Pauline Chen

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Pauline W. Chen (born 1964),[1] is a Taiwanese American surgeon, author, and New York Times columnist. She is known for her 2007 book Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality[2] as well as her online column "Doctor and Patient". She is also the recipient of numerous awards including the UCLA Outstanding Physician of the Year Award in 1999[3][4] and the George Longstreth Humanness Award at Yale for most exemplifying empathy, kindness, and care in an age of advancing technology.

Her parents are immigrants from Taiwan.[5]

Education and training[edit]

Chen graduated from The Loomis Chaffee School, then attended Harvard University and the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She completed her general surgical training at Yale University, the National Cancer Institute, and UCLA. She was appointed faculty at UCLA, specializing in liver and kidney transplants and the treatment of cancer.[citation needed]

View on end-of-life care[edit]

Through her practice as a transplant surgeon and her experiences of dealing with terminally ill patients, Dr. Chen came to understand that, commonly, doctors consider a patient's death as a sign of imperfect care and thus a personal failure. And doctors hate to fail. Doctors strive to combat their patients’ sicknesses, but if the battle starts to become a losing one then doctors do not prepare their patients for inevitable death. Instead, the battle for life and denial of death continues with the frequent result that many patients die in a hospital's Intensive Care Unit while undergoing painful treatment rather than at home with pain-management and in peace. Dr. Chen wants to change this practice.[6]


  1. ^ Listing for Final Exam. WorldCat. OCLC 70259082. Retrieved 2012-01-01. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Final Exam by Pauline Chen - Book - eBook". Random House. Retrieved 2012-09-12. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Pauline W. Chen Author Bookshelf - Random House - Books - Audiobooks - Ebooks". Random House. Retrieved 2012-09-12. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Mehegan, David. "The doctor and death." 'Boston Globe' 27 Mar 2007.
  5. ^ Grimes, William (2007-01-10). "Doctor Confronts the Human Drama's Inevitable Finale". The New York Times.
  6. ^

External links[edit]