Doers: Dr. Jeff Ptak

[click "Play" button to hear Susan's conversation with Dr. Jeff Ptak]

Ptak TIO' s next Doer, #464, Dr. Jeff Ptak would never be described as existentially fraught. The man clearly loves his life, laughs easily, and wears his success as lightly as a bespoke suit. Lucky for us this highly accomplished, self-deprecating guy with a furrowed brow and an exaggerated sense of irony also has experience – over 20 years in practice – and talent to burn.

Dr. Ptak regularly swaps several hats: husband, father, skier, and doctor.The one he wears to work is bifurcated: Jeff is the Telluride Medical Center’s dermatologist, charged with translating for patients the jabberwocky of sun blocks and sun screens – do you know the difference? – benign squamous cells and deadly melanomas. He is also Telluride’s new plastic surgeon.

Earlier this month, Dr. Ptak donned another sort of haberdashery, one shaped like a cone and painted with balloons and streamers: On February 4, he turned 60 years young, so the subject of aging is top of mind.

Every day baby boomers in particular look at their reflections and see the face and body of a stranger staring back at them from the mirror: “Hair” appears to be descending into the “The Night of the Living Dead. The picture ain’t pretty – unless we come to see aging as an opportunity for nothing left to prove. Just not for standing under fluorescent lights.

The fact that 40 marks the beginning of the second half of our lives – and 60 is the new 40 – means there is still plenty of room for tweaking in the interest of self-esteem, psychic health and body image. In Dr. Ptak's world, self-improvement is the name of the game.

“Telluride Inside…and Out” plans to feature Dr. Ptak in a series of educational posts about skin care and the many tricks of his trade for one-upping Mother Nature.

To hear his life story, including his professional history, press the “play” button and listen to his podcast.

DOERS: Jeffrey J. Ptak MD

By Susan Viebrock

Time in Town: Ten years resident, forty years off and on
Age/Place of Birth: Phoenix, AZ/ 60
Marital Status: Married to Anita
Philosophy of Life: We are spiritual beings having a brief human experience
Favorite Books:  Any John Grisham or Clive Cussler thriller
Favorite Movies:  "Duck Soup," "Dr. Strangelove," "Modern Times"
Favorite Music/Musicians: Classical and jazz, Mozart, Frank Zappa, David McKenna
Favorite Animals: My childhood black Labrador retriever and my Doberman
My Last Meal Would Be: All chocolate
Tragic Flaw /If I Could Change One Thing About Myself: Less politically correct 
Favorite Hangout/Retreat: Our couch in front of our huge fireplace
A Really Perfect Day: 32 degrees and knee deep fresh powder
Most Influenced By: Mom and Dad, and of course, my wife
Favorite Childhood Memory: Summers by the pool at my grandparents
Friends in School Thought I Was: Nerdy
Growing Up I Wanted To Be:  Really cool
If I Could Be Something/Someone Else: Conductor of symphony orchestra
Person I'd Like to Meet the Most:  Dalai Lama
Actor Who Would Play Me:  Robert Redford – yeah right
When I Grow Up I Want to Be: A pilot
I Would Never: Say never
What I Can't Bear to Throw Out: My old medical journals
Last Purchase: Snowshoes
Greatest Indulgence: Valrona chocolate dipped anything
Most Prized Possession: Handmade birthday cards from my kids
Weirdest Artifact Collected:  Croatian goatskin bagpipe
Favorite/Least Favorite Word/Phrase: A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.
“like…whatever…” or “If you really want to know the truth…”
Fitness Routine:  gym workout three days a week with my trainer
Proudest Accomplishment:  Being husband and father with two really great kids
Wildest Dream:  The world at peace
Biggest Challenge:  Finding time for daily meditation and prayer
Bottom Line: The town of Telluride may not really need a plastic surgeon, but I really need Telluride. Reach me at the Telluride Medical Center, 970-728-3848 or at my private clinic, 970-369-4608                                                                                 

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