What inspired you to go into medicine?
This all started with a very personal story. When I was 10, my father was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer and passed away three years later, despite our efforts to save his life. As a young boy, I witnessed the struggle of my family in getting the best medical care for my dad. We were in China back then. This was extremely frustrating, and sometimes humiliating, as all we were told was to stay at home and wait for him to die. This very personal experience motivated me and my older brother to pursue careers as physicians. We became the first two medical doctors in our extended family. Over the years, I have acquired empathy, sympathy and solid foundation to be a physician to serve everyone who needs medical care. The interactions with my patients and their families have provided me with enormous professional satisfaction. In addition, I feel extremely privileged to take care of all my patients and to deeply connect with them and their families.
To provide the best clinical care requires physicians to posses both solid medical knowledge and a deep understanding of medical research. After medical school, I earned my PhD in immunology. This professional experience has enabled me to better understand medicine and medical research, and has uniquely equipped me to better serve all my patients.
What do you do as a provider at MGHfC?
I am a pediatric gastroenterologist to take care of children of all ages with gastrointestinal problems. My clinical focus is gastrointestinal food allergies and food related gastrointestinal inflammation and illnesses, particularly allergic protocolitis (AP)/milk protein allergic colitis in infancy, food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGID) and mast cell activation disorder (MCAD). I sever as the clinical director of Food Allergy Center (FAC) at MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) and work side-by-side at the Food Allergy Clinic with Wayne Shreffler, MD, PhD, chief of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. I see patients at Food Allergy Center at MGHfC and MassGeneral for Children at Newton Wellesley Hospital. I personally perform all upper endoscopy and colonoscopy for my patients. I am also a research scientist and conduct clinical research projects at MGH FAC on allergic procolitis, EoE and FPIES.
What gives you the greatest joy in your profession?
Nothing could make me happier than seeing my patients get well with my care. The close interaction with my patients and their families and the journey we have endured together to get them well have provided me with unimaginable professional satisfaction. There are no words to precisely describe this professional joy that offsets all the stresses and long work hours in my profession. This has propelled me to strive for the highest professional standard and to offer the best possible, evidence-based and individualized care to all my patients, regardless their race, gender, age and social economic status. Every patient deserves equal care and same attention from me as their doctor!