Michael Cohen, M.D. – Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Michael Cohen is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, specializing in plastic surgery of the breast and body. Dr. Cohen strives to provide his patients with only the highest standard in plastic surgery. He is known for his artistic eye, his perfectionism, his emphasis on ethics and patient safety, as well as his ability to think outside the box when approaching clinical challenges. Dr. Cohen recognizes that each patient is unique, and provides a highly individualized approach, taking the time to listen to the patient’s concerns and desires before explaining all the surgical options available and suitable for the particular patient.
Dr. Cohen has performed numerous breast augmentations, reductions, and lifts, as well as abdominoplasties, mommy makeovers, and various other body contouring procedures. His extensive background in breast cancer reconstruction has made him even more skilled at handling different clinical challenges of breast plastic surgery.
Additionally, Dr. Cohen was named one of 10 Best Plastic Surgeons in the State of Washington by the American Institute of Plastic Surgeons in 2017 and 2018, for exceptional and outstanding patient service. He was listed as one of America’s Top Surgeons in the field of Plastic Surgery by Consumers’ Research Council of America in 2017 and 2018.
Dr. Cohen was born to a computer science professor father and a music teacher mother, in a small college town Siberia, in the former Soviet Union. His family moved from Russia to Boston in 1989, at 14 years old, the same year as the fall of Berlin Wall. He enrolled in a public high school in a suburb of Boston, MA, and four years later graduated as the valedictorian of his class. Dr. Cohen was admitted early to Harvard University, where he majored in biochemistry and studied multiple other subjects including art history, philosophy, religion, linguistics, and history of medicine, all of which prepared him very well for a career as a physician. After college, Dr. Cohen did cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, prior to enrolling in Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis for his medical degree.
At 10 years old, Dr. Cohen knew he wanted to be a surgeon based on an experience when his closest cousin was saved by a trauma surgeon who was a family friend. However, it was not until medical school that Dr. Cohen developed an interest in plastic surgery, after hearing a woman’s story of her journey with breast cancer reconstruction. During the same time period, Dr. Cohen saw how much a breast reduction surgery changed the life of one of his classmates.
In order to explore plastic surgery more in depth than the regular medical school curriculum allowed, Dr. Cohen designed his own curriculum by taking two years off from his regular course work and pursuing clinical research in plastic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine. He submitted two different research proposals to two prestigious foundations, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship, not expecting to be awarded both.
Not willing to pick only one and pass on the other one, Dr. Cohen became the first medical student in the U.S. to do both fellowships, back to back, spending the following two years doing plastic surgery research under the mentorship of some of the most eminent professors of plastic surgery. His main mentor, Dr. Keith E. Brandt, whose superb work ethic, utmost dedication to excellence in patient care, phenomenal surgical skills, and exceptionally high ethical standards, – all served as the cornerstone of Dr. Cohen’s professional principles during his formative years as a physician.
After medical school, Dr. Cohen trained in plastic surgery at Georgetown University, one of the top programs in the field of plastic surgery of the breast. While at Georgetown, he studied his art with some of the field’s top experts. As a resident, Dr. Cohen had the privilege of co-authoring one of the book chapters in the late department chairman, and world renowned surgeon, Dr. Scott L. Spear’s two-volume textbook, Surgery of the Breast: Principles and Art (3rd edition, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins: 2011), Dr. Cohen co-authored a number of other publications in plastic surgery during the same time period.
After completing his residency, Dr. Cohen spent an additional year of subspecialty fellowship training at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore with Dr. Bernard Chang, one of the pioneers of microsurgical breast reconstruction after mastectomy, which taught him the discipline, the focus, and the stamina required to be a truly excellent breast plastic surgeon.
Upon completing his seven years of plastic surgery training, Dr. Cohen took a position as a plastic surgeon with one of Tacoma area’s large multispecialty groups. Shortly after moving to Tacoma, WA, Dr. Cohen discovered and fell in love with the Peninsula, where he started spending most of his free time and which led to his decision to make the Gig Harbor area his home.
Dr. Cohen’s passions and interests outside of work include playing an acoustic 12-string guitar, art, nature photography, hiking, and travel. He has spent time living in Russia, Italy, and Israel, and has traveled to almost every country in Europe and Northern Africa, as well as to Thailand and India. His interest in helping others has lead to surgical mission trips in the Dominican Republic, and has been fortunate enough to either have lived in, or have traveled to, 47 states in the U.S.