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Plastic Surgery Party

Heather Furnas, M.D., and Francisco Canales, M.D., and staff with Christmas wreath at Plastic Surgery Associates Party, 2014, Santa Rosa, California

Plastic Surgery Associates Party, 2014, Santa Rosa, California

Thirty years ago, I was an intern spending a month on the pediatric surgery service at Stanford Hospital. Each morning at 5:30 AM, I prepared for morning rounds, which began an hour later. I went from baby to baby, pouring over their charts and lab results, checking the nursing notes, and looking at their wounds. By 6:30 AM, I went to the neonatal ICU to begin the hour-long rounds with the third-year resident. His name was Francisco (“Paco”) Canales.

We both worked long hours. Every fourth night, I stayed “in-house,” which meant I worked all day, most or all night, occasionally getting two or three hours of sleep, and I continued working all through the next day as well. When I wasn’t on call, I got home around 8 PM if I was lucky, only to start work again less than ten hours later.

Paco made rounds three times a day. In addition to rounding with me at 6:30 AM and again at 3:00 PM, he also rounded by himself at 11:30 PM every night. When we had a baby with a diaphragmatic hernia, he set up a cot next to the baby’s crib in the ICU; he didn’t walk outside the hospital for a week.

Our hours were long in part because our surgical cases were long, up to 17 hours. But working those 120-hour weeks allowed me to get to know Paco. Not only was he a good doctor and a gifted surgeon, he was kind to everyone: patients, nurses, and even interns. As the end of the month approached, I wasn’t looking forward to the end.

Heather Furnas, M.D. & Francisco Canales, M.D., 1984, during surgical residency at Stanford

Heather Furnas, M.D. & Francisco Canales, M.D., 1984, during surgical residency at Stanford

Fortunately, it was only the beginning, and 18 months later we got married.

In 1990, having finally completed our years of training, we opened up our plastic surgery practice together. For our first two years, we had a single employee. Over the years our practice grew, and now, thirty years later, we have over twenty people on our staff.

On Friday, we had our Plastic Surgery Associates holiday party.  It was a great opportunity to talk with spouses and significant-others and to chat with our staff about something other than work. As the evening wore on, and the hour grew late, I noticed something. People were having fun. I thought back to the seed of our practice, when I noticed how kind Paco was, and I saw a common thread. The employees who greet our patients by name, who smile, who answer questions, who comfort, who listen… they’re kind, too. So it was no wonder that they enjoyed each other’s company.

We couldn’t run the type of practice we do without a team of people who take our mission to heart:

We strive to add joy to our patients’ lives through genuine caring, generosity of spirit, and the quality of our work.

And it all started thirty years ago at Stanford Hospital.


Dr. Heather Furnas

About Dr. Heather Furnas

Inspired by watching her plastic surgeon father operate in African bush hospitals, Dr. Heather Furnas followed in his footsteps, training at Stanford and serving on the Harvard clinical faculty. She and her husband, Dr. Paco Canales, practice together in Santa Rosa, California, where they raised their two children. (To learn more about their practice, visit She believes an informed patient is more likely to be a happy patient and is committed to providing that education. If you have any suggestions for topics you'd like to learn more about, she would love to hear from you!

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28 Responses to Plastic Surgery Party

  1. Quyen Callinan says:

    This is ADORABLE!! You both are the most wonderful surgeons, and more importantly people! 🙂

  2. Kirstie says:

    Thank you Dr. Furnas! What a great blog! We DO all enjoy each others company and work with a great group and a great set of doctors! Thank you for a great evening!

  3. Jenna Pearson says:

    What a special blog post. Thank you for sharing part of your story together as a husband and wife team. What a cute picture of you together! Sean and I both had a great time at the holiday party. Thank you again Dr. Furnas and Canales for such a treat.

  4. Abby says:

    I’m happy to know such incredible surgeons and love visiting the wonderful staff at Plastic Surgery Associates & Allegro MedSpa. Glad the holiday party was a success!

    • Dr. Heather Furnas says:

      Thanks Abby. We’re grateful for all our staff at Plastic Surgery Associates, Allegro MedSpa, and The Surgery Suite!

  5. Keri says:

    What a story…heart warming and not surprised at all. 🙂

  6. Lon Tran says:

    Great story. You both are amazing surgeons. Thank you for having me on your team.

  7. Danielle says:

    What an awesome story… thank you for sharing! I’ve been blessed to witness the kindness you show each other as spouses and business partners, as well as the kindness you have always show to your employees.

  8. Siena Canales says:

    Great surgeons, great parents, great couple 🙂

  9. Dena Higgins says:

    I am so lucky and proud to be a part of the PSA family. Thank you doctors for a truly amazing dinner and a night filled with warmth and laughter.

  10. Lindsay says:

    What a great blog!! I enjoyed reading it. I may have had to hold back a tear!

  11. Carrie Swartz says:

    I couldn’t be more proud to say I work with amazing surgeons! Thank you for sharing a beautiful story with us all. Jeremy and I had a great time at the holiday party and were thankful to have the opportunity to be in a room with such wonderful people. Great team to be apart of!

  12. Fernando says:

    Abrazos y bendiciones para ustedes con mucho carino desde Amsterdam…..los quiero mucho…besos Fer

  13. Alicatt says:

    Hello Doctors,
    Heartwarming and gracious is how I explain your practice – thanks for sharing your love story ??

  14. Dana Brannen says:

    What at story. And to think that I have been a patient for 15 years. I couldn’t agree more, each and everyone on your staff is so kind and caring. Being in the medical field this is such an important factor in having the best practice and a definite representation of the physicians behind the team.
    Thank you for sharing,
    Dana Brannen

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