Growing up in California, helping children and families has always been one of Cynthia Chow’s life goals. In fact, she knew she wanted to be a pediatrician since she was six years old. She spent much of her teenage years working with children, tutoring them academically and working as a dance instructor at a dance studio.
It was as a dance instructor in high school that Chow found her passion for working with children with special needs. She worked with children with disabilities closely in the dance studio and saw amazing things happen when she was able to devote time and energy with them directly.
“Special needs kids are so underserved,” Chow said. “They require the best advocates, but I’ve found that when given the support they need, they can absolutely flourish.”
To pursue her calling to care for children of all shapes, sizes and abilities, Chow earned her Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) degree in Arizona before moving to Columbia for her residency at the University of Missouri. As a part of her residency, Chow served a rotation in the Thompson Center medical clinic, treating the medical needs of patients with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
After completing her residency, Chow, who’s husband is a medical doctor who cares for patients at the University of Missouri Hospital, was hired full-time by MU Health Care to serve as a pediatrician. Chow splits her duties between the Thompson Center and the South Providence Medical Center in Columbia. She says this work flow, along with the Thompson Center’s family-first dynamic, allows her to spend more time with her patients.
“Being a DO really allows me the opportunity to hone in on the details, the little things that might make a big difference in the health and quality of life of the children and their families,” Chow said. “Working at the Thompson Center allows me to bring in hope and perspective to the equation. This allows me to work with families to focus on the positives, focus on patients’ specific interests and find ways for families to improve health while expanding on those interests.”
In her role, Chow aims to serve as a resource for families who often are in real need of more help.
“It is important to look for what additional resources we can provide and use to maximize our patients’ health and well-being,” Chow said. “The collaborative, interdisciplinary care environment the Thompson Center provides is unique and amazing. It is very different from a standard clinic and it really goes a long way in help our patients.”
Healthy help and support that Chow is continually striving to provide to family and children who need it every day.