9419 Norton Commons Blvd.
Suite 101, Prospect, KY 40059

TODAY'S WOMAN MAGAZINE - MOST ADMIRED WOMAN

tops - July

June 1, 2016

Julene B. Samuels: M.D., Owner of A Woman’s Touch

HOME LIFE
Originally from Danville, Kentucky, Julene did her medical residency in Dallas, then moved to Louisville with her husband Tom to be closer to their Kentucky family. After living in the Highlands for many years, they built a new home in Prospect. They have 19-year-old twin daughters, Lexie and Kaitlyn, who are students at the University of Kentucky.

UP FOR THE CHALLENGE
Taking the easy path has never been Julene’s style. “I’ve always been pretty focused,” she says. “If someone said, ‘This is really hard,’ I’d say, ‘Sign me up!'” She decided early on in high school that she wanted to be a doctor because it was so difficult. ” I did try to talk myslef out of it for a time. I thought, ‘I don’t know if I want to do all that training.’ so I did pharmacy as an undergrad. But I couldn’t get it out of my system and went on to medical school.”

FINDING HER CALLING
Julene planned to specialize in general surgery and trauma, but as her training progressed, she started to question how she would manage the demanding schedule while raising a family with her husband. The answer came in the fourth year of her residency program when she began a plastic surgery rotation and found it to be the perfect fit. “I love taking care of women — not that men don’t do it, but plastic surgery patients are mostly female — and I don’t miss the addrenaline of the trauma because plastic surgery is so challenging. It’s detail-oriented and precise, requires a really good anatomic knowledge of the entire body, and there are always new techniques and technologies to learn. And while there’s certainly trauma in plastic surgery as well, for the most part, it’s happy surgery. It’s making a difference in women’s lives.”

A WOMAN’S TOUCH
In her solo private practice, Julene values the opportunity to take care of patients and their families over time. “A woman might first come to me for a breast augmentation, then return for body contouring or a tummy tuck after having children, and come back for a facelift later on, ” she says. “Or I’ll do a procedure on a patient and she’ll bring her mother in for something, too. It’s kind of like being a family physician. And it’s rewarding having people come with an issue that is a big deal for them and being able to offer a solution that just takes it off their plate. Sometimes people don’t realize how much negative energy they spend obsessing about something that can be easily and safely changed.”

BEAUTY ON THE INSIDE
People are often surprised to find out that Julene leaves her plastic surgeon’s eye at the office. “I’m a very observant person, but when I’m out in public or at a social venue, I don’t look at people and think about what they can do to ‘look better.’ I try to focus on a person’s positives and feel that what makes people beautiful or attractive comes from inside. I do, however, notice poor plastic surgery work that leads to distortion. That jumps right out at me.”

NOBODY’S PERFECT
One thing Julene struggles with is not letting her professional perfectionism seep into her personl life. “I have to have control when it comes to surgical results or bad things can happen. So, I’m always thinking ahead about possible outcomes and planning what I will do. But in my private life, I can’t control everything. I have to let people be imperfect and let circumstances lead to inefficiency. And that’s hard for me.”

SADDLE UP
Julene is an avid equestrian. She rode horses growing up, and she bought a Thoroughbred when she moved back to Kentucky. “My girls ride, too — they compete — and it’s been something we do together,” she says. “We now have six horses between us. I try to ride several times a week, and I also like to fox hunt when I get the chance.” With three of their horses kept on the property, Julene spends a lot of her free time at the barn. “I go out first thing in the morning to clean their stalls and get everytig ready for the day then come home after work and do it again. It’s a lot of physical labor, but I love everything about being with the horses.”

HIT THE ROAD
When she needs to relax, Julene gets moving. She’s competed in several marathons and half-marathons, but now that she’s older, she prefers to just run recreationally. “I’ll do an occasional 10K with one of my daughters who has taken up running, but I don’t want to do marathons anymore,” she says. She also bikes to keep up her fitness. “I love to travel while I’m exercising. I have a group of girlfriends who are really good bikers, and we ride together in Louisville and sometimes in Indiana. I would love to do some long-distance biking, like one of those really cool trips where you stay in a five-star place but you’re biking all day.”