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    Angela Rodriguez, MD, of ART Surgical

    Dr. Angela Rodriguez

    Dr. Angela Rodriguez is a plastic surgeon with a heart for compassionate and personalized care. With 20 years of experience, she is known for her expertise in helping transgender and non-binary patients. She is involved throughout each patient’s entire process, ensuring a high level of individualized care. She and her team also provide non-surgical procedures and treatments.

    GGBA: Please tell us more about your surgical practice, including information about its mission and values.

    Dr. Angela Rodriguez: ART Surgical is a medical practice created to serve the transgender community and achieve the surgical goals of our patients in San Francisco, the state of California, and beyond. We serve exclusively the transgender community. We perform all aspects of gender-affirming care. Our values revolve around placing the human back in surgical care. These values are simply expressed by my pronoun HER: Humanity, Excellence (Equality is a big one as well), and Respect.

    GGBA: Why did you decide to focus your practice on serving the transgender community?

    Dr. Angela Rodriguez: I spent the first 14 years of my career taking care of children with complex craniofacial anomalies and birth defects as the director of the Cleft Craniofacial Center at Valley Children’s Healthcare. It is important for me to be of service to society, and to important causes. I believe gender-affirming care is the cause of our times and I feel honored to be of service to the trans community.

    I wanted to create an inclusive place. I am interested in quality care and my patients know that. I wanted to apply my 20 years of knowledge and life experience to the service of my patients. The human factor, I believe, contributes to better outcomes, giving the patient a better experience. I want the outcomes to be measured in quality, not quantity. I want to be heavily involved in the care of my patients and have a presence at all times. I strive to give the patient continuity of care, and I think that can be easily seen in the outcomes of our practice and in the success that we have achieved within the community.

    I opened my practice exactly a year ago. The effort has had its challenges, but it has been extremely invigorating and I enjoy the creative process. I never really had the need or burning desire of opening my practice until I realized how I could be of service to the community. Personalized care was not the general rule in in other places, and especially those helping transgender and non-binary patients, and this gave me the motivation to start my own business.

    GGBA: Who are some of your role models, and especially those who have helped influence your business?

    Dr. Angela Rodriguez: There have been many role models over the years, including surgeons, colleagues, and mentors who have shaped the way I perform surgery. But I must say that, in terms of business, my father was a great influence. He worked as a businessman for his entire life, and I think if he were alive today, he would be very proud that I started my own business.

    It can be challenging to find role models when you are the ultimate minority: I am a gay, Latina woman who has an accent! There were not a lot of people whom I could identify with, so I took bits and pieces from my colleagues, mentors, and other surgeons. I wish we had more women like me in leadership positions, but unfortunately that is not the case.

    GGBA: Why did you decide to join the GGBA and how long have you been a member?

    Dr. Angela Rodriquez: I have been a member for almost a year, and as an ultimate minority, it is all the more important to join an organization that truly represents you, and I have found that with the GGBA. I was extremely excited when I first learned about the GGBA.

    GGBA: Although you have been a GGBA member for a relatively short period of time, has it helped your business so far?

    Dr. Angela Rodriquez: I believe it is giving me inspiration and representation. We have been extremely busy, which is a good thing, but I am looking forward to more opportunities with the GGBA, such as getting to know other GGBA members.

    GGBA: Have you gone to a GGBA Make Contact networking event yet?

    Dr. Angela Rodriquez: I have gone once so far. That’s just because of lack of time, since I often leave the operating room too late to attend the Make Contact monthly events. But I think it is beautiful to live in San Francisco and to be surrounded by a supportive community, such as what is represented by the GGBA. If anything, it has been an incredible experience from a social standpoint.

    GGBA: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of starting their own business?

    Dr. Angela Rodriguez: A business needs extensive planning and you have to integrate your values into it. It has to be something that comes from the essence of who you are. I think that, if you have a good idea and a good service or product, you are going to be successful. You have to be brave, though, and realistic about the possibilities, but that does not mean to stop dreaming.

    It is important to have a good team, especially people who believe in you. In terms of my business, I could not have established it without my wife and Business Manager Cristina and our incredible team. There are seven women in our practice who are extremely invested in it and I cannot thank them enough. They joined our practice because they believe in our collective purpose of helping our patients to be who they need to be. I’m extremely impressed with the work that they do day-to-day with their investment, their energy, and their ideas. You need a good team to be successful.

    GGBA: Is there anything else that you would like to share?

    Dr. Angela Rodriguez: I want to thank you for the opportunity to share my opinion and for placing our business in the spotlight. We firmly believe gender-affirming care is the social cause of our times and we are honored to serve the trans community. I thank the Golden Gate Business Association for making a space for those of us who have been lost in the mainstream. At last, we have a place that we can call home.

    GGBA Member Spotlight
    Published on March 21, 2024