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I was born in Singapore, grew up in Indonesia and Taiwan, and spent the rest of my childhood in Vancouver, Canada. My family members have been a strong and positive influence on my life. My father was the Chairman of China Steel Corporation, but he always put his family first instead of work. My mother was an engineer, unusual for a woman of her generation. She instilled in me the values of having a diligent work ethic, perseverance, and always doing my best. My grandmother taught me to love nature and to care for all creatures.
I attended the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia for my medical education and completed my general surgery internship and residency at the University of California, Irvine. I underwent additional postgraduate training as a visiting professor at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. Prior to coming to Hawaii, I held the position of Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of California, Irvine’s School of Medicine, where I taught medical students and trained surgical residents for 20 years.
Although several of my immediate family members are engineers, I preferred the softer side of science, interacting with people instead of machines. My decision to enter medicine resulted from my love of biology and a deep desire to care for people. Still, there must’ve been some influence of the family "engineering gene” that led to my decision to become a surgeon, which gives me an opportunity to work with my hands and is both physically and mentally demanding.
I’ve spoken at many breast cancer conferences, survivor groups meetings, grand rounds, and scientific meetings, both nationally and internationally, and have published numerous papers in journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, Annals of Surgery, and Breast Cancer Research. Most of my NIH-funded research projects have focused on developing new treatment protocols for breast cancer. My specialized research included working with the Beckman Laser institute on the development of a laser-based breast scanner.
To stay current in medicine, I attend professional meetings and consult with colleagues nationwide. I also benefit from my memberships in the American College of Surgeons, the Pacific Coast Surgical Association, SWOG (formerly Southwest Oncology Group), and the American Society of Breast Surgeons, all of which are educational professional organizations.
My older brother has been a family practice physician at Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSC) for more than 20 years. I was delighted to join the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group and believe that I have a meaningful part to play in supporting the breast cancer and melanoma programs here.
It’s critically important that my patients trust me and feel comfortable being honest about their needs. I believe in doing my utmost to care for my patients both physically and emotionally. My role is to provide information and then help guide patients to their own decisions about their care. I’m an eternal optimist, and I strive to affect everyone in a positive way.
I try to eat a balanced diet, do some form of exercise every day, and relax my mind whenever I can. Talking to friends, watching movies, dining out, and learning new hobbies all help me to recharge.