Interview with Dr. Rosemary Tung Chow and Grandaughter
Jennifer Disney, Ph.D
Rosemary Tung Chow was born in Beijing, China in 1919, the oldest of five children. In a country where females were discouraged to seek higher education, she graduated from the most prestigious medical school in China at the top of her class. In 1943, she married Thomas C. Chow, a surgeon, who also graduated from the same medical school in Peking. They survived the harsh conditions during the Japanese occupation and the turmoil of the war. After graduating, they were practicing in different provinces to aid those injured in the initial military struggles of China after World War II. After a call in the early evening in 1948, it was decided that she and her ill, month-old son would leave China that evening. Thomas was unable to leave with them at that time but joined them months later in Taiwan. They worked there for 15 years, specializing in tuberculosis control, assisting the World Health Organization teams in the prevention and control of tuberculosis. She served as the chief of the TB Control Center in Chiayee and Taichung, Taiwan. She completed a Diploma of Public Health at Singapore University in 1965. The two physicians and their family, which had increased to three children, moved to North Africa to assist in the public health program there. Her work at the hospital in Taiwan and North Africa provided her children, at an early age, an opportunity to see the need for all kinds of ministry. In order to provide her children a better education, she came to the United States, settling in Columbia, South Carolina, practicing as a specialist in tuberculosis with the State Park Hospital and the Department of Health and Environmental Control. She was very active in the sponsorship of many foreign students pursuing their education in the United States. She traveled throughout the state as a consulting pulmonary physician and retired at the age of 71. Her devotion to tuberculosis and pulmonary medicine with DHEC not only earned the respect from her colleagues and her community but also established a great model to her children and grandchildren.
Oral History | United States History | Women's History
Chow, Rosemary Tung, "Interview with Dr. Rosemary Tung Chow and Grandaughter" (2015). South Carolina Mother of the Year Oral History Archives. 9.