Meet a Specialist: David A. Shaye, M.D.
An early interest in the sciences, along with a strong desire to help people, originally inspired Dr. David Shaye to pursue a career in medicine. “Growing up, my parents were missionaries, and they devoted their professional lives to international development,” explains Dr. Shaye, a board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Mass. Eye and Ear. “I grew up overseas in Nepal, and was able to witness the profound impact that my parents’ work had on other people’s lives. I realized I wanted to devote my career to something similar.” He continues, “Medicine is a universal language. Whether I am treating a patient from Boston or someone from the other side of the world, the bond between patient and doctor is the same.“
At Mass. Eye and Ear, Dr. Shaye specializes in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, which allows him to use artistic and problem-solving skills to address aesthetic and reconstructive problems. He says, “Facial plastics is a specialty that demands creativity and art to be truly great. There is never one way to solve a patient’s problem; each patient must be treated as an individual, and all decisions need to be made with the utmost of care, since the face is such a complicated workspace. Aesthetic and reconstructive surgery are equally challenging – but the challenge is what makes my job so rewarding.”
Dr. Shaye treats patients at Mass. Eye and Ear for a variety of cosmetic and reconstructive issues. “I treat patients who want aesthetic surgery to attain a more youthful appearance that better reflects how they feel. This may include facelifts, neck lifts, rhinoplasty, brow and upper lid surgery. I also perform reconstructive surgery for patients who have suffered from trauma, require reconstruction after cancer and those who suffer from congenital deformities,” he explains. “These congenital problems could include cleft lip and palate, vascular malformations or microtia. I believe a facial plastic surgeon should have a strong foundation in both reconstructive and aesthetic principals to address any problem.”
Aside from practicing medicine, Dr. Shaye set his sights on contributing to the field of academic medicine, involving research and education. He has always been interested in furthering medicine through science and now, at Mass. Eye and Ear, by educating the next generation of surgeons as well. “To teach a subject is to truly know it, and working with residents here at Mass. Eye and Ear has been a wonderful experience,” Dr. Shaye notes.
“I often work in collaboration with other Mass. Eye and Ear surgeons to reconstruct a patient’s face. The collaboration truly benefits our patients, since they receive the expertise of multiple physicians who are each focused on a very specific part of their procedure.”
In addition to treating patients at Mass. Eye and Ear, Dr. Shaye devotes a significant amount of time to treating patients overseas in low and middle-income countries. He has worked in a number of countries in Africa, and most recently, taught surgery at a teaching hospital in Rwanda. “On some trips, I focused solely on providing patient care for a specific condition such as cleft lip and palate. My goal was to provide services for an unmet need for as many patients as possible,” Dr. Shaye says. “More recently, I have had the opportunity to provide surgical education to physicians in these countries while caring for patients. In Rwanda, I focus on teaching other surgeons, so that the benefit does not end with me operating on a patient, but continues throughout the local surgeon’s entire career,” he explains.
Dr. Shaye’s focus on global surgery, along with Mass. Eye and Ear’s excellent international reputation, have allowed him to connect with patients in many parts of the world. International patients can have a preliminary telecommunication interview with Dr. Shaye before making the trip to Mass. Eye and Ear. That way, Dr. Shaye can assemble a team of surgeons in advance, and discuss some of the preliminary questions with patients online. “The internet has really allowed me to foster effective relationships with my patients, whether I am meeting an international patient for the first time over Skype, or keeping in touch with local patients after surgery, via email. I am always thinking of my patients, and the fact that I can help them throughout their entire process is very rewarding.” Patients also find Dr. Shaye by word of mouth, through online research and through physician referrals.
Dr. Shaye concludes, “At the end of the day, my goal is to improve our patients’ quality of life. It is a pleasure to work at Mass. Eye and Ear, which is at the forefront of surgical innovation and medical treatment.”
Contact Dr. Shaye’s office at 617-573-3709.
View Dr. Shaye’s online bio for more information.