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El Paso Children’s Hospital specialist is a superhero surgeon

EL PASO, Texas - Dr. Shawn Diamond has only lived in El Paso for a year and a half, but in that time, he has already helped start and build the only Brachial Plexus Birth Injury Center in El Paso. Dr. Diamond, who is employed by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center-El Paso, is trained as a plastic surgeon who specializes in hands and extremities microsurgery. He does a lot of work with children and some adults who may have been born with extra fingers, have nerve issues, mobility problems, need skin grafts, and more.

When Dr. Diamond first came to El Paso, he only had one patient. Now, he has performed numerous surgeries on patients on both sides of the border.

Dr. Diamond stated, "there's no real specialist like me [in El Paso], and so having the opportunity to come here and practice the way I want to practice, and take care of kids and adults who wouldn't otherwise have a robust option and oftentimes would have to travel out of town to receive care and treatment so a lot of that brought me here, to keep care in El Paso, make it super high quality and as good as any place in the country."

He is precisely the type of specialist the El Paso Children's Hospital vowed to attract when it opened a decade ago, on February 14, 2012. Its partnership with TTUHSC-El Paso makes it all possible.

Dr. Diamond's work is changing lives.

"You really can take someone who can't go back to their job, or can't play their instrument, or a sport that they love, and fix them, and they go back to doing the things they love and are just happy," he said. It's my favorite thing to be able to see a patient back, and they're happy, and they're living their life and doing the things they want to do."

He even has made his way across the border, along with other doctors, to help practice medicine in an affordable way in Ciudad Juarez. He goes about once every month to treat Mexican patients.

Dr. Diamond recently started an Instagram page where he posts before-and-after pictures from his surgeries, real-life surgery photos, and even some family snapshots from time to time. He says it's a way for people to be informed about what can be done to help their issues, and he's becoming quite creative with it. You can find his Instagram account, @DrDiamondPlasticSurgery, here.

The doctor began his education at UCLA actually for an art degree. "There's a lot of interconnection between art and plastic surgery," Dr. Diamond said. He then went to Cornell for medical school and trained with a Harvard program at the Boston Mass General and Brigham Women's Hospital. After medical school, he trained for nine more years.

"I was a kindergartener in medical school, and it took 20 full years to finish the process so it takes a long time," he said.

The El Paso Physicians magazine featured him on the cover of Volume 44 Number 4. Along with an interview aimed at the medical community, the magazine contained a TTUHSC-El Paso ad showcased Dr. Diamond as a "Texas Tech Superhero" -- a comic strip-like character wearing a flowing white cape and red superhero gloves.

"They made me into a superhero which is crazy, because I don't think of myself as a superhero at all! There is kind of like a Clark Kent moment when a surgeon goes from this," he said pointing at his suit, "to putting on the scrubs- which I make fun of on my Instagram. But it's really sweet, and it's obviously really heartwarming and very motivating to feel appreciated for the hard work we are doing."

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Katie Frazier

Katie Frazier is an ABC-7 meteorologist.


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