Just 6 and 8 when they came to the U.S., they knew medicine was in their future
The journey to becoming neurosurgeons may have been difﬁcult for brothers Mayshan Ghiassi M.D., and Mahan Ghiassi, M.D., but it made them who they are today and proud to share their story of success.
The pair were born in Iran. Persecuted for their religious beliefs, the Ghiassi family ﬂed the country for Pakistan.
“Believers of the Baha’i faith are not allowed to earn an education in Iran,” Dr. Mahan Ghiassi said. “Given that our parents greatly value the importance of education, they felt there was no future for us in Iran.”
Life wasn’t easy, but they made the best of the year they spent in Pakistan before receiving a sponsorship to come to Nashville, Tennessee. The brothers were 6 and 8 when they emigrated.
“I remember my father ﬁnding work at a salvage yard on the second day after arriving in the U.S. despite not being able to speak any English,” Dr. Mahan Ghiassi said. “Now that I have kids of my own, I more fully appreciate the sacriﬁces my parents made for us to have an opportunity for a productive and fruitful life.”
Even at an early age, both knew their futures would involve medicine.
Making time for work and family
“I was always fascinated by doctors,” Dr. Mayshan Ghiassi said. “Being able to positively impact the
lives of people really inspired me to become an endovascular neurosurgeon.”
The brothers join Shervin R. Dashti, M.D., Ph.D., and Tom L. Yao, M.D., co-directors of the cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgery program at Norton Neuroscience Institute. Teaming up with Norton Neuroscience Institute and a Comprehensive Stroke Center-certiﬁed hospital factored into the two neurosurgeons’ decision to move to Louisville.
“Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. It is more concentrated in southern states, often referred to as the Stroke Belt,” Dr. Mahan Ghiassi said. “We are passionate about cerebrovascular care and ensuring communities in the South have access to advanced stroke care.”
“By joining the elite cerebrovascular neurosurgeons already here, we will be able to further advance much-needed stroke care in the region,” Dr. Mayshan Ghiassi said.
The two completed their medical training together and have worked together ever since. The brothers admit they don’t spend much time apart, especially since most endovascular surgeries require two physicians. But they don’t seem to mind.
“We are both so proud of one another and the accomplishments we have made,” Dr. Mayshan Ghiassi said.
The Ghiassi brothers have moved to Louisville with their wives, children and parents. Work/life balance is important to the physicians and their spouses. Their off time is reserved for family — but they do manage to ﬁnd a little time to tinker on cars in the garage, together.