About Dr. Nelson
An introduction to the Dr. is meaningless without an introduction to his family. Dr. Nelson’s lovely wife Kristin has spent her adult career in the culinary arena. The two boys(men) Ryan and Noah studied at the U of A and USD respectively, and currently follow their careers paths in Tucson and daughter Maisie is doing the high school stint. She spends as much time as she can honing her equestrian skills when not in band practice. Two dogs, two cats, and one squawking bird round out the Nelson household. Dr. Nelson counts himself lucky to have all the kids so close so the family can frequently travel and play together. It’s hard to beat having the coolest job on the planet, but also having everyone close by to share it with him.
Dr. Nelson’s aesthetic skills long preceded his decision to become a Plastic Surgeon. Raised in Arizona with it’s amazing landscapes and colors, Dr. Nelson has been painting since childhood. This has been such a passion that Dr. Nelson has been able to paint professionally for almost a decade and has had his works displayed in Tubac, Southern Arizona’s premier art center. Today, Dr. Nelson loves sharing his paintings, wood designs, and 3D art forms with his patients at his “office gallery.” While exploring our website, we encourage you to visit Dr. Nelson’s Art to see some of his recent works.
College sent Dr. Nelson out of state to Los Angeles at Occidental College. Opportunity for Medical School came earlier than typical, so Dr. Nelson was accepted to Johns Hopkins University Medical School in Baltimore after completing only two years of college. Back in the late ‘70s early ‘80s, Baltimore might not have been the prettiest city to hang out in, but it was an amazing place to get a medical degree. Baltimore is a much more vibrant and fun city these days, and Johns Hopkins has become one of the world’s truly superb medical institutions.
Medical School was followed by a five full years of General Surgery training and an additional year committed to Plastic Surgery research at the Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Nelson’s research involved the science of how wounds heal, burn research, and the new realm of fetal surgery and wound healing. With kids and family in tow, Dr. Nelson then moved to San Diego for training in Plastic Surgery, which was followed by a microsurgery fellowship in Melbourne, Australia.
Dr. Nelson took an offer to stay in San Diego to teach Plastic Surgery at UCSD where he was a staff surgeon for 5 years before coming back to home base in Arizona in 1995. San Diego was a terrific experience obtaining tons of cosmetic experience, while still having the opportunity to mix in complex breast reconstruction, burn care, and the fine technical field of microsurgery. Still, private practice in Tucson gives Dr. Nelson a much greater opportunity to connect and spend time with his patients than he was able to do when training residents and students. Tucson was an excellent move for him, and it also made it easier for him to see his extended family living here.
For a decade, Dr. Nelson was Chief of Plastic Surgery at both Northwest Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital, and for twelve years, he ran the Burn and Wound program at St. Mary’s Hospital as the Medical Director.
In addition to being board-certified in plastic surgery, Dr. Nelson is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons as well as other numerous societies. Dr. Nelson has written two book chapters and fourteen published articles on plastic surgery, and he has presented nationally and internationally over eighty times on plastic surgery issues.
While not trying to belabor this background, three decades of research, teaching at a University, running hospital programs, and having an established cosmetic practice brings to bear enormous experience that allows Dr. Nelson to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff of Plastic Surgery. There is a ton of great information, as well as misinformation out there, and Dr. Nelson’s experience let’s you feel confident that you’re getting truly “informed guidance.” Contact us below and let Dr. Nelson work with you to obtain your goals.