As a child growing up in China, Justin Chow, MD, spent a lot of time at the medical school where his parents worked. What he observed during that time inspired him to pursue a career in medicine–and, specifically, in medical education.
“I admired the professors spending all their lives teaching medical students and doing research,” said Chow, who is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine and Vice Chair of the Memorial Hospital Adult Hospitalist Group. “I am determined to follow in their footsteps.”
And he has. Today, Chow is Associate Director of Statewide Internal Medicine Clerkship and the Site Director of the Internal Medicine Clerkship on the South Bend campus. He said he appreciates the smaller class sizes in South Bend, which facilitates a better connection with his students and faculty colleagues.
Rakesh Mehta, MD, Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Medicine, said that Chow is an excellent advocate for his fellow regional campus site directors. “He fully understands the unique challenges they face as they educate our students,” he said of Chow.
Recently, Chow hosted the Day 2 Clerkship Orientation for the Northwest Indiana region, which is the only option for students outside of Indianapolis.
“This has significantly decreased the travel time for students in this area, including those located in South Bend, Northwest and Fort Wayne,” he said. Furthermore, he added that “the smaller class size and a much better preceptor/students ratio has improved students' satisfaction.”
In addition to this work, Chow provides Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) training to students in South Bend who are rotating at Memorial Hospital there. This kind of training opportunity is rare in community teaching hospitals without residency programs, he said.
Mehta commended Chow for the “incredible energy and enthusiasm he brings” to all he does. “He is an invaluable member of the Medicine Clerkship team,” Mehta said.
Outside of work, Chow is “a big soccer fan” whose favorite team is FC Barcelona. He also plays soccer himself two to three times a week, he said.
Additionally, he and his spouse have a daughter, who is in high school, and a son, who is currently working toward a PhD in artificial intelligence.
Reflecting on what inspired him to pursue medical education, he said that he initially entered medical school to fulfill his dream of saving lives. Focusing on medical education allows him to amplify that goal by “teaching many future physicians to save more lives.”
“Medical education has inspired me to continue to learn and, ultimately, to become a better doctor,” he said.