A “Renaissance man” is a term used to describe someone knowledgeable and skilled in various areas. A true Renaissance man is well-versed in the arts, sciences, and can contribute meaningfully in either room. This type of person was much more common during the Renaissance era when education and knowledge were highly valued. However, finding individuals with such diverse skills in the modern world is still possible and there is one in Beverly Hills, Dr. Truesdale.
After interviewing Dr. Truesdale, the only African American board-certified facial plastic surgeon based in Beverly Hills, I finally met a person one only reads about in history books. He compares his work in cosmetic surgery to art. The ability to look at a person’s face and learn the exact science to achieve the best results comes with years of experience being a portrait artist and mastering science. For Dr. Truesdale, the patient’s body is a canvas that needs graceful and careful retouching to make the outcome natural and pleasing to the eye.It requires focus, extreme discipline, being attuned to your body, and strength. Dr. Truesdale mastered these skills and is able to use both sides of his brain, therefore, delivering incomparable results with his accuracy and refined touch.
His ability to work in the world of science and still appreciate an artist’s brush stroke, is why he is a “renaissance” man. He is the product of a childhood unencumbered with stereotypes and filled the love of learning. Dr. Carl Michael Truesdale is someone you’d love to sit on the porch with a cold lemonade and listen to him recount his childhood memories and understand how he became a successful surgeon and husband. Growing up in Upstate, New York, he experienced a great loss that influenced his choice of career in the medical field. Dr. Truesdale lost his younger brother at a tender age and it was then he decided to use his love of science to help others.
A Morehouse graduate, his experience at an HBCU gave him the foundational confidence to pursue his academic dreams and attend the University of Pennsylvania for medical school. It was his time at the Ivy League university, he decided to consolidate all of his skills, medical and otherwise, to become a surgeon. He fell in love with head and neck surgery and completed his residency at another highly respected school, The University of Michigan. There he followed his passion and specialized in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Dr. Truesdale’s artistic skills allow him to use a special surgical technique few physicians master called the deep plane facelift. He explains, “the deep plane facelift allows the surgeon to reposition the muscle, which means that you are going deeper, moving a muscle back to where it was. It magically makes a face look younger. by twenty to thirty years. It’s what I do every day.” The doctor will spend ten hours on one patient doing multiple surgeries or working on various patients throughout the day. A surgeon must be an athlete, have the highest degree of accuracy and focus. He spent many years training his mental and physical muscles to reach the top of his game and deliver the best results possible to his patients.
Humble and confident are also descriptions of the young, 34-year-old, successful doctor. As a fellow, he realized he could do the work of other top Beverly Hills surgeons and knew he could produce better results. “I want to be a big fish in a big pond. There is a place, and there is something inside of me I want to show the world. I made the great leap, and with faith, it paid off.” His sensitivity and humanity come from knowing “medicine will humble you.” He keeps himself mentally sharp and prepared by questioning every variable in a situation for the safety of his patients.
If you ask Dr. Truesdale what were the deciding factors to his success and ability to open the only Black-owned plastic surgery in Beverly Hills, he will credit his amazing childhood and his parents. Although a “man of one”, Dr. Truesdale believes his father, also a Morehouse man, gave him access to his scientific and analytical mind; whilst his artistic mother fostered his creativity and spirituality. All of those precious moments made him the man he is today. A person of faith, with mental strength, any parent would be proud of.
For more information on Dr. Truesdale and his practice, visit Truesdale Facial Plastic Surgery and on Instagram@Doctor.Truesdale.
His office is located at 150 S Rodeo Dr Suite 360, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Image courtesy of Eric Williams