Intended for healthcare professionals

Student Careers

The founder of Operation Smile

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 01 April 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:0504151
  1. Negin Shamsian, registrar in plastic surgery

William P Magee Junior is the leading US plastic and craniofacial surgeon who set up the global children's charity Operation Smile with his wife Kathleen in 1982. Negin Shamsian met Magee at a Fight for Life charity event

What made you choose medicine as a career?

When I was six, my mom used to kick us out of the house at weekends and we used to go on rounds with my dad, who was a physician. He would sit at his patient's bedside and talk to them about their hopes, their dreams, and their fears. I remember how gentle he was with them, and I enjoyed watching that relationship of him being able to help them and them respecting him. It seemed so human to me and so I always thought about becoming a physician.

Why plastic surgery?

I was very close to going into construction because I enjoyed working with my hands. I wasn't sure if I wanted to work as hard as I had seen my father work. Then a good friend of mine suggested dentistry because the lifestyle was better. So I went to dental school and became a dentist. In my last year of dental school a number of crazy things happened which redirected me towards medicine. …

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