Esther Choo

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Esther Choo
Esther Choo at Medicine 2.0'12 (cropped).jpg
Choo at the World Congress on Internet in Health and Medicine in 2012
Alma materYale College

Yale University

Oregon Health & Science University
Scientific career
InstitutionsOregon Health & Science University
Alpert Medical School

Esther Choo is an emergency physician and professor at the Oregon Health & Science University. She is a popular science communicator who has used social media to talk about racism and sexism in healthcare. She was the president of the Academy of Women in Academic Emergency Medicine and is a member of the American Association of Women Emergency Physicians.

Early life[edit]

Choo grew up in Cleveland.[1] Her parents emigrated from Korea in the 1960s.[2] She graduated in 1994 with a degree in English from Yale College.[3] She was an intern at The Plain Dealer, a newspaper in Cleveland.[4] She earned a medical degree at Yale University in 2001.[1] She was a resident at Boston Medical Center.[1] In 2009 she returned for further training, earning a Master's in Public Health at Oregon Health & Science University.[5]


Choo completed her emergency medicine residency at Boston Medical Center,[1] did a health services research fellowship at Oregon Health & Science University, and later became an associate professor at the Alpert Medical School. She won the 2012 Outstanding Physician Award from the University Emergency Medicine Foundation,[6] the SAEM Young Investigator Award,[5] and the OHSU Emerging Leader Award [7] Since 2016 she has been an associate professor at Oregon Health & Science University Hospital.[8] Her research interests include developing effective interventions for women who experience partner violence and substance misuse.[8] In 2018 she was the co-founder of Equity Quotient,[9] a start-up which monitors and addresses equity culture in healthcare organizations.[3] She was named a full professor at OHSU in 2020, partially as a result of her social justice activism and advocacy.


She is an advocate for more multiculturalism, gender parity and diversity in medicine, often praising women's doctors.[10] She has written for the blog FemInEM, a resource for women in emergency medicine.[11] Choo was President of the Academy for Women in Academic Emergency Medicine.[12] She was a leader of the Division of Women's Health in Emergency Care at Alpert Medical School,[5] and is President of the non-profit Gender Equity Research Group.

She started a conversation about racism in medicine on Twitter after the August 12 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.[2]

@choo_ek: 1/ We've got a lot of white nationalists in Oregon. So a few times a year, a patient in the ER refuses treatment from me because of my race.[13]

The tweet was shared by 25,000 people, including Chelsea Clinton.[14] She appeared on CNN and other news channels.[15][16][17] Choo has written for HuffPost[18] NBC THINK,[19] and Self magazine.[20] She started a second viral tweet series in July 2018, when she asked "I'm going to write a book called, "Is It Gender Bias, Or Do I Just Suck?" Preview in the posts, below.".[21][22] During the COVID pandemic, she appeared regularly on national cable news[23].


  1. ^ a b c d "Portland doctor Esther Choo responds to racism in the emergency room (Column)". Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  2. ^ a b "Prejudice in the emergency room | Yale School of Medicine". Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  3. ^ a b Chen, Grace (2018-01-28). "Alumni Profile: Esther Choo (JE '94, MD '01)". Yale Scientific Magazine. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  4. ^ "An emergency medicine physician tells Moneyish how women in her field get treated differently". Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  5. ^ a b c "SAEM Past Award Winners". Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  6. ^ "Faculty Directory | Emergency Medicine | OHSU". Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  7. ^ "Creating change by engaging communities". Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  8. ^ a b "Division of Women's Health in Emergency Care | Department of Emergency Medicine". Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  9. ^ "Equity Quotient". Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  10. ^ "Interview with Esther Choo: "You can advocate as a 'regular person' doctor"". Oregon Health & Science University. Archived from the original on 2018-11-22. Retrieved 2020-06-08.
  11. ^ "Esther Choo, MD, MPH, Author at FemInEM". FemInEM. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  12. ^ "AWAEM: Academy for Women in Academic Emergency Medicine - Society for Academic Emergency Medicine". Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  13. ^ "Esther Choo, MD MPH on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  14. ^ "Asian American doctor: White nationalist patients refused my care over race". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  15. ^ Staff, KATU. "OHSU doctor speaks about racism she faces from hospital patients". WJLA. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  16. ^ "'I don't get angry or upset, just incredulous'". NewsComAu. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  17. ^ King, Alexandra. "Doctor: Some patients refuse care over race". CNN. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  18. ^ "Esther Choo, MD MPH | HuffPost". Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  19. ^ "The James Marion Sims problem: How doctors can avoid whitewashing medicine's racist history". Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  20. ^ "Why Are More Women Ending Up in the ER for Alcohol-Related Causes?". Retrieved 2018-10-08.
  21. ^ ""Is it gender bias, or do I just suck?": A doctor's Twitter thread goes viral". Quartz at Work. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  22. ^ "Esther Choo, MD MPH on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  23. ^ "Doctors, nurses are alerting the public through social media". Retrieved 2020-06-06.