We are pleased to announce a new member of our staff here at PSR-LA, Dr. Edward Chung, who is volunteering his time as a fulltime intern. He is a graduate of Brown University, both undergraduate and medical school, and completed an emergency medicine residency with Long Island Jewish Medical Center, affiliated with the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York City. Whether it is teaching children or raising money for the Boston to New York AIDS rides, Dr. Chung has always been involved in charitable causes, but there are two singular moments that spurred him on to become more active.
On December 7, 1993, Dr. Chung was home on break at college, when his mother picked up the phone and told him to turn on the TV right away. “Her face was blank, and I knew something was wrong” he says. A man armed with a Ruger P-89 pistol had entered a busy commuter train on the Long Island railroad that evening, and had started shooting. The counts started coming in: nineteen people injured, six people killed. Among the dead was a young woman who was a family friend. Her mother had called saying she had not come home. “She was a talented artist who would draw pictures for us around the holidays. Christmas was a little blue that year,” he says.
On September 11, 2001 Dr. Chung was working as an emergency medicine resident, in Manhattan. The details do not need to be told, but it was then that Dr. Chung decided to become directly involved in the community and the world…except New York had more pressing concerns. “I didn’t feel that it was the right time to be in New York anymore. The greatest need there was for stability and it wasn’t time for me to be shaking things up”, he said.
Dr. Chung is now working on projects ranging from training physicians on gun violence issues to spreading awareness on environmental hazards. In particular, he looks forward to meeting medical students and underscoring their wonderful opportunity as doctors, to speak out to the world on behalf of healing. But Dr. Chung still reserves a special sorrow for the victims of gun violence. “The explicit message is that guns are OK in this country…but in my years working in the ER, not once has a victim of gun-violence said that they would ever use a gun again?”