Dr. Madeline Chung was both the first Chinese Canadian and the first female obstetrician and gynecologist in British Columbia. Trained at the Yale-in-China Medical School in Hunan, China, she came to Canada shortly after the repeal of The Chinese Immigration Act, 1923 in order to intern in Victoria, British Columbia and Montreal, Quebec. After completing her education at the renowned Mayo Clinic in the United States, Dr. Chung permanently immigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia in the mid 1950s. A Vancouver bank denied a loan application to open her first practice, for fear that she would get pregnant and default on her loan. Despite this obstacle, Dr. Chung went on to establish a successful solo practice in Vancouver that served new immigrants and women of various ethno-cultural backgrounds. Over her busy forty-year career, Dr. Chung delivered a total of 6,530 children. At the time of the interview, she and her husband, Dr. Wallace Chung, continued to reside in Vancouver.
In this interview, Madeline Chung discusses why she chose medicine as a career and how she came to Canada to study. She chronicles the sequence of events that led her from Canada to the United States to train, then back to Canada again to settle and practice medicine. She also explains how she met her husband, Dr. Wallace Chung, while in Montreal, Quebec. She speaks about her first practice in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the discrimination she faced while trying to obtain a bank loan to establish the practice. Madeline emphasizes the importance of remaining on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week throughout her career. She talks about the impact of her busy work life, but