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What do you love most about living in Seattle?
The outdoors is perhaps my greatest attraction. I am an avid sailor (we sail a 42’ sloop), scuba diver (the waters in Puget sound are cold but the sea life is plentiful and large, 3m giant pacific octopus, 1m lingcod, etc.), skier and hiker. All of this is within the city or less than a one hour drive away.
Seattle is also a tech city (home of Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing), a university town, and port town all wrapped up into one city. The fresh seafood is extraordinary (I am a foodie), the music scene is wide and varied, although I’m a jazz junkie and we have many jazz venues through the region. The city feeds my cultural and intellectual curiosity with two Broadwaylike theatres, a wonderful symphony hall, a reasonable art gallery, and scenic views of the surrounding landscape are breathtaking (well, when it’s not raining!)
What’s the best way to see the city?
Downtown Seattle is best seen by walking and Uber. The main city attractions are within a 1 square km area. Walk to most dining, the Benaroya Music Hall, Seattle Art Gallery, Seattle Acquarium, and the Seattle Center. Outside you need a car, especially to visit Snoqulamie Falls, San Juan Islands, and Mt Rainier.
What’s the best way to take in the view of the city?
Space Needle during the day and dinner at night. Food is good (not the best in Seattle but respectable) but the 360 degree rotating restaurant and the spectacular vistas should not be missed. Pike Place Market: Seattle’s icon location for food, entertainment, gifts, handicrafts and a great view.
What are the top three eating spots (in your opinion)?
My favorite restaurants are, in no particular order, La Medusa, Place Pigalle and Space Needle SkyCity Restaurant. La Medusa for neighborhood cuisine – Sicilian cuisine that stays pretty close to authentic with a Seattle twist using the fresh produce, catch, and meats of the area. Place Pigalle for a romantic French experience – a waterfront view and excellent French fare. Space Needle SkyCity Restaurant has good food but the views are spectacular, even on a rainy day. There are many more but if you’re just visiting, these will give you a great experience
And the locals’ best kept secret?
There are two! Needle and Thread is a Speakeasy with good food and intimate atmosphere. Enter the speakeasy through a bank safe door in the back of Tavern Law Restaurant. Tell the bar tender what tastes you like, and they create a drink for you…no name just great taste. The food is brought up from Tavern Law – it’s respectable, but you’re not here for the food!
The other is Smith Tower Observatory Bar, the oldest ‘sky scraper’ in Seattle with quiet views and a great bar atmosphere.
What’s the most unusual or unique place to visit there?
In my opinion it is Tillicum Village by far. It will get you a fabulous water ride cross Puget Sound with a water view of Seattle, to Blake Island’s Tillicum Village ( a marine reserve). It’s a native American establishment with dinner and a show that will orient you to the native folklore of the region, and you end up with a very tasty fresh salmon dinner cooked by the native Americans in their tribal tradition, and finally a native American show that outlines all the characters in local folklore. If you’re still hungry, you can have another serving of salmon.
What led you to pursue a career in cosmetic surgery?
Cosmetic surgery is one of the last frontiers of independent medicine and allows me the freedom to take care of my patients without institutional interference (anyone who has worked in a hospital will know what I mean). I discovered this unique specialty when I serendipitously met my mentor, Dr. Richard Webster, at a conference in Hot Springs Arkansas. He was kind to all participants sharing his knowledge and wisdom freely. His enthusiasm for teaching was infectious and he inspired us to believe we could achieve his level of mastery by hard work, diligence and commitment. After 32 years of practice, I can only hope I did not disappoint him.
What’s been a career highlight for you?
My career highlight centers on being able to teach other surgeons my craft. In the Webster tradition, knowledge should be shared to improve the lives of the patients we care for and the surgeons who care for them. I have been chairman of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery Board Review Course for 15 years, President of the ISHRS, and now president of the World Academy of Cosmetic Surgery for the next 2 years and these positions help me share my expertise with my colleagues and it gives me the opportunity to learn from them.
My current passion is launching the Procedure Proficiency Program (P3) that is designed to teach surgeons procedure specific skills and that aligns with the WAOCS’ vision of teaching new skills to surgeons worldwide. And also promoting Sculpting for Surgeons, a program designed to give cosmetic surgeons artistic training, something completely lacking in our current core curriculums.
What’s your experience of practicing in Seattle?
Seattle is a highly educated and eclectic city accepting of all races, religion, gender and sexual orientation. A surgeon that builds trust among his/her patients will have long-term success here. For me, Seattle has been a fabulous city to live and work. Patients are understanding of my desire to teach the next generation of cosmetic surgeons and have embraced my cosmetic surgery fellowship training program. Work has developed into a passion and is no longer work but a way of life helping people achieve goals they could not achieve without a cosmetic surgeon. As such, my city is a part of me and I could not see myself living anywhere else while I’m still practicing.
What’s your experience of practicing in Seattle?What else would you like to add?
I have always been taught to think big but make the world better with everything you do. As president of the WAOCS, I have the opportunity to educate and improve the lives of patients and surgeons worldwide. I am on a mission to develop cosmetic surgery training in all different regions of the world and I have tentative agreements to host annual handson live surgery training programs in Australia, Europe, Thailand and the USA. I have verbal interests from Argentina and Mexico. My goal is expand the footprint of cosmetic surgery training to be worldwide and fill the vacuum training opportunities. Anyone desiring training or who is willing to teach others, are invited to join me.