Dr. Baker’s Philosophy
Dr. Stephan Baker, a native of Germany, combines European artistry with German craftsmanship and precision for optimal, natural looking results which is the basis of his aesthetic philosophy. His practice is based on integrity and honesty; only safe and effective treatments in the best interest of a patient are recommended, using the least invasive approach available while always striving for optimal aesthetic results. Patient aspirations and expectations, as well as anatomic realities, are thoroughly evaluated before defining an individualized treatment plan. To optimize safety, Dr. Baker performs surgery in a fully accredited hospital owned/ operated outpatient surgery center. The entire surgery is performed by Dr. Baker himself. After surgery care also is provided by Dr. Baker himself, starting the day after surgery and every other day thereafter until early recuperation is complete.
Dr. Stephan Baker and his team understand that taking care of patients is a privilege and are dedicated to optimizing every patient’s aesthetic results and overall experience.
Dr. Baker’s Background
Stephan Baker was born and raised in Frankfurt am Main, Germany where he lived until age 18. Growing up under humble economic circumstances, he learned early on important life values – honesty, hard work, order, personal discipline and responsibility, and attention to detail.
Fate intervened at age 10 when he lost his central upper front teeth in an accident and later in the year his natural father to illness. The missing teeth led to years of emotionally painful self-awareness and a visceral understanding of the importance of one’s appearance. In retrospect, this was the psychological origin of his future in Plastic Surgery. The loss of his father, after two years of turmoil, led to his adoption at age 12 by an American citizen, Joseph A. Baker, living in Germany and working with the US Armed Forces in Europe. Joseph emotionally was a God-sent and afforded Dr. Baker exposure to American culture, values and opportunity. To him, Joseph became ‘St. Joseph’.
At age 17, his stepfather enabled Dr. Baker to finally undergo his first dental reconstruction in the United States – a life changing experience. A few months later, nearing completion of his high school studies at the Goethe Gymnasium in Frankfurt, his stepfather proposed the idea of a trial year at an American college in the Mid-West, his stepfather’s origin. This, fueled by ‘first love’ and adolescent ‘Wanderlust’, led to his first medical exposure, cleaning operating rooms as a summer orderly at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, and then to his enrollment at Oberlin College, founded 1833, in rural Oberlin, Ohio, where the climate was similar to Germany and the school’s motto was familiar – ‘Learning and Labor’.
Dr. Baker enjoyed Oberlin tremendously and thrived so that one year quickly became four years. He majored in Chemistry, graduating magna cum laude, and extensively studied European art history from the Renaissance through the 19th Century, one of Oberlin’s finest academic programs, as well as music history at its famed Conservatory of Music. These studies continued through annual cultural travels to Italy and France, including a full summer in Paris. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Frick Collection in New York also became favored places to visit.
Having graduated Phi Beta Kappa and near the top of his class, led to the next stop in Dr. Baker’s peregrinations – New York City – following a summer research project at the National Institutes of Health near Washington DC. Again, it was his stepfather who gently guided his decision by encouraging medical school at NYU over biochemistry graduate school at Johns Hopkins University, recognizing early on Dr. Baker’s caretaker personality.
The four years at the NYU School of Medicine confirmed Dr. Baker’s future in America. Like many before him, he became a US citizen at the federal courthouse in downtown Manhattan, on his birthday – an emotional day made possible by his American stepfather.
After rotating through the various medical and surgical specialties as a medical student at NYU’s Bellevue and University Hospital, Dr. Baker’s interest in a surgical career became clear, as this was most consistent with his personality and aptitude.
During the last year of medical school, again on the suggestion of his stepfather, Dr. Baker pursued an elective in Plastic Surgery at NYU’s renowned ‘Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery’ under Dr. Joseph G. McCarthy. This was so stimulating that Dr. McCarthy arranged for Dr. Baker to have further exposures to Plastic Surgery in Paris, France, with the 20th Century giant and pioneer Dr. Paul Tessier and in Milan, Italy, with Dr. Ernesto Caronni. These experiences resulted in Dr. Baker’s decision to pursue a future career in Plastic Surgery.
Prerequisite for the best training programs in Plastic Surgery at the time was a solid foundation in General Surgery through a five year long hospital residency program. Dr. Baker thus embarked on a five-year residency in General Surgery at one of Columbia University’s teaching hospitals, the St. Luke’s-Roosevelt-Hospital Center, in Manhattan, and upon completion became certified in General Surgery by the American Board of Surgery.
During the beginning of his third year in General Surgery, upon a recommendation by legendary plastic hand surgeon Dr. William Littler, then at the Roosevelt Hospital, Dr. Baker was invited to Miami for a three day interview with another 20th Century Plastic Surgery giant and pioneer– Dr. D. Ralph Millard Jr. A few days later, Dr. Baker received word Dr. Millard accepted him for Plastic Surgery training following completion of his General Surgery residency.
