Where did you grow up?
In a little town called East Moriches, on the shore of Long Island. My mom is Chinese and my father is Caucasian. He was research scientist and my mother was a PR specialist at his laboratory. They were sort of hippie scientists.
Does being a mother influence how you work?
I was a mom before I ever practiced as a physician. It gives you a different perspective taking care of patients when you have children at home.
What are you proudest of in your career?
Early in my career I had a child who was born with cloacal exstrophy, where the bladder is open to the outside of the body and the rectum is coming out the front of the body. It requires a very complex surgery and her initial surgery out of state had failed. I tried to refer her to another institution for a revision surgery but they kept delaying—it was just too hard. I felt I had to do something for this family who had sacrificed so much. So I formed a consortium with other surgeons in the state of Connecticut and got my mentor from Seattle to come coach us. And it worked. Our collaboration has done a series of these surgeries now, with world-class outcomes.