Christina Hsing, Ellen Tan
The rising of Asian hate crimes and violent incidents has become a serious issue ever since COVID-19 hit the globe last year. On March 19 of 2021, mass shootings occurred at three spas in Atlanta, US. Out of the 8 tragic deaths, 6 victims are Asian women. From this incident, politicians, celebrities, and the public around the world have been offering their condolences while protestors continue to express their anger and disappointment. Racism has reached its peak in this tense time.
"Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization." -- Mahatma Ghandi
In the remembrance of the victims of the Asian community, BioTEC’s Original Content is introducing the first Chinese American female doctor, Margaret Chung.
Margaret's Journey to Studying Medicine
Margaret was born in California, 1889. As the eldest child, she took the responsibility of taking care of her 10 siblings, as well as supporting the family while her parents were sick at a very young age.
With determination, passion, and commitment, Margaret got into the University of Southern California Medical School. She was able to support her studies by winning scholarships and prizes from speech contests, working as a waitress, and selling surgical instruments.
"Women of every nation, every country, should learn medicine, so that they can teach the women of their countries and their races how to care for themselves and their children—how to improve the coming generation." -- Margaret Chung
Career, Relations, and Contributions
After completing her internship in Illinois, Margaret served at the Santa Fe Railroad Hospital, where she later worked and treated many Hollywood celebrities. Afterwards, she moved to San Francisco and founded the first Western clinic in Chinatown in 1922.
Margaret delivered warmth to all and developed close connections with her patients, earning her the name of "Mom Chung". During the war, more than 1,500 military sons were fortunate to receive the love and care of Mom Chung.
Later during Japan’s invasion in China, Margaret volunteered as a frontline surgeon, serving people on Thanksgiving and Christmas. As part of her contributions, she assisted in establishing Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service and promoted U.S-Chinese relations.
As Lin-Manuel Miranda said:
“We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger
We rise and fall, and light from dying embers
Remembrances that hope and love last longer
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love
Cannot be killed or swept aside”
Margaret dedicated her life to medicine and helping people in all forms, proving that there are no cultural or racial barriers in showing kindness to the world. Let us conquer the hate and replace that with understanding and love.
“Chinese American Was 'Mom' to 1,000 Servicemen.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 24 June 2001, www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2001-jun-24-me-14223-story.html.
“West Adams Heritage Association: in Historic West Adams, Los Angeles, California.” West Adams Heritage Association | in Historic West Adams, Los Angeles, California, www.westadamsheritage.org/read/473.