ASPS past president, plastic surgery leader Michael McGuire, MD, dies at age 70

PSN staff
11/15/2016 at 3:00PM

ASPS past-President Michael McGuire, MD, Santa Monica, Calif., died at home of an apparent stroke on Nov. 14, 2016, at age 70. Dr. McGuire is widely recognized as having forged a distinguished career as a private practitioner and a leader of organized plastic surgery. He led ASPS as its president in 2009-10 and also served as president of the California Society of Plastic Surgeons and as a director of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. 

A tireless advocate for the specialty and patient safety, Dr. McGuire battled efforts to expand the scope of plastic surgery procedures to practitioners - physicians and non-physicians alike - who sought to perform cosmetic procedures without core training in the specialty.  

"Dr. McGuire was a leader and a mensch - which is a wonderful word - who helped young people through his ASPS Pathways to Leadership contributions, and through his work as president of ASPS and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons," says James Wells, MD, like Dr. McGuire, also served as president of ASPS and the California society. "Dr. McGuire also was a leader in the AAAASF movement to accredit surgical suites, and he was heavily involved in advocacy efforts at the state and national levels. In many ways, he was the 'go-to' physician for legislators and regulators who needed concise and unbiased information."  

During his ASPS presidency, Dr. McGuire focused on fighting a 5 percent tax on cosmetic procedures that had been written into an early draft of the health-reform law; he promoted new business models to make the private practice of plastic surgery more viable; he personally expanded the Society's global footprint; and he oversaw Society efforts that led to the selection of ASPS Executive Vice President Michael Costelloe, JD.  

It was also during his presidency that BI-ALCL came to light - and Dr. McGuire quickly helped to establish a united effort between ASPS, The PSF, ASAPS, ASERF and breast implant manufacturers to investigate and track the condition. In addition, California officials on several occasions sought his advice and expertise as they crafted new laws and regulations governing the performance of plastic surgery in the state.  

"Dr. McGuire was the leader our Society needed at that point in time, and he navigated some choppy waters with the grace for which he's been long known," says ASPS President Debra Johnson, MD. "He was a strong leader who always put patient safety first."  

"I'm personally devastated as Mike was a wonderful mentor and friend," Dr. Johnson adds. "I'll miss him very much."

Dr. McGuire also used his knowledge and personal skills to build bridges beyond the specialty as ASPS representative to the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, while continuing to foster positive relationships among plastic surgery subspecialty societies in the United States and national societies abroad.  

"Mike McGuire was an outstanding surgeon and a great leader," says The PSF President Paul Cederna, MD. "He has made our specialty better through all of his efforts. He played a central role in developing the next generation of leaders through his support, mentorship and guidance. He was tireless in his pursuit of excellence in all things. Most of all, he was a great friend. We will all miss him."  

"The loss of any colleague is difficult – and it's particularly difficult when it's someone who's contributed so much and in such a selfless manner," adds Dr. Wells. "What can you say about somebody who continued to give and give and give to specialty and the colleagues around him? Personally, he was a man who only knew about giving. This is a huge loss to our specialty, and to us individually."  

A graduate of the Columbia University School of Medicine who completed his general and plastic surgery residencies at UCLA and fellowship training at Stanford University and Canniesburg Hospital in Scotland, Dr. McGuire practiced medicine in Southern California for more than 30 years. He was a clinical professor of plastic surgery at UCLA and the University of Southern California, and he also served for more than 10 years as chief of plastic surgery at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica.  

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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