I graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the Central University of Barcelona in 1983, having studied the course for three years at the Hospital Clínic i Provincial of Barcelona and the other three years at the Teaching Unit of the Faculty of Medicine of the Prínceps d’Espanya Hospital in Bellvitge, forming part of the first class of that Unit, which provided very high-level teaching in the course of Medicine.
After passing the MIR examination with number 152, I began my specialisation in Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery in the Plastic Surgery and Burns Department of the Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, a centre of national reference in this speciality. This speciality takes five years, and it took me from 1986 to 1990.
Before finishing my specialisation in Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery, I was selected from among several candidates to occupy the Plastic Surgery position at the Sant Jaume Hospital in Calella, founding its Plastic Surgery Unit and turning it, in the two years I was there (1990 and 1991), into the Reference Centre of the Baix Maresme district in the province of Barcelona.
During this period, I joined the Plastic Surgery and Laser Surgery Service of the Tres Torres Clinic in Barcelona as its second plastic surgeon. Here I came into contact with laser surgery treatment, in which I have continued to develop since 1990.
In 1992 I was contracted by the Terrassa Hospital to coordinate its Plastic Surgery Department, a function which I performed until the year 2006, achieving an exemplary unit in regard to advances in surgical techniques and its working, converting it into the Plastic Surgery Reference Unit for all the Vallès Occidental district, although we also received patients from all over Spain and some from other countries.
Finally, in 1990 I joined the Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Medical Team of the Sagrada Família Clinic, becoming in 1992 the Head of its Surgical Team, a position I still hold. I also belong to the Clinic’s Official Medical Board.
To date I have published 12 articles in international science magazines (Burns, Excepta Médica), I have taken part in or organised full nine courses and congresses in my speciality, and I have given over 60 speeches in courses and congresses of plastic and cosmetic surgery, both in Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Santiago de Compostela, Valencia, Salamanca, etc.) and abroad (various congresses of the International Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, International Society of Burns, etc.) Finally, I have attended over 70 refresher courses, both at home and abroad, to remain totally up to date with new techniques and the latest technological advances.
In the year 2002 I co-authored, along with Ms. Pilar Casbas, an introductory book on cosmetic surgery entitled “Estííírame” (“Liiiiift Me”), published by Plaza & Janés.Finally, I am a Numerary Member of the Catalan Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, the Spanish Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, the Spanish Anti-Ageing and Longevity Medicine Society, and the International Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery.
“Mis padres cuentan que, cuando tenía cinco años, ya decía que deseaba ser médico. Siempre aspiré a trabajar en una actividad en la que, además de los conocimientos teóricos, fueran importantes la relación con los demás y la capacidad para mejorar su calidad de vida.”
Enric Sospedra has come to be a well-known and acknowledged specialist in plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery thanks to his parents’ efforts and his own determination, since he had no hesitation in going to work to pay for his university studies: “My parents say that when I was five I was already saying I wanted to be a doctor. I always aspired to work in a field where, apart from theoretical knowledge, other important factors were relationships with other people and the capacity to improve their quality of life.”
To train as a doctor, he chose the University of Barcelona. On graduating, he opted for the speciality of plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery because “we carry out a large number of very different operations, which means that our everyday task, in contrast with other branches of surgery, is very varied. Only two operations of the fifty I learned during my time as a resident, which finished in 1990, are still performed using the same technique.”On completing his residence period, Dr. Sospedra did not consider complementing his training internationally, because he was aware that “going abroad would not have brought me any new knowledge. In the field of reconstructive and cosmetic surgery, our level of surgical praxis is equal to or higher than that of other countries in the First World.”
To carry out his professional activity, Dr. Sospedra has chosen to combine the public and private facets: “In the mornings I work at the Terrassa Hospital, performing a medical function as a reconstructive and plastic surgeon, and in the afternoons I do cosmetic surgery at the Sagrada Família Clinic to satisfy a present-day social demand.”His public health task focuses basically on “breast reconstruction after mastectomy. It’s a very gratifying job because we restore these patients’ spirits and enthusiasm for life after suffering a serious disease like cancer, with the possibility of imminent death and also the amputation of one of the most symbolic and highly-valued parts of the body.”
In addition, to a lesser degree, he and his team also take charge of “palliating the aesthetic effects of the injuries, especially facial, caused by traffic accidents, aggressions, and so on.”
Through the Terrassa Hospital, the Catalan Health Service provides coverage for the Vallès Oriental and Occidental districts, in addition to certain communities, like the penitentiary population, thanks to the signing of specific agreements.
In his private activity, Dr. Sospedra’s career has been linked exclusively to the Sagrada Família Clinic, which he considers an institution with the ideal characteristics for him to develop professionally: “As it’s a small centre, you establish a direct and close relationship with your colleagues and patients. In addition, it has recognised medical prestige, because to work there you need to have passed a strict selection process that entails being assessed by three tribunals.”
“Desde el año 1990, me integré en el equipo médico de Cirugía Plástica y Estética de la Clínica Sagrada Familia, convirtiéndome desde el año 1992 en jefe de equipo quirúrgico de dicha clínica, hasta el momento actual. Asimismo, pertenezco al cuadro médico oficial de dicha clínica.”