In a late afternoon of one fine day, we finally managed to meet with Pharm. Siripen Pansritum, CEO of Kamol Cosmetic Hospital, or better known as Khun Aom, and had a real conversation with her about her personal life and work at her beloved hospital. Once we spotted her walking around the lobby and reception area, we could tell right away that this elegant and smart lady was swamped with work. But, with her service-mind, she was kind enough to approach and greet us with the typical Thai salute gesture of ‘wai’ and a beaming smile. She apologized for the busy hour and invited us to sit and have a sip of welcome drink before the conversation kicked off. Khun Aom, (as we called her for short) explained that now she was working hard to get the hospital’s facilities expanded as well as to draw up an informational outreach for existing clients and those new bunches of patients to come in the future. Working directly with her husband, Dr. Kamol, who coordinates on plans to provide a broader access to the hospital facilities, Khun Aom expects to welcome more international patients who are looking for the best treatment and medical care of quality at Kamol Cosmetic Hospital. In a nutshell, this is just another typical day for her, working at full speed and creating a vision for the future.
Kamol Cosmetic Hospital, localed in Lad Praew 94, Bangkok, Thailand, is one of the world's most renowned centers for cosmetic surgery. It specializes in gender confirmation surgery, with about three out of every four gender confirmation surgery patients undergoing male to female surgery. And it has risen to this pinnacle effortlessly thanks to the veteran professional working woman like Siripen.
Easy-going yet professional, Siripen, refers to herself as the R&D part of the hospital. Her husband's skill and talent as a surgeon with innovative ideas, of course, has made the entire operation possible. But as in any true partnership, there is a mutual support system at play. Here, it is Siripen who manages everything on daily basis. She is the iron lady who stays behind the scenes supporting the operation team at the hospital and the newly opened serviced apartments, K Garden,deemed to be the next step in making a patients' stay during their recovery period safe and sound.
Looking behind the idea that Siripen is Kamol's R&D specialist, you will actually find something even more surprising and impressive. Research and Development, in fact, might be too constricting to describe what she does. This lady, always full of good energy, is also in charge of important decision making regarding the design of the hospital and all the various applications it could possibly has. You might think of her role as R&D, but it is herself who is at the helm of the architectural and interior design of the hospital. Her inspiration derives from the fact that she is a real globetrotter, roaming the biggest cosmopolitan cities of the world between Bangkok and Milan or as far as the South American financial hub like Sao Paolo. Of all the places she travels with her husband for business or simply on vacations, it is northern Italy where she enjoys the most, and that is because of the region's strong heritage in design industry. When you first see the hospital, you will understand how she has put her imprint on things. The building itself has a touch of a cool, modern atmosphere represented via artistic pieces of sculpture. With its curving forms and horizontal lines, in fact, it reminds us of the Streamline Moderne era. And its colors with white stone outlined in magenta, with turquoise windows, gives a maritime feel, which is also part of the Streamline Moderne beauty.
This impulse of creativity through design is not only limited to architecture. “I have a passion for design,” she says, “from interior spaces to my own clothing items.” Siripen also has made it a habit on her visits to Europe and Milan to seek out items for creating her own personal collection of fashion design. It's more than a hobby. It's a genuine artistic and creative outlet she always looks for. When roaming around through the markets, searching for fabrics and other materials, she selects not only innovative pieces but also the eye catchy ones.
Where does this creative streak come from? Everyone has their own talent, of course. But sometimes your surroundings contribute to your inspiration as well. Siripen originally comes from Nan, a northern province of Thailand. It is one of the country's most scenic and beautiful provinces. Mountains, mists, and streams, to name a few, give the region a romantic touch and ambience. For someone growing up in such a pristine nature, it must have made it easy for the artistic spirit to thrive.
However, back in the old days, for Siripen, education and a future career path had to be set as a priority. And that led her to pursue her higher education at the nearby Chiang Mai University, where the young Siripen enrolled in classes in Science Faculty. She graduated with a degree in pharmaceutical studies. Eventually, it was this major that guided her and set her en route to Bangkok, where she met her husband, then a general practitioner at Chulalongkorn University Hospital. Almost immediately, she “recognized Dr. Kamol's talents and wanted to support him and see him become successful.” In 1992, they decided to tie the knot and embark on a new journey. The couple started to work together, establishing their pattern of mutual reinforcement, support and cooperation that has lasted right until today. In 2003, they founded their clinic, today a major center for cosmetic surgery in Bangkok.
Siripen and Kamol have two children, a son and a daughter. Both grew up in Bangkok and like father like son, have careers related to medical business Familial life has always been important to the Pansritum family. It is something she believe in and which is ingrained in the family tradition. Everybody in the family has adopted the principles and core value of the family and sought to make it part of the organization and structure of the hospital. The medical staff and other physicians form a key part of their family-like hospital, and the way patients are treated is no different from that they treat the members of her own family.
Looking into the future, Siripen needs only two things. First, she want hospital to continue to grow and maintain its already high world class standards and that can be achieved through bringing in more qualified working people who are eager to work as a team to advance the science of gender confirmation surgery. Second, she seeks to further the cause and rights of transgender people to live their normal happy lives just like other people. Siripen believes strongly in the work she and her husband are doing.
As for herself, she will sustain the framework she now provides for her husband and his work. They will both continue to work hand in hand with other partners across the world, through conferences and panels on transgender surgical techniques. Siripen will absolutely be the ultimate support for Kamol, having his back to avail himself of more opportunities to help people, she believes, and “to perfect and achieve excellence in his surgical skills.”