Dr. Stephen P. Hardy is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has been serving the Missoula community for nearly 20 years. He makes patient safety and high-quality treatment his priorities. Dr. Hardy's philosophy is to treat you as he would his own family.
I'm Dr. Stephen Hardy. I'm a plastic surgeon at Northwest Plastic Surgery here in Missoula, Montana. I've been practicing here for 18 years. Prior to coming to Missoula, I was on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, for about five and a half years. And prior to that, I was on the faculty at Columbia University in New York City for approximately two years.
I think the most important thing with every patient is act as though that person were your sister, your wife, your brother, your parent, your child whether in the office or in the operating room. The basic concept is that we want to allow people to feel better about themselves. The other concept then is safety. So the combination of being kind, compassionate, and safe, and you really can't go wrong.
I love every day of my work, and it's a wonderful feeling to know that I'm going to go in every day and either fix something or make somebody feel better because I'm going to correct something that's really been bothering somebody.
I just love working with people. It's fun every day, every time I open the door and talk with a patient. I could stay in for half an hour, even though it's a five-minute appointment. Every opportunity to sit down and talk with a patient is very enjoyable, and it's really what drives me every day. And when you come home at night, you feel as though, you know, I learned something from somebody today.
There are so many stories that it's hard to begin. I mean, it's so wonderful talking with a parent of a child who was born with a cleft lip and/or a cleft palate and watch how that child grows and see how the parent is so proud of that child as they. . . See now, I going to get choked up. Because society is difficult enough as it is . . . rather than it's. . . just to be a regular kid rather than having something that other people can point out and say, "That's different." So you want to make them as perfect as you can. I mean, I could go on forever in terms of little stories where patients have come in, and just a simple thank you sometimes is just the best.