Longtime Howell baby doctor retires

Question of the Day

Is it still considered bad form to talk politics during a social gathering?

View results

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) - Baby girls and boys dressed in pink, blue and green smile back through photographs at anyone who walks through the doors of Dr. Jung Wu’s Howell office.

The smiling, happy babies are just some of the estimated 5,000 to 6,000 babies the obstetrician/gynecologist has delivered in the 45 years since he graduated from medical school in Taiwan, according to the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus ( http://bit.ly/1m2MO6L ).

“I have been enriched … with all the people here and I will always be,” the doctor said, pausing as he got choked up and teary-eyed, “most grateful. I’m in good health and I’m 70 years old. It’s time (to retire).”

Wu, whose patients say he specializes in making his patients feel like family, announced his retirement through a personal letter sent to each patient. In the letter, Wu says it is time for him to spend time with his family and to “enjoy being a grandpa.”

“I have enjoyed caring for all of my wonderful patients,” said Wu, who closes his practice in Howell on June 20.

Patient Wendy Browe, who drives 30 minutes from her Bancroft home to see Wu, is sad he will retire. Wu delivered her children, 19 and 20 years ago.

“He’s been my doctor for half of my life,” Browe said. “He delivered both of my babies. I love him.”

Wu grew up in Taipei, the capital of the Republic of China, in the northern tip of Taiwan. As a boy, he dreamed of becoming an engineer, but when it was time to take his exam and declare his area of study, he opted for medicine.

The change, he said, came as his interests changed to biology and chemistry.

He delivered his first baby in 1968 as an intern. He graduated in 1969 with a medical degree from China Medicine University and began working as a doctor in Taipei’s city hospital.

At the time, Wu said, there was a spike in cervical cancer patients, which he and his fellow doctors felt could be detected earlier with pap smears. However, the culture at the time resisted pap smears, he said.

Wu decided in 1972 that he would come to the United States to learn more about cervical cancer treatments and take that knowledge back to his hometown.

He completed a one-year internship in Chicago before relocating to Detroit, where he spent four years honing his skills and learning more about being an OB/GYN. Going home, however, was out of the question due to political unrest, so Wu found a permanent home in Livingston County.

Wu, who is associated with Saint Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital in Howell, moved to his Byron Road office in 1984. He has seen the area grow and seen losses, including the 2010 decision by hospital officials to end the birthing center at the Howell hospital. That decision led Wu to stop delivering babies because he did not want to relocate to Washtenaw County and working at Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Superior Township.

Wu said he hopes the hospital continues to serve Livingston County and not cut additional services. He believes cutbacks would be a risk to community safety.

Story Continues →

View Entire Story

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks