The longer you stay, the longer you stay. This is a saying from medical school and residency. It basically means that nobody rewards residents for staying longer than needed. At some point, it’s time to get out and regroup until tomorrow.

As part of my series about healthcare leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr Algie LaBrasca.

Raised in Dubois, PA, Algie LaBrasca, D.O., earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Mare Island, Vallejo, California. He completed his general surgery residency at Memorial Hospital in York, Pennsylvania. He then completed a plastic and reconstructive surgery fellowship at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Michigan, with additional, extensive training at the Detroit Medical Center and Botsford Hospital.

Dr. LaBrasca specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. This includes breast augmentation, reconstruction, lifts, and reduction; arm lifts, liposuction, thigh lifts, tummy tucks, brow lifts, ear surgery, eyelid surgery, facelifts, and nose surgery. Non-surgical procedures include liquid facelifts, Botox, Juvederm, Sculptra, microdermabrasion, different skin peels, and skincare products. Dr. LaBrasca is currently a member of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons, American Osteopathic Association, Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association, and Michigan Osteopathic Association. Dr. LaBrasca was appointed to the clinical faculty of Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, East Lansing, Michigan in 2009. Dr. LaBrasca is Board Certified in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery through the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery. Known for his sense of humor, dedication to patient care, and skill as a professional, Dr. Algie LaBrasca is proud to offer his services to the region

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! What is your “backstory”?

I grew up as the son of hard-working parents in a small town in rural PA. My dad was a contractor and my mom was a speech pathologist. There are no doctors or nurses in my family. When I was little, my Gram Rose took care of me while my parents worked. She would hold my hand in hers and say “you have the hands of a doctor”, so I told her that I would become one when I grew up. When I was 12, she died of melanoma, so I became a doctor as a tribute to her. As a plastic surgeon, I remove melanomas often, and with each one, I think of her.

Can you share the interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

In December 2013, I was playing in a parent vs teachers charity basketball game at my kids’ elementary school. I took a 17-foot jump shot and got nothing but net. When I jumped, however, I felt a pop in my ankle, and I thought someone tripped me. I looked around, and I was the only one on the ground. I tried to walk, but I couldn’t, so I hobbled off the court. By the time I got to the sideline, I diagnosed myself with a ruptured Achilles tendon. I had surgery the next morning to repair it, and I only missed one day of work, but I had to operate using a knee scooter for seven weeks. Amazingly, not a single patient who saw me rolling around on a scooter declined surgery until I had two working legs.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I was an intern, which means I had just graduated from medical school, I was on call the night of the intern Holiday Party. During the night, I developed a nasty GI bug and had to get an IV myself due to dehydration. There was no one available to relieve me, so I kept working. So I was pushing an IV pole around the hospital and seeing patients. The nurses nominated me for an award, but when hospital administration found out, I got in trouble. I learned that sometimes no good deed goes unpunished.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?

It’s a little bit early to give all of the details, but I’m planning on expanding to a couple of new areas in the next year, and there is one in particular that I’m so excited about.

In the meantime, I’m just out here on socials letting women know that it’s okay to have plastic surgery if it will make them feel better about their bodies. Pregnancy, and life in general, takes a toll on a body, and that’s okay. But it’s also okay for moms to do something for themselves once in a while, like get a tummy tuck to help them get their pre-pregnancy body back.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My dad. The hardest working man I know. As I said, he was a contractor. Actually, at 73, he’s still working, but as a foreman. I used to work for him during the summers, and he would get small, side jobs for me. When I was 14, he got a job tarring the roof of the local Goodyear tire building. The first day, he took me up on the roof and showed me what to do. Then he left to go to another job. Before he left, he took the ladder down so I had to stay up there and work. It was July and it was 90 degrees! He came back at lunch with a thermos of water, and said “if you don’t get good grades, you can do this for the rest of your life.” I’ve never forgotten that lesson.

Is there a particular book that made an impact on you? Can you share a story?

When I was a resident, I read The Making of a Surgeon by William Nolen. It felt like it was my life. Always tired and overworked, but trying to make a difference in other peoples’ lives while finding my way in my own.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I have coached local kids for the last 10 years in just about every sport. I’ve coached soccer (boys and girls), baseball, softball, basketball, football, skiing. I even helped coach deck hockey for a bit! My son has aged out of youth sports and into high school, but I still coach softball for my daughter’s all-star team, and I’m the defensive coordinator for the Treasure Lake Titans 11–12-year-old football team.

Also, as I mentioned above, I try to use my voice to let people know that it’s normal to have a trouble area of your body that you don’t love, and if you want to, there’s no shame in getting it adjusted. Every day, I hear stories from women who refuse to let their husbands see them change clothes. These same women come back to me a month or two later as a whole new person mentally as well as physically. THAT is the thing that I like best about my job.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story about how that was relevant to you in your own life?

“Everything worth doing is hard.” When people tell me that they would become a doctor if it wasn’t so hard, I say that. Becoming a teacher is hard. Becoming an engineer is hard. I tell people to find something they’re passionate about and that they love, and it won’t seem as hard.

Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that will help people feel great?

There is no excuse to waste a day. Accomplish your most difficult tasks in the morning. Get out of the house and be productive. Wear SPF 30+ every day, even on cloudy days. Don’t eat until you’re full. Just eat enough to get you to the next meal. Overeating makes you slow down. Drink plenty of water.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

1. Surround yourself with good people. I’m so blessed to work with amazing people all day. It makes coming to work not feel like work.

2. Be kind to your nurses and OR staff. The old story of mean surgeons is alive and well in some places, and I just don’t get it. The OR team is literally there to make the surgery go as smoothly as possible. Being a jerk to them isn’t reasonable. They’re professionals, too.

3. The longer you stay, the longer you stay. This is a saying from medical school and residency. It basically means that nobody rewards residents for staying longer than needed. At some point, it’s time to get out and regroup until tomorrow.

4. Make time for friends, family, and you. Medical school and residency were 11 years for me, and a lot of things happened in those years. I basically don’t know what happened from 2000-to 2010, other than 9/11. Was it worth it in the long run? Absolutely, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t miss a lot of things.

5. Do great work, but have fun doing it. Yes, it’s work, but if you love it, it doesn’t feel like work.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

In America, I would love to eliminate fast food. Since that isn’t possible, I would like to vastly improve the quality of fast food. In many other countries, I would want to increase access to healthy food and clean water.

As I mentioned above, the reason I became a doctor is that my Gram died of melanoma. I’d love to eliminate tanning beds. There is no such thing as a safe tanning bed, and just one session will increase your chance of having skin cancer, including a 20% greater chance of getting melanoma! Those people are allowed to have one of these cancer factories in their house just blows my mind!

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Who wouldn’t love to sit down with Elon Musk? His ability to manage multiple different businesses at once is amazing. My motor never stops, but he must have 2–3 motors.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

IG: dr.labrasca

Tiktok: dr.labrasca

FB: drlabrasca

Thank you so much for these wonderful insights!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.