As the medical director of one of the biggest burn treatment centers west of the Mississippi, Clyde Ikeda admits he’s seen many heartbreaking cases, but for him, doing nothing to help those patients would be much worse than any of the distressing scenes he’s witnessed in his career.
"With burn victims it’s not just physical pain, but a lot of emotional pain as well, so it can be very difficult to see patients in so much suffering," said Ikeda, the head practitioner at the Bothin Burn Center at St. Francis Hospital. "But I think it would be worse to be a bystander, and not help at all."
Ikeda has been practicing plastic and reconstructive surgery for more than 20 years, and after a six-year absence as the medical director at Bothin, he is once again chief of staff. Ikeda was originally named director of the center in 1991, but in 2001 he elected to reduce his role to focus more on his private practice, where he specializes in plastic surgery. After thedirector that succeeded him, James Macho, stepped down from his position recently, Ikeda decided it was once again time to lead the center.
"I knew they were going to need a little more help, so it was pretty natural to come back," said Ikeda, who resides in San Francisco.
Ikeda’s reappointment to the medical director position comes at a noteworthy time for Bothin Burn Center. While many other Bay Area burn facilities are closing down or consolidating their practices, Bothin is celebrating its 40th anniversary by expanding their center to include four new inpatient beds.
Ikeda said the addition of the beds is crucial for a facility that frequently house patients for extended periods of times, sometimes for as long as several months.
With the obligations of a full-time private practice combined with his duties as the director of the Bothin facility, Ikeda has an admittedly packed schedule. Whenever he’s fortunate enough to get a break, he says he thankfully opts to spend time with his three children, Caroline, age 7, Paul, 5, and Katherine, 3, and his wife, Lisa.
"Being with my family is my main hobby," said Ikeda, who is also an associate professor at UCSF. "And with three young kids in the house, you certainly get greeted with a lot of energy."
New project: My plastic and reconstructive surgery private practice and being the medical director at the Bothin Burn Center
Last project: Operating the Hospital de la Familia, a hospital for native Indians in Guatemala
Number of e-mails a day: 10-20
Best perk: Independence
Education: B.A., Binghamton University; M.D., New York Medical College.
Lastconference: Stanford Review Course for Plastic Surgeons
First job: Clerk for Nippon Express Co. in New York City
Original aspiration: A journalist
Career objective: Be a good father and husband.
Details: I love sushi
Hometown: Kobe, Japan
Sports/hobbies: Reading, kendo (the art of Japanese sword-fighting)
Transportation: 1991 Porsche Boxster
Favorite restaurant: Oyagi on California Street
Computer: Dell laptop
Vacation spot: Lake of the Pines
Role Model: My father
Reading: Alan Greenspan’s "Age of Turbulence"
Worst fear: Any of my family members becoming ill
Motivation: My family