The Texas Cleft-Craniofacial Team at UT Physicians has added a new pediatric plastic surgeon. Danielle Sobol, MD, is excited to contribute her craniofacial expertise in a field that is often misunderstood. While most people think of plastic surgery as all cosmetic, she explains that it’s so much more.
Developing long-term relationships with pediatric patients is what drew Sobol into the sub-specialty of pediatric plastic surgery. When she went to Duke University School of Medicine, she knew how much she loved surgery – and was good at it – but she had to discover her niche. Sobol appreciated the long-term relationships the attending physicians had with children with cleft and craniofacial differences and found her calling. Work can begin with parents as part of a prenatal diagnosis or as infants, and children can be cared for until their teenage years and even to adulthood.
“I really love how much you’re able to help the form and function, and boost children’s confidence and quality of life,” said Sobol, who is also an assistant professor in the Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. “There is so much complexity within the face and the cranium which makes it very rewarding work. Difficult work, but rewarding.”
As a child, being a doctor was the most tangible way Sobol thought she could help people within her very scientific mindset. Now she knows there are many ways to help people, but when she was young, all she could say was she wanted to be a doctor and stuck with it.
Sobol graduated from the University of Georgia ranking first in her class of 4,250 undergraduate students. After graduating from Duke University School of Medicine, she completed a six-year plastic and reconstructive surgery residency at the University of Washington. Most recently, she completed a craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgery fellowship at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta with Emory University.
Sobol selected UTHealth Houston because the position closely aligned with her passions. Pediatric-focused and craniofacial-focused were important areas for her. She also appreciated the collegiality and relationships the physicians, staff, and residents have together. It’s the kind of environment she wanted to work in.
“I didn’t want to work in a field that keeps beating you down every single day, but rather one that helps build you up and helps each other for the betterment of people on the team,” Sobol said. “That’s certainly better for our patients, too.”
As Sobol begins building her practice, she wants to add a more formalized jaw surgery focus for adolescents with and without cleft. She also plans to conduct clinical research, quality improvement projects, and discover how the department is doing with patients.
When she’s not working, Sobol likes to hang out with her husband, try new restaurants, and cheer on her Georgia Bulldogs football team. She loves traveling and hopes to continue adding to her list of 25 visited countries.