Dr. Suzanne Yu
I was born in Shenyang, a large city in north-east China. My Father worked in politics, while my Mother was a medical doctor. During those turbulent times, my Father’s democratic enthusiastic political view did not align with China's status quo of the time, he was forced to resign from his governmental position during the Cultural Revolution. It was deeply traumatic for my Mother, 2 sisters, and myself to see our family was persecuted. Beloved Fava was tormented. Our whole family was exiled to a remote farm for “re-education” by the peasants. My Mother treated patients in the field with advanced medical problems who had never before seen by a doctor. As a preschooler, I did not comprehend our plight, and I dreamed of a good life ahead of me. Reality, however, became painfully clear when I started school. I was singled out as a bad child from a bad family by teachers and students who were falsely indoctrinated that my parents were traitors to China. I studied diligently and was always at the top of my class, but I was repeatedly denied recognition and awards. I especially loved the Arts and dreamed of becoming an artist. Before I was a teen, China began to normalize. Finally, the government overturned my Father's conviction, and we returned to our home. Dear Father was eventually exonerated of all “crimes,” but had passed away in his sleep a few months before the announcement. Unfortunately, Fava never got a chance to enjoy the return of his honor.
During high school, My mother was very concerned about my future. She knew I was passionate about Art, and also interested in medicine. She did not think that an artist, considering all we had been through, was suitable to my life, asked me to evaluate what course to take for my future. Observing her saving patients' lives, even under turbulent times, was a fulfilling experience. I decided to follow my Mother's footsteps and study medicine. Due to my high score on the entrance exams, at age 16, I entered the China Medical University. Like my Mother, I would come to love medicine, while my passion for art would always enmeshed into my life.
I had always dreamed of living a free and unencumbered life in America, and after obtaining my medical degree, my dream came true. I landed to the U.S. to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Clinical Nutrition and Oncology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Despite the additional burden of still not being fluent in English, within 3 1/2 years, I earned my doctorate and published 11 scientific articles in a number of international journals, on the role of antioxidants in cancer and cardiovascular disease. Despite my success in bio-research, I missed caring for patients as a physician.
I challenged myself once again to study extremely hard, and within a year, I passed all licensing exams, relocated to New York City to begin residency at NYU Medical Center. There, for the first time in my career, I experienced racial discrimination. My departmental chairman threatened me I could never become an American physician, even if I scored at the top of the class. To him, I would always be a stereotypical Asian woman. I was expected to be well-behaved, quiet, totally submissive to authority, and to never speak or ask questions. I felt déjà vu, similar to my childhood in exile on that remote farm, where I was unfairly shunned. But, as a survivor, I would not be disheartened. That one year of hardship taught me so much about my life, and how to channel my inner strength when challenged.
I was accepted to State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center to begin specialty training in Anesthesiology. For four years I worked at Kings County Hospital, a Level One trauma center, and at their affiliates, sub-specializing in pediatric and cardiac surgery. Awakening at 4 am and not getting home until 8 pm, saving lives with extreme medical conditions in a disadvantaged area, became part of my daily routine and lifestyle. Those trying years gave me strength and perseverance to become a better person and an accomplished doctor.
On finishing residency, I was recruited to be assistant professor in anesthesiology at New York Medical College, Metropolitan Hospital. I was found to be a well-liked and inspiring teacher of students and residents, and I was voted best teacher. I felt rewarded and proud. I envisioned becoming an entrepreneur and being my own boss. Despite realizing I would miss being a Teaching Physician, I left my position and started my own independent practice providing anesthesia care in non-hospital locations, throughout New York State, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Yonkers, Westchester, and Long island. Due to my hard work, my business grew quickly and became financially rewarding.
I have been always passionate about art--painting, singing, dancing--and through my arts connection, I met actor and producer, Kenny Simmons, who was looking for an investor. Our first collaboration was a documentary "PTSD-American Unsung Heroes." Being closely involved in this project, the creative process from beginning to end, and all the steps along the way, I became very interested investing in film projects. I subsequently encountered the opportunity for a P and A investment for "Above Suspicion," an Emilia Clark film, star of the Game of Thrones series. It is a very favorable investment, which provides a high return on capital and a senior position on the waterfall payments. I met with the biggest major producers you can meet, and was attracted to the opportunity to work as producer with Cloud Burst Entertainment on their new project, the "Comeback Trail," starring Academy Award winners Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, and Tommy Lee Jones. The completed film is to be released worldwide July 23. Next, I am an Executive Producer on The Mick and the Trick, directed by Tom DeNucci. Due to my long interest in artistic creativity, I was selected to act in a new film, Three's Company, Too, and future films. I am honored to be the first Asian-American woman featured and latest cover star of Show Biz Magazine. I hope my story inspires many others that they can fulfill their American dream through hard work and determination.