Meet Dr. Ernesto Ruas
Born in Fall River, Massachusetts, Ernesto J. Ruas spent his early childhood in Cuba, where both his father and mother practiced medicine. Trained in the US, his father, a general surgeon, and his mother, an anesthesiologist, would often take young Ernesto along during house calls. He vividly remembers his parents caring for the ill, and recalls being captivated by their discussions of medical topics at the dinner table. In the 1960s, the family immigrated to the US and eventually settled in Orlando. There, Ernesto attended high school and graduated valedictorian of his class. He continued his studies at Emory University in Atlanta, where he received a B.A. in chemistry, Summa Cum Laude.
Inspired by his parents’ love of medicine, Ernesto decided to attend The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. During the next ten years, he completed his degree and remained at Hopkins for his general surgery and plastic surgery training under the tutelage of Dr. Jack Hoopes and Dr. Paul Manson. Intrigued by facial surgery, Dr. Ruas traveled to Mexico City, Mexico to complete a fellowship in craniofacial surgery under the direction of Fernando Ortiz-Monasterio, M.D., a world-renowned pioneer in craniofacial surgery and aesthetic surgery of the facial skeleton.
In 1987, Dr. Ruas returned to the US and joined the faculty at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. There he was named director of the Craniofacial Center and participated in patient care at the Breast Reconstruction Clinic at the Moffitt Cancer Center.
Over the last 27 years, Dr. Ruas has earned a reputation for being a gifted and meticulous plastic surgeon who enjoys his craft and the potential for positive quality-of-life changes it can bring. He has been selected by his peers as a “Best Doctor in America,” and was named one of the Best Bay Area Doctors by Tampa Bay Metro magazine. In 2001, the Tampa Bay Latin American Medical Society named Dr. Ruas “Doctor of the Year” in recognition of his vast volunteer work. He continues to conduct numerous volunteer medical missions overseas to treat children with cleft lip, cleft palate and other congenital deformities. He also brings children with complex craniofacial anomalies to the US to receive free reconstructive surgery and a second chance at improving their lives.
He holds active staff memberships at three Tampa facilities, including St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital, and Tampa General Hospital. He also maintains privileges at All Children’s Hospital/Johns Hopkins Medicine and Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.