In July, when Dr. Theo Nyame was named 2020 Top Doctor Award winner by Charlotte Magazine, that was not the first major achievement of the Ghanaian-born plastic surgeon changing lives in Charlotte and across the world.
The Harvard trained board-certified plastic surgeon specializing in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery had to work his way up to become one of the most highly rated plastic surgeons in America.
Born in Ghana, Nyame was eight years old when his family relocated to the Bronx, New York for better opportunities. “So my brother and I were born in Ghana, West Africa in a small village. When I was about eight years old, my parents brought our family to the United States. We grew up in the South Bronx. From there, we began our educational accomplishments,” Nyame told Face2Face Africa.
Determined to make it in life in spite of the difficulties, Nyame and his brother, Kwasi, took their studies seriously and today both are now exceptionally doing well in the field of surgery. Nyame received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University where he majored in Chemistry and Chemical Biology. He graduated at the top of his class with distinction in all subjects.
He then went to the Harvard Medical School for his medical studies and it was while there that he discovered his true passion for reconstructive plastic surgery having been outstanding in the surgical specialties. Thus, from Harvard Medical School, Nyame became one of three selected out of hundreds of applicants to train in plastic surgery at the Harvard Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Program. Nyame would then obtain his Research Fellowship through the Harvard Medical School Pfiffer Fellow, and subsequently travel to Australia for his Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship at Gold Coast University Hospital, Queensland, Australia.
Since then, Nyame, who works at Charlotte Plastic Surgery, has been offering his medical skills to transform lives not only in the Charlotte area but also to various hospitals around the world. In 2015, he was selected as a member of the team to perform a full face transplant surgery in the United States, a groundbreaking procedure in the industry.
“I’ve traveled the world and I’ve been very fortunate to participate in a number of very interesting opportunities…so my cultural background has really shaped the way I look at everything,” Nyame said.
The well-known and highly-trained plastic surgeon has so far traveled across the world lecturing at meetings and sharing his medical knowledge with colleagues in the plastic surgery field. A member of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Nyame has also received scores of professional and regional awards including the surgical teaching award, the Linnane Scholar for Academic excellence and community leadership, and the Hollis L. Albright, ’31 Scholar awards from the Harvard Medical School.
Nyame, who is a published author of both medical peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, was also recently named among 30 distinguished African-American business leaders and professionals at the inaugural 30 Black Stars Conference and Awards in Houston, TX. Launched in 2019 by Face2Face Africa, the 30 Black Stars Conference and Awards honors Black achievers for their outstanding contributions to the world of business and their overall impact in their communities and on the U.S. economy.
“For a long time, the achievements of African Americans and people of color have essentially been minimized,” said Nyame. “So in this era, it’s great to have a platform and a voice where those of us who have been able to achieve usually by climbing on the shoulders of those who came before us have a platform where we can show our accomplishments.”
At the moment, more than 42.4 million immigrants live in the United States to pursue opportunities and dreams. Many of these immigrants believe in the American Dream and are optimistic about achieving it despite the political climate and threats they face almost every day. Nyame is already living that dream and in spite of all his accolades, his proudest moment was seeing his brother graduate as a practicing neurosurgeon.
“My proudest moment has nothing to do with me but probably with my brother. My brother is a practicing neurosurgeon. When we first came to this country, we didn’t speak any English so we started off in the South Bronx and through our hard work and self-belief, we have been able to achieve a lot,” he said.
There is more in the following video: