Rebecca S. Sawai, MD
I speak: English
My gender: Female
Where I practice
I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and grew up there and near Portland, Oregon. After enduring Minnesota winters, the idea of never having to shovel snow again was pretty appealing and provided the initial push to consider working in Hawaii. Once I met my colleagues in our medical group, I knew I had made the right decision in moving here.
About my practice
Medicine allows me to combine my interest in science (having majored in chemistry in college) with the opportunity to work with people. I chose to specialize in general surgery when I observed my first appendectomy procedure as a medical student, and saw how immediately pain could be relieved with a relatively simple intervention. I specialized in colon and rectal surgery because I find it particularly satisfying to treat colorectal cancer, a disease in which surgery can make a big difference in patients’ lives. The Hawaii Permanente Medical Group (HPMG) has a great group of physicians who all work together to help our patients become, and stay, well. It takes a whole group of providers to care for patients.In addition to being a fellow of the Mayo Clinic, I am a member of the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, the Pacific Coast Surgical Association, and the Northwest Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. I also serve as the director of surgical education at our Moanalua Medical Center.In 2010, I presented at HPMG’s grand rounds on rectal cancer. My most recent publication was “Management of Colonic Obstruction: A Review” for Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery in 2012.
How I thrive
In my free time, I jog, cycle, and play the violin in a community orchestra. I also enjoy taking my dogs for walks.