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It’s A Woman’s World

Dr. Marcia V. Ormsby Beat the Odds to Become a Local Success

Marcia Ormsby wasn’t supposed to be a doctor.

At least not according to the high school guidance counselor in the small, southern New Jersey town where Ormsby grew up, who suggested she go into fashion design or social work, traditional career choices for women at that time. “It never occurred to me to become a physician, because that was never offered to women,” Ormsby said. It was an attitude that she would face often on her road to becoming one of Annapolis most successful and respected plastic surgeons. But there is not a trace of bitterness left from her experiences. Instead, she has created a practice uniquely geared toward helping women feel welcomed, understood, and cared for while making the often difficult decisions required when choosing a cosmetic procedure.

Discovering Her Talents

After high school, Ormsby decided to go to work for DuPont de Nemours & Co in Deepwater, N.J., a manufacturing firm which offered to pay for the college education of any worker who had a year of exemplary service with the company. After one year, she inquired, showed the man in charge her stellar performance reports and supervisor recommendations, and asked how to get started. “And he said, ‘Oh, we don’t do that for women. You could get pregnant.’ And I said, ‘And you could get hit by a truck!’” Ormsby was livid, but still determined to pursue her dreams of higher education. She stuck it out at Dupont for another year in order to save money, and eventually landed a scholarship and entered college at age 20.

After college, Ormsby married and had a son, and after a few years at home decided to go back to work. She got a position as a dental assistant, and it was there that Ormsby discovered her true calling. She learned that she had an innate ability to work with patients, to make them comfortable, to “tease out the real concerns they had.” Not only was she extraordinarily empathetic and warm with people who were uncomfortable and nervous, she had technical abilities that exceeded her training. “I was doing four-handed dentistry, chair side assistance, and a lot of the work the dentist would let me do, because I had such good hands.”

Ormsby now had a mission. “I asked myself what would be the best use of my talents and resources,” she said, and ultimately decided on plastic surgery. She felt that this would utilize both her talents as an artist (she works in pen-and-ink and watercolors) as well as her healing abilities. She knew it would be a long, arduous process, and many people told her that she shouldn’t and couldn’t do it, and that she would be faced with even more of the sexism she had already encountered. “And I said, ‘I know. But I have to do what I have to do.’ And I did.”

At the University of Pennsylvania, studying pre-med, she did indeed meet up with men who didn’t want her in their midst. Afraid that she would get “their” spot in medical school, the men in her classes actively tried to ruin her chances. “They would put salt in my crystals [in organic chemistry] and I’d have to come back at night to redo my experiments.” Despite their efforts, she excelled, received several scholarships, and ultimately graduated medical school from the University of Massachusetts, and completed her training at New York Hospital.

A Confident and Beautiful Woman

Now living and working here in Annapolis, a home she picked after a long and exacting search for just the right place to hang her shingle, she has created Annapolis Aesthetic Surgery, Inc. (AAS). Here, she can offer the kind of understanding and support that she is so good at giving and which so often eluded her on her journey to this point. Everything about AAS is geared toward making the patient, and the female patient in particular, feel at ease. The office is staffed entirely by women, and Dr. Ormsby is the only physician, which means you’ll never see a doctor you don’t know. Dr. Ormsby’s gentle and caring manner, and ability to counsel as well as listen, encourages her patients to communicate openly with her about their concerns, and she gives them her understanding, confidentiality, and technical expertise in return.

“Sophia Loren said, ‘A confident woman is a beautiful woman.’ And I see my patients as beautiful, vibrant people, and so I want to know, why don’t you see yourself as beautiful? And then what can we do to ameliorate that, so that you see in yourself what I see in you?”

Annapolis Aesthetic Surgery Center is located at 116 Defense Highway, Suite 500, in Annapolis. For more information call 410. 881.0117 or visit

Taste of the Bay
September 2009