People who look to improve their appearance for aesthetic reasons, or to correct, reconstruct, or enhance part of their body through the art and science of plastic surgery, are often looking for a new direction in their lives. They want a better quality of life and greater confidence.
The word plastic comes from the Greek word plastikos, and the Latin word plasticus. Both terms refer to the ability to mold something, to be capable of change, therefore receiving a new direction. As a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Renee Burke has molded her life, her education, training, and profession to help others make those positive changes in their lives.
Much of Dr. Burke’s professional culture and personal values are that of a Midwestern upbringing. Born in Dearborn, Michigan, she was raised in Woodhaven, about 15 miles south of Detroit. Her father, Bruce Burke, taught AP History at the high school. Her mom, Sharon Burke, a registered nurse, went back to school for business administration followed by a job at Henry Ford Hospital as an administrator.
Like her older sister and role model Shelley, an internal medicine physician in the Cleveland area, Dr. Burke earned a degree in biology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She rounded her pre-med studies by participating as a guest musician with the university’s school of music playing violin which she had studied since preschool.
Wayne State University was the next four years of Dr. Burke’s training. After that, she spent five more years in surgical training with the Emory University Hospital System in Atlanta. Then, a two-year residency at Vanderbilt University in Nashville offered her plastic surgery training. At that point, she was entitled to start or join a practice, but Dr. Burke chose to apply for private practice fellowships—with one year focused on craniofacial surgery in Miami, followed by a year of oculoplastic and aesthetic training in back in Atlanta. There, she had the remarkable opportunity to work with a man who would become an important mentor as a surgeon and for the business side of running a practice. The late Dr. Codner became her go-to for answers. His practice was stunning, a place that was glamourous. Dr. Burke saw that as an example of what was possible. Today, she has brought that vision to life in South Barrington.
In addition to her day-to-day work, Dr. Burke is a guest on the Plastic Surgery Channel (YouTube) which is an invitation-only group of leaders in the field who meet at the PSC film studio in Dallas twice a year to discuss hot topics, and new products and devices.
She speaks at multiple local and national meetings each year, including the Midwest Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons/Women’s Plastic Surgery (WPS). She is the current program chair for the Midwest Association of Plastic Surgeons and is a member of the Practice Management committee for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and a former president of ASPS University where she ran a podcast for the past two years called “Enhance Your Practice.”
Dr. Burke utilizes the Vectra which is a 3-D imaging device that allows the patient to have a 180° image of the torso, which is then transposed to the computer where she can simulate surgical options. Dr. Burke says that patients love this technology as it offers a look at results before surgery.