Dr. Baker thus spent four years training in Plastic Surgery under Dr. Millard at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center.
He served first as his junior, then chief resident and his fellow. Dr. Millard then appointed him as a Clinical Instructor in Plastic Surgery. Dr. Millard considered Dr. Baker one of his best trainees ever and on two occasions afforded him the very rare privilege of accompanying him to distinguished international Plastic Surgery meetings in Madrid, Spain and Berlin, Germany where Dr. Baker first translated and then presented Dr. Millard’s work on cleft lip and palate in German. During this time and upon Dr. Millard’s recommendation, Dr. Baker also volunteered his time and skills for reconstructive surgery missions to Colombia, Panama and the Philippines, organized by ‘Operation Smile International’.
Following completion of his extensive training, Dr. Baker was certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and started his private practice in Miami, Florida. In 2001, he joined his practice with world famous cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Fredric S. Brandt at the Offices at Merrick Park in Coral Gables, Florida.
Dr. Baker’s Education, Training and Credentials
Education and Official Surgical Training
- Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, Bachelor of Arts, High Honors in Chemistry, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi Research Society, Varsity Swim Team
- New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, Doctor of Medicine
- General Surgery: 5 Year Residency/Chief Residency, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, New York
- Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: 4 Year Residency/Chief Residency/Fellowship with Dr. D. Ralph Millard Jr., MD, FACS, Hon. FRCS England, University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, Miami, Florida
- University of Miami, School of Business Administration, Miami, Florida, Exec. MBA-Health Administration, Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society
- Liposculpture with Dr. Marco Gasparotti MD, Rome, Italy and Dr. Luiz S. Toledo MD, Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Aesthetic Breast Surgery with Dr. Joao Carlos Sampaio-Goes MD, PhD, Brazilian Institute for Cancer Control, Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Vertical Breast Reduction with Dr. Elizabeth Hall-Findlay MD, Banff, Alberta, Canada
ABMS Accredited Specialty Board Certifications
- American Board of Plastic Surgery, Maintenance of Certification 2005 and 2015
- American Board of Surgery, 1990
- Voluntary Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, Jackson Memorial Medical Center, Miami, Florida
- Clinical Research Investigator for Cosmetic FDA-Approved Protocols and Clinical Trials, 1998-present
Medical Book Publications
- “Facial Fractures”, Co-Author with S. A. Wolfe, MD, FACS, Thieme Medical Publisher, New York, New York, 1993
- “Craniofacial Disorders and Their Surgical Treatment”, Chapter co-author with S. A. Wolfe, M.D., F.A.C.S. in Berkowitz: Cleft Lip and Palate: Perspectives in Management, Vol. II, 243-271, Singular Publishing Group, San Diego, 1996
Hospital and Surgery Center Staff Privileges
- Baptist Health South Miami Hospital, Miami, Florida
- Baptist Health Medical Arts Surgery Center, South Miami – Member, Surgical Care Review Committee, Miami, Florida
- HCA Mercy Hospital, Miami, Florida
- HCA Bayside Ambulatory Surgery Center, Miami, Florida
- University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, Miami, Florida
Professional Societies and Activities
- American Society of Plastic Surgeons – South Florida Spokesperson; Member, Membership Committee 2004-2008; Member, Government Affairs Council, 1997-2007; ‘Outstanding Council Representative’ Award, 2003, Chair, Federal Affairs Committee 2006-2007; Past Member, Public Education and Audit Committees; Member, Maliniac Circle, Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation
- American Board of Plastic Surgery – Board Examiner, Oral Board Certifying Examinations Contributing Author to ‘Maintenance of (Board) Certification’ Examination Questions
- American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
- Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons – Member, Board of Directors, 1999-2000; President, Political Action Committee, 2001-2003
- Miami Society of Plastic Surgeons – President, 1998-1999
- D. Ralph Millard Plastic Surgery Society and Educational Foundation
- American College of Surgeons – Member, Board of Governors 2013-2016; Member, Membership Committee – South Florida District, 2004-present; Chairman, Committee on Applicants – South Florida District, 2017-present
- South Florida Chapter-American College of Surgeons – President, 2012-2014; Member, Board of Councilors, 2003-present
- Florida Medical Association – Member, Board of Governors 2003-2011; Chair, FMA Administrative Audit Committee 2007-2008; Chair, FMA Audit Committee 2008-2009; Member, FMA EVP-CEO Evaluation Committee, 2008
- Dade County Medical Association – President 2006-2007
Volunteer Reconstructive Surgery Missions
- Ipiales, Colombia, 1991
- Naga City, Philippines, Operation Smile International, 1992
- Panama City, Panama, Operation Smile International, 1992