William D. Merkel, MD
Dr. William D. Merkel has been providing Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery services to the Grand Junction area since 1975. He attended St. Louis University School of Medicine, followed by his General Surgery Residency in Denver, Colorado at St. Joseph's Hospital, and his Plastic Surgery Residency at Brown University Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. He served 2 years as a Lieutenant in the US Navy at Portmouth Naval Hospital, Virginia, in the Plastic Surgery Department before beginning his practice in Grand Junction, Colorado. He has attended countless conventions, seminars, special courses nationally and internationally. These educational experiences allow Dr. Merkel to learn the most advanced procedures and techniques in his specialty in order to offer his patients the very best results in any part of the human body that is being changed or enhanced.
Some of those specialized areas of study are in the fields of micro-vascular surgery, (Burke), body contouring, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast, laser surgery of varicose veins and their causes, rejuvenation of the aging face, laser treatment of the skin to reverse aging and hair removal. He has also studied the endocrine system and the repair of it by using Bio-Identical Hormones. Dr. Merkel is known, recognized and sought out by patients because of his philosophy of practice: "Make every patient happy and satisfied with the very best results from the most advanced procedures and devices". Patients do refer other patients.
Dr. Merkel is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and an active member of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and the Lipoplasty Society of North America. He also belongs to the Rocky Mountain Association of Plastic Surgeons, and the Mesa County Medical Society.
Dr. Merkel is proud of his medical accreditations and cautions all prospective patients who are researching credetials to be prepared for what you find in the Yellow Pages and online. The latest trend is that the freedom of speech has allowed various surgeons and non-surgeons to list themselves as "cosmetic surgeons", "cosmetic medicine specialists: or "cosmetic surgeons specializing" in a certain area of the body. Some may even say they are "cosmetic surgeons, certified" but do not identify what they are certified in! As a result, you, the patient, can be confused and be lured into an office thnking you are in the presence of a Certified Plastic Surgeon, have a procedure performed with a not-so-good outcome and then find out later that your were not in the hands of a fully trained plastic surgeon. Your Plastic Surgeon should not only have the learned surgical skills, but also the training, to be able to make the right surgical judgments, even during a surgical procedure.
It takes 12-14 years following a Bachelor's Degree, to complete the necessary residencies to produce a fully trained Plastic Surgeon. More advanced training beyond the basic education may even take an additional 2-5 years to achieve a level of competence in that special type of surgery. More importantly, education doesn't end with residencies; continuing education goes on during the life of the surgeon, and allows him/her to keep up with advancements in the specialty. All doctors are required by the State Medical Board to complete required hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME). Look for the "Symbol of Excellence" from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. It designates the surgeon has completed his Board Certification exam and is a bonafide Certified Plastic Surgeon.
In this age of popularity of cosmetic change and the improved quality of life it can bring, the field is inundated with physicians and non-physicians who all want "on the bandwagon" and take advantage of the interest people have in looking and feeling better. In order to insure that you are in good hands, it is up to you to find your way into the system, research doctor choices and their level of expertise so that you can make the right choice and have an excellent outcome. Settle for no less!