someone goes into it for the money, that’s the wrong reason. I get a lot of satisfaction helping someone overcome a physical issue rather than something internal. (41 words)
Dr. George H. Pope