Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Month - A Profile on Elizabeth Chou, MD

May 29, 2024

Elizabeth Chou, MD, a specialist in vascular surgery, brings a unique blend of precision and compassion to her practice. Her standout feature is her deep understanding and respect for her patients' diverse backgrounds. As an Assistant Professor of Vascular Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Smidt Heart Institute, she shares her journey of cultural empathy and personalized patient care, a path that has distinguished her in the medical community. 

Elizabeth Chou, MD

"In vascular surgery, we tailor care to our patients, their desires in quality and quantity of life, respecting the patient, their family and their culture, which all inseparably factor into patient wishes and outcomes," said Chou.

“My parents immigrated from China when I was a young child, and my grandmother and I joined them in the U.S. later. My grandmother had a huge role in my upbringing as a child, as my parents worked multiple jobs to support our family.” Chou's childhood memories intertwine with her professional career as a surgeon as she recalls the simple yet profound moments she spent with her grandmother, going on post-dinner walks, taking breaks during the walk, and then resuming. Later, Chou realized those walks helped her grandmother’s claudication, as well as their bond. These walks became cherished memories, amongst many from her personal experiences, that help guide empathetic care.

"Our different backgrounds and perspectives are a necessity and strength in a team approach to patient care, communication and treatment," she emphasizes. Her dedication to understanding her patients' points of view, values and cultural nuances underscores her belief that effective healthcare transcends medical expertise alone.

"The privilege of caring for patients and families and understanding their points of view, values and culture, whether they be similar or different than my own, is one of the many highlights of being a vascular surgeon," said Chou. Her words echo the sentiment that true healing extends beyond physical ailments to emotional and cultural well-being.

This Asian American and Pacific Islander Month (AAPI), the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) Foundation celebrates Dr. Chou's dedication to patient-centered care and her unwavering commitment to embracing diversity within the medical field.

"The SVS Foundation features the diversity of SVS members, which increasingly reflects the diversity of our patients and the beautiful complexity of providing comprehensive vascular care, which ultimately requires a candid understanding of what contributes to our values and our patient's values," said Chou.

Chou Lunar New Year
Eliabeth Chou celebrates the Lunar New Year with her family.

When you donate to the SVS Foundation, you support Voices of Vascular's important work in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Learn more and make your gift today.  

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