Cindy Hsu, M.D., Brings Her Passion for Primary Care to Miami

Cindy Hsu, M.D., is familiar with the daunting realities that keep some doctors away from primary care medicine. But the low reimbursement rates, hefty paperwork and other negatives have not diminished her zeal for caring for entire families.

“In Taiwan my dad was an internist and my mom was a pediatrician, and I really liked what they did,” says the Taiwan-born, Virginia-raised Hsu, who joined UHealth and the Miller School’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health on August 1. “I am finding the same joy now that I am a family doctor. I enjoy taking care of kids, I enjoy taking care of adults, and I like doing the simple office procedures. In family medicine you get to be a Jack-of-all-trades.’’

Hsu still misses the patients with whom she made a “great connection” during her nine years practicing in the San Francisco Bay area, where she landed after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. Some of them even followed her from her residency at San Jose-O’Connor Hospital, which is affiliated with Stanford University School of Medicine, to her practice at Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

“After taking care of them for a few years my patients became like friends,’’ says Hsu, whose own parents returned to Taiwan after educating their children in the states. “You remain professional, but you still develop a bond. You don’t worry about things like malpractice; you just do your best to take care of them.’’

Now, Hsu is adjusting to life in South Florida, and the UHealth practice in Kendall, by learning the local customs—such as the common kiss-on-the-check greetings—from her neighbors and diverse set of new patients. “I have been learning from the Cubans that it’s done differently here, not like the French,’’ says Hsu, who is more accustomed to shaking hands.

Sharing the new Florida adventure with Hsu is her 2-year-old daughter and husband Daniel Chao, M.D., Ph.D., who initiated their cross-country move when he was accepted into the prestigious residency program at UM’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Though Hsu was reluctant to leave her California patients, she knew that Miami, like most of the country, would welcome another much-needed primary care physician.

She has not been disappointed. After all, she followed her parents into medicine not only because she saw the joy it brought them, and not only because she was good at science, but “because the power of healing has a mysterious draw.”

Motivated by her strong commitment to both compassion and efficiency, Hsu became an expert at using the Epic electronic medical record system, which was installed in her California practice. She believes UHealth’s version, dubbed UChart, holds enormous potential to improve patient care.

“The new things I am discovering in Miami are allowing me to broaden my perspective on life,” Hsu says. “What hasn’t changed is my commitment to primary care and my desire to care for patients to the best of my ability.”

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