Greetings from San Juan, Puerto Rico from Dr. José Raul Montes, oculofacial surgeon, based here in San Juan.
“Why did you choose to become a doctor?”
I think I became a doctor because I was good in sciences when I was growing up and also because I realized that the field was very exciting. But, once I grew older, I realized that I wanted to work within an environment in which I can be my own boss. And, medicine was probably the right choice.
“Why have you chosen this field of specialty?”
When you are in medical school, actually, you are not 100% sure what is you want to do after. So, I was drawn to several fields within medicine. I remember in my rotations that I used to love my pediatrics rotation just because I love kids. But then, further up on the rotations, I realized that I wanted to pursue a field in which I could probably do surgery. And when I rotated in ophthalmology, I found it, the perfect field, very fine surgery with a possibility of life-transforming experiences and very very interesting. I mean, ophthalmology is a subspecialty on itself that has like probably 7-8 subspecialties. And, among them, I thought that oculofacial surgery was the right choice for me because I like the surgeries in a more macro field and because of the possibilities of doing all sorts of pathologies such as reconstructive trauma cosmetic surgery as well.
“What types of surgeries or treatments do you perform in your clinic?”
I have a combined practice here in San Juan. I have my own private clinic, José Raul Montes Eyes and Facial Rejuvenation. And, my clinic is a 100% cosmetic. The surgical procedures that I usually perform in my clinics are mostly eyelid surgery (upper), blepharoplasty (lower), blepharoplasty and brow lifting procedures.
“What is the treatment/s that patients usually look for in your practice?”
Among all the cosmetic treatments that we perform in my clinic, I would say that botox is king. For men and women, botox is the most sought-after procedures for the past, I would say, 10, 15 years and it’s going to be the most popular procedures in the upcoming years as well.
“What are the fellowships, affiliations, faculties, or boards you are associated with?”
After my training in ophthalmology at the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Puerto Rico, I went to University of Cincinnati to complete a fellowship in oculofacial surgery and I am a board-certified ophthalmology and oculofacial surgeon. I’m a fellow of (ASOPRS) American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Also fellow of the American Board of Ophthalmology. And, I’m very proud that after 25 years being at the university, mentoring students, teaching residents, I am a full professor of the University of Puerto Rico Department of Ophthalmology.
“How do you take care of your patients?”
Patient care is all in the career of any physician. And I believe it all starts by giving the patient the space to express their concerns and also by having a 100% of the time compassion towards the patient no matter what are the conditions or diagnosis that you are dealing with. And, you have to be accessible as a provider. Patients need to feel that you are there for them and that you really care for them.
“Besides your medical practice, what other things interest you?”
Sometimes, I feel that I need a parallel extra life to complete or to pursue all the interests that I have besides my work as a physician, as a cosmetic surgeon. I’m involved in music. At the moment, I am the artistic coordinator of Cultura de Puerto Rico which is an organization that puts together basically concerts in classical music. I’m also a board member of the University of Puerto Rico theatre. I have been involved in museum art boards so I have a very very deep and genuine interest in arts and music and also, I love to write. And well, you know, as a cosmetic surgeon, I have a wide interest in beauty, beauty at every level and in everything. So, basically, I read about travel destinations, about architecture, about fashion, and about any human endeavor that has in the equation beauty as a result. I have many other interests besides medicine or oculofacial surgery. As you can see, I have a passion for arts in several forms. There is art in my office, everywhere. Like behind me, this is an artwork by a well-known Puerto Rican artist, José Lerma.
“How can patients best reach you?”
Nowadays, I think that we have social media platforms that are ideal to reach out to any physician. I’m not the exception. I am very responsive when patients write to me on my Instagram account. So, feel free to reach out to me, to contact me, and ask me questions at my Instagram account @jrmontesmd.