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This article is the author's final published version in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, volume 10, Issue 12, December 2022, Article number e4675.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


The field of plastic surgery, formally organized in 1931 with the founding of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, was shaped in many ways by a small practice of Philadelphia physicians. At the center of the practice was Warren B. Davis, a Philadelphia otolaryngologist and plastics pioneer whose innovations in cleft palate surgery would lead to significant improvements in functional and cosmetic outcomes in his time. In addition to his own innovations, Davis was responsible for the training of John Reese, the inventor of the Reese dermatome that changed the face of burn medicine during World War II. Aside from his contributions to surgery and the founding of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. Davis was also the founder and first editor of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal which to this day is the premiere, authoritative journal of plastic surgery. Lastly, Dr. Davis established a plastic surgical practice, now Jefferson Plastic Surgery. Unique in its longevity, this practice would continue to shape the field of plastic surgery and continues to improve lives today—109 years after its founding in 1913.

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