Born in Hong Kong, William
Chen, M.D., moved to New York City at age
with his parents, who wanted better edu-
cational opportunities for their three children.
He did undergraduate studies at Columbia
University and attended New York University
Medical School, then completed an internal
medicine residency at Stony Brook Univer-
sity Hospital and pursued a gastroenterology
fellowship back at NYU. He and his wife,
Mary Holowinsky, M.D., an infectious dis-
eases specialist, live in Montgomery Town-
ship and have two sons: Andrew, 19, and
What made you choose a medical career?
I always liked science in school, and I enjoy
working with people; the combination drew
me to medicine. I remember in high school
thinking that’s what I wanted to do.
It’s one of the internal
medicine specialties where you get to work
with your hands, and it’s also intellectually
challenging. I like to do procedures such as
colonoscopies and endoscopies that can
help prevent and detect cancer at an early
stage. These are tests that have been proven
to save lives.
What is your main outside interest?
How did that develop?
In college I took a
course on literature and film with the late
movie critic Andrew Sarris, who helped to
advance the “auteur” theory, in which the
director was considered the soul of a film.
That got me interested in movies, and at
the time, in the pre-DVD 1970s, New York
was the movie capital of the United States.
You could see films there that you couldn’t
see anywhere else.
What directors do you admire?
I prefer the
classics, and my favorite is Alfred Hitch-
cock. His films are intricate, but every shot
is done thoughtfully and purposefully. You
can watch his films repeatedly and discover
something new each time.
William Chen, M.D.
i always liked science in school, and i
enjoy working with people. the combination drew
me to medicine.”
william chen, m.d.
William Chen, M.D.,
craftsmanship of great
film directors like