My eventual career as a plastic surgeon probably materialized from the combined influences of my Grandfather and father. My Grandfather (George Hamwi) was a somewhat famous endocrinologist, and besides having a camp for diabetic children and a library named after him, I was often confronted by actual patients of his who he had helped throughout his career and who spoke highly of him and his efforts. These interactions helped me to understand how influential and positive doctors could be in people’s lives. I was convinced that I wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember.
As far as my eventual choice of aesthetic plastic surgery, that was probably a little more subconsciously fostered and cultivated by the exposure of my father. My father (Alan Hamwi) is a classically trained professional sculptor, and I grew up surrounded by clay and pencils with a sketch pad. I was encouraged to express my creativity and taught how to critically evaluate objects and then translate that into a new medium. Without knowing it, I spent all of my childhood and young adult life receiving a world-class art education. As my exposure to medicine progressed, aesthetic plastic surgery was naturally intriguing.
While I was in medical school, I realized I had a natural ability and interest in surgery. I could both help people and use my technical abilities, so I chose a general surgery residency. Through general surgery, I was exposed to various surgical specialties, from trauma surgery to vascular surgery to transplant surgery. While I was in residency, I excelled, and I was chosen to be the Chief Resident. I was also selected for various awards from different departments (transplant, thoracic, trauma, “nurses choice award”). But it was plastic surgery that “spoke to me” and ultimately was the most compelling for me.
Through general surgery, I had first been introduced to plastic surgery and specifically aesthetic plastic surgery. It was that experience that ignited my passion for the field. It was somewhat of a “eureka” moment while I realized how much I enjoyed the field and how well suited I was for it.
From that time on, I was singularly focused on my eventual career in plastic surgery and specifically aesthetic plastic surgery. I spent as much time as I could with the plastic surgeons, and I spent the years as a resident refining my skills as a surgeon. General surgery residency is known for being particularly difficult, but it gave me the technical skills to “hit the ground running” when I started my second residency in plastic surgery.
From my first day in plastic surgery residency, I was intent on pursuing aesthetic surgery. I focused my efforts on learning the techniques of aesthetic surgery, but I knew that if I wanted to be the best that I would want to do a dedicated fellowship in aesthetic plastic surgery.
I completed my last year of training in Manhattan at one of the country’s most competitive aesthetic plastic surgery programs. All in all, I have spent 10 years training to get where I am today.