Dr. Ghiassi is an orthopaedic surgeon at Keck Medicine of USC who specializes in hand and upper extremity surgery. Here’s what you won’t find on his resume:
He always wanted to be a doctor.
“My earliest memory is of my brother and I playing pretend in the backyard. He wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to be a doctor. We never took those games seriously, but somehow, 25 years later, this was our career path.”
The beach is his playground.
“Some of my best thinking is done when I’m sitting on my surf board in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Surfing clears my head of any clutter because I get to be away from the daily distractions of modern life.”
Family drives him to be great.
“My father sacrificed his life for us. He is tough and gentle at the same time. He is never afraid and almost always right. I have a wonderful 2-year-old daughter. She inspires me, but the hardest part of my day is making sure that she gets to bed on time. My family gives me a sense of drive and purpose. One day, I hope to achieve becoming a great father, then a great grandfather. My dream is to drive my family around the world in an RV. So far, our favorite camping destination is in Baja, California.”
His wife writes children books.
“Currently, I’m reading Niko’s Nifty Nowrouz, a children’s poetry book written by my wife about a boy’s excitement of the cultural celebration of the Persian New Year.”
He wants to change the world.
“If I could trade careers with anyone in the world, it would be with Dean Kamen. He is an inventor with a real sense of purpose in life. He has done a tremendous job in trying to solve the world water purity issue. I would recommend the documentary movie Slingshot for the full story behind his motivation.”
Bioengineering led him to becoming a doctor.
“Medicine is a life long process of learning and teaching. I chose this profession because I wanted to stay in school forever. I went to school for bioengineering. Medical school was a natural progression from that. Being able to apply my scientific background into real practical problems inspired me. Helping people with the use of my hands is such an incredible reward and a blessing. There really is no other profession like it. Sometimes, I just have to pinch myself to make sure that this is what I do.”
Hand surgery is where his heart is.
“We are at the beginning of a new era in medicine and it is an incredible feeling to be involved in the process. Prior to choosing what specialty to join, one of my mentors told me something that sticks to me until this day. He told me to practice medicine where I am needed. I have followed this advice throughout my career by treating patients at the VA West LA Hospital, followed by the LAC+USC Trauma Center where I have been practicing for the last 15 years. I truly enjoy both my private practice at USC and my work at the county trauma hospital. I want to improve the field of hand surgery. I want to improve the patient’s outcome and experiences they have with physicians. I have seen the impact of when patients have been able to improve and recover their function. Each year, there is always at least one patient that just completely amazes all of us.”
He is part of teams that are redefining medicine.
“One of the most influential advancements in my field is the advent of microsurgery. This allows us to repair blood vessels and nerves under a microscope. The next frontier will be composite tissue transplantation. The hope is that we will be able to merge biological systems with non-biological systems through tissue engineering. Our team has several ongoing projects in wrist biomechanics. This helps people who regain functionality after a wrist injury. I’m honored to be part of a team of world-class expert physicians in surgical treatment of complex medical problems that are humble in their pursuit of greatness.”