Margaret Chen, MD
Obstetrics and Gynecology Board Certified
Margaret’s (Margie’s) parents met on a ship going to the US from China. Her dad was coming for his master’s degree and her mother was on her way to college. Margie grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, attending public schools before moving to Wisconsin for her senior year of high school.
Margie says that education is very important in Chinese families. “I liked going to school and loved science and math and thought briefly about becoming a teacher or librarian. However, when I was growing up there were several medical series on TV that I loved watching (Dr. Kildare and Ben Casey). This led me to think about a career in nursing that ultimately became an interest in becoming a physician.” Margie knew from the time she was in the 5th grade that her goal was to become a doctor.
She entered the University of Wisconsin as a premed. Margie found the premed track to be extremely intense and competitive. “I considered changing my course of study to Chinese, but my mother encouraged me to remain in medicine.” She then attended the Medical College of Wisconsin. Having chosen Obstetrics and Gynecology as her specialty, she went for her internship at Tuft’s New England Medical School in Boston. She finished her last 3 years of residency at UCSF in San Francisco.
Margie now practices general obstetrics and gynecology in private practice in San Francisco. This involves seeing women through their lifespan of different medical issues: contraception, pregnancy, cancer screening, health maintenance and menopause. She is on call several times a week, responsible for emergencies and delivering babies. There are 3 doctors in the practice which allows a 4 day work week and sharing call, call being a 24 hour shift.
Margie says, “The biggest work related challenge is balancing my family, my job and having time for my own interests. Being married to an MD who understands the demands of the job makes life a lot easier and having a nanny that you trust.”
Margie says the most rewarding and enjoyable part of her 27 years of practice is developing a long term relationship with her patients. She gets to share and gets to know their lives and families. Many of the babies she has delivered are now her patients.
She feels the keys to success in this field are a love of science, being willing to delay gratification, being very organized, disciplined, being curious and liking people.
When she has free time, Margie loves to knit, bike and spin, go to yoga, explore new restaurants and plan the next trip. She religiously goes to the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market and then likes to cook for friends. She spends as much time with her daughters as they will allow. She is very interested in finding a healthy balance in life.
Her favorite TV show is “In Treatment” an HBO series about a tormented therapist and his patients. Each evening is a different patient session with the last night his own session with his therapist.