Publication Date: April 26, 2011
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Tony Youn grew up up one of two Asian-American kids in a small town of near wall-to-wall whiteness. Too tall and too thin, he wore thick Coke-bottle glasses, braces, Hannibal Lecter headgear, and had a protruding jaw that one day began to grow, expanding Pinocchio-like, protruding to an unthinkable, monstrous size. After high school graduation, while other seniors partied at the shore or explored Europe, Youn lay strapped in an oral surgeon’s chair as he broke his jaw, then reset it and wired it shut for six weeks.
Ironically, it was this brutal makeover that led him to his life's calling -- and the four years of angst, flubs, triumphs, non-stop studying and intermittant heavy drinking that eventually earned him an M.D. Thanks to a small circle of close friends and an obsessive drive to overachieve, Youn transformed from a shy, skinny, awkward nerd with no confidence and no clue into a renowned and successful plastic surgeon.
In Stitches is a heartfelt, candid, and laugh-out-loud memoir of one man's bumpy road to becoming a doctor and learning to be confortable in his own skin.
Alan Eisenstock, a sports talk radio fan since the early 1970s, is the co-author of "Inside the Meat Grinder: An NFL Official's Life in the Trenches." His numerous television writing credits include "Married...With Children, Mork and Mindy, Sanford and Son, Family Matters, What's Happening, " and "The Nanny." He lives with his family in southern California.
Dr. Anthony Youn grew up as one of a few Asians in a predominately white town. He had thick glasses, bowl-cut hair and a protruding jaw. After high school, he got reconstructive surgery on his jaw but still couldn't fit in or find a girlfriend. His immigrant father pushed him toward medical school, and he became a plastic surgeon. Host Michel Martin speaks with Youn about his new memoir In Stitches. In it, he shows that earning an M.D. comes with humor and insecurities. He also explores a medical world that he felt was not just focused on healing patients but also on gaining power and wealth. More at NPR.org
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