When the chance to play a pivotal role in the evolution of cosmetic surgery presented itself, it was an opportunity that Patrick McMenamin, M.D., just couldn't ignore.
Dr. McMenamin has been named Medical Director of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Hospital (AACSH) in Dubai, the burgeoning economic hub of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the home of Dubai HealthCare City (DHCC). In addition to being the first and only full-scale hospital in the world devoted exclusively to cosmetic surgery, AACSH has a long-term goal of establishing a cosmetic surgery residency program — another first in the field, according to Dr. McMenamin. currently in private practice in Sacramento, Calif., and Editorial Advisory Board member for Cosmetic Surgery Times .
PASSING IT ON Establishing a fellowship training program is an important short-term goal for the facility, according to Jeffrey Knezovich, Executive Vice President of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS).
"The Hospital will allow for the global development of the AACS Fellowship Training Program — a learning center which will train surgeons from that part of the world and abroad," he says.
Though the hospital has incorporated the name of the Academy into its own, the AACS is not responsible for its operations, according to Mr. Knezovich. The Academy will, however, establish clinical rotations of visiting professors, he says. Mr. Knezovich points out that Dr. McMenamin has already received letters from more than 30 U.S.-trained surgeons, resident surgeons and international faculty interested in participating.
AESTHETIC OASIS Dr. McMenamin expects that Dubai will become a "destination point" in terms of cosmetic surgery, but stresses that the hospital will not be a "cookie cutter" operation. "Our goal is to provide the highest level of comprehensive personal surgical care possible," he says.
For his part as well, Mr. Knezovich clearly wants no connection to be made between the AACSH and the cosmetic surgery tourism trend.
"The primary goal is to establish a safe surgical environment that is internationally accredited," says Mr. Knezovich. All academic oversight and licensing in DHCC are under the auspices of Harvard Medical International. "The AACS Hospital will have an international reputation for excellence in cosmetic surgical care, and, as Dubai develops as an international destination, so will the hospital. We're looking for growth and expansion of cosmetic surgery in this part of the world," he says. Dubai is emerging as a leading center of commerce in the Middle East., according to Knezovich.
"The AACS Hospital will help develop the medical arm of that commerce," he says, "and we expect cosmetic surgery to grow and prosper there because it is performed by qualified multi-specialists, not dominated by any one specialty."
SPECIALTY SHIFT "I've probably spent my entire life preparing for this one job," says Dr. McMenamin, who hopes to open the hospital for clinical care by May 1, 2007. The 53-year-old surgeon spent a decade in academics and as much time as in otolaryngology surgery prior to moving to the aesthetic specialty. "I love to teach and train people because I thrive on the usefulness and excitement that it offers," he says.