Melynda Barnes, M.D. is a fellowship-trained Facial Plastic & Reconstructive surgeon with board certification in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. She graduated from Stanford University with a double major in Biology and Spanish Literature and completed her Head and Neck Surgery training at Stanford after attending Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She completed her advanced training in facial plastic surgery in Portland, Oregon at Oregon Health Science University. She is also a yoga instructor and budding entrepreneur currently living in New York City. When not on the yoga mat or in the operating room, she is most likely traveling or hanging out with her boyfriend or her sister and 6 year old nephew, Phoenix.
Tell us your story - what made you hungry for #gr8ness?
My mother always pushed us to be greater than our circumstances and to strive to improve ourselves and our situation through hard work and education. I grew up in a low-income, single parent home but that didn’t prevent my mom from getting us into the best school district even if we had to take a bus for over an hour in each direction to get there. By going to school and eventually moving to an affluent suburb of Atlanta, I was exposed to the benefits of an education; specifically not wanting for the basics in life such as housing, food and transportation. I went to school and played sports with kids whose parents were engineers, doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs and I had a visual representation of what I could have in my life if I could become a professional. I knew that if I wanted to have a better life with less “need” then I needed to work hard in high school to go to the best college so that I could continue to have exposure and access to better life opportunities.
Girl Boss = #gr8nolagirl. What's been a top Girl Boss moment in your career?
The top Girl Boss moment in my career was matching in Otolaryngology (saw that three times fast)- Head and Neck Surgery at Stanford Hospital. My field of Otolaryngology (Head and Neck Surgery) is a small field, making the match process very competitive. Stanford was my first choice, and I remember being so excited, happy and proud to have matched in such a competitive field at one of the best programs in the country. All of my classmates and friends were so proud of me and I felt like I accomplished something truly great. This year, I co-founded a beauty and wellness website, called @BeautyRefinedMD with my dear friend and colleague, Leslie Kim and seeing our website grow and flourish has been another #girlboss moment.
What's a typical day in the #gr8life like for you?
A typical day for me starts pretty early so that I can meditate or do yoga before I go work. I work in the largest ENT practice in the country called ENT and Allergy Associates where I am a Facial Plastic Surgeon. I typical see patients in the office every weekday, except for the days that I am in the operating room and I work two half Saturdays a month. Right now, I am taking an accelerated Spanish course so that I can better serve my patients, so you’ll find me in Spanish class on Tuesdays and Thursdays after work. On Monday and Wednesday, I try to make it to Pilates or Yoga and Fridays are saved for date night with my boyfriend, Karim. The weekends are full of exploring NYC, eating, spending time with my nephew, Phoenix and hanging out with friends. My sister, Melissia and I have started a new tradition of going to church together on Sunday nights.
Who, or what inspires you to be #gr8?
People are always asking me why I do so much; and honestly I just can not say no to a good cause or a good idea. I love getting involved and I really love helping people. I think the idea of reaching my God-given potential and uses the gifts that He has given me, inspires be to as good as I possibly can and to continue to strive for #gr8ness.