Dr. Mark H. Jensen has always enjoyed working with his hands. When he was young, he rebuilt engines. In college, he constructed an addition to his parent’s home.
Mentors such an AP biology teacher and a busy obstetrician led Dr. Jensen to train his hands in becoming one of the area’s top plastic surgeons and a founding member of the local Breast Center of Excellence.
Doctor dreams “The only doctor I knew growing up was my own pediatrician. I didn’t have a lot of exposure to medicine until my senior year in high school. Mrs. Karlene Bauer, my AP biology teacher, arranged for us to shadow doctors. We also went up to the University of Utah to meet with researchers. She opened my eyes — and the eyes of a lot of others. In that one AP biology class, there are six of us who became doctors.”
Clinically focused “During medical school, I realized early on that I wanted to do surgery and started to explore surgical options. Then when I was on an obstetrics rotation, a patient had a C-section and the doctor stapled the incision closed. I wanted it to look good when it healed. That’s when I decided to go into plastic surgery.”
Medical misconceptions “I have patients come in who think it’s going to be like an episode of Dr. 90210 or Botched. Sometimes patients have unrealistic expectations and are chasing eternal youth. Plastic surgery is more than fluff. We’re changing lives, whether it’s someone whose bone is sticking out or someone needing to be rebuilt after breast cancer. We’re restoring form and function. This is not for the 90210 crowd — this is for everyday people.”
The exciting challenge “Every patient is so unique and brings specific challenges. I enjoy working through the situation with patients and following through with a solution that works for them.”
The frustrating challenge “The biggest challenge we are working on right now is reducing the risks after cancer surgery. The biggest risk is infection. These patients are often sick, then chemotherapy leaves their immune systems depressed. We’re working on minimizing the risks while they enjoy all the benefits of cancer surgery.”
Doctor dos “I love when doctors are real people and care for their patients as people. But, I also want a doctor who is excellent in his or her craft. If a doctor cares for patients and loves what he or she does, it will show.”