Julia Chang-Lin ('98)

Julia Chang-Lin ('98)

1. Please tell us a little about yourself!

I am a native New Yorker, first generation. I went to Wellesley and double majored in Biological Science and Chinese Studies. I graduated in 1981 and went straight to medical school at NYU School of Medicine.  

2. Why did you decide to become a Chinese studies major? How did it shape your experience at Wellesley?

My parents sent us to Chinese school to learn Mandarin. We had grown up speaking Cantonese at home. I love languages and especially wanted to study Mandarin to be able to speak, read, and write more. I enjoyed being a Chinese studies major- it was a good balance to my being a pre-med. 

3. What are you doing now?

I am an academic pediatrician in a city hospital- Bellevue Hospital in NYC. I take care of inner city patients, most of whom are immigrants. I also teach medical students from their first year on and Pediatric residents. I am currently a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at NYU School of Medicine.

4. How has your Wellesley experience and your major influenced your life/career after college?

Wellesley gave me the self-confidence to pursue my career in medicine as a pediatrician. Only 30% of my medical school class was female at that time. I was shy and quiet when I got to Wellesley, but I really felt supported enough to realize that I could do anything I wanted. By the time I graduated, I had no doubt that I could become a doctor. I use my language skills every day.  I did not know this would happen but my Chinese language skills have improved over time as well. I learn from my patients and those around me. I have also learned to speak Spanish- so I practice in 4 languages/dialects.

5. Fun facts!

On the personal side, I married my college sweetheart from MIT. We have 3 daughters. My oldest daughter went to Wellesley. My middle daughter went to MIT and is pursuing a PsyD from Stanford.  My youngest daughter is at Scripps College, also a women's college- she wanted to try the West Coast!