Volunteering at Hospitals Inspired NJ Primary Care Doctor   

Volunteering at Hospitals Inspired NJ Primary Care Doctor

Xue Ao, M.D., stands in a wooded area surrounded by greenery, smiling at the camera.

After graduating from China Medical University, Xue Ao, M.D., wanted to come to the U.S. to do research. She chose graduate school at The University of Texas at Austin for molecular biology, then M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to better understand disease and the effectiveness of clinical trials.

The field of pathology beckoned, but while volunteering at an Austin hospital, and then at M.D. Anderson, she realized patient care was calling her name. “I enjoy figuring out a little bit of everything medically, forming long-term relationships with my patients, while helping them achieve a better lifestyle that may prevent disease,” she says. “After my residency at Ocean University Medical Center, I went directly to primary care and internal medicine.”

Today, she sees a diverse range of patients from China, Korea, Thailand and India. “I think they can relate to me,” she says. “I respect that my Chinese patients want to live a very healthy life, but they may not want to be on medications and instead want everything to be ‘natural.’ Sometimes it takes more than that to manage chronic conditions, so we work together.”

What’s one thing that makes you happiest in life?

It’s my 10-year-old daughter. She plays piano and violin, enjoys concerts at the symphony, likes to read and visit museums with us. I like to learn with her. Our family likes to explore and travel on the weekend, or just go hiking in the park. We sometimes like to go further, and when we went to Costa Rica recently, we really enjoyed rafting and riding a zipline.

If you could meet anyone at all, who would that be?

It has to be Leonardo da Vinci, because he was such a genius and so full of ideas. He seemed to be good at everything: painting, architecture, anatomy and inventing. He was also a very hard worker. I was taught that he used to practice drawing an egg over and over, trying to make it perfect. I also like to pay attention to details, and I appreciate people who do that and are creative, with no boundaries in their way.

What do you like to cook and eat?

It can take forever to prepare Chinese food the traditional ways. I taught my daughter how to make traditional dumplings and noodles. But typically Monday through Friday, we use quicker cooking methods, like with an air fryer or pressure cooker. We like American and Italian foods, especially pizza and pasta—and sushi, too!

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