SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and every week, NewsChannel 9 will be introducing you to members of the AAPI community.

The goal of “Asian Americans Standing Strong,” is to recognize their efforts and how they’re making a difference in Central New York.

This week, NewsChannel 9 is featuring Dr. Lawrence Chin, a neurosurgeon and the dean of SUNY Upstate Medical University’s College of Medicine.

Becoming a doctor wasn’t something Dr. Chin always knew he wanted to do, but from his early college days at the University of Michigan, he knew a career in neurosurgery was the right fit.

“I always wanted to be someone doing something with my hands. So, neurosurgery was something I was particularly drawn to as a college student,” Dr. Chin explained.

After graduating medical school and completing his residency at the Los Angeles County hospital, his career took him to Boston University School of Medicine and the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Dr. Chin has been involved in many aspects of academic medicine, clinical care, teaching and research.

Now serving as the dean of the College of Medicine at SUNY Upstate, Dr. Chin is always striving to develop the best healthcare professionals for all of Central New York.

His many responsibilities can be a lot to juggle, but the job gives him purpose. Dr. Chin is making a significant impact not only on the lives of his patients and students, but the entire community.

One of the things that we try to teach in medical school for the students is to always have compassion. We want to educate and create the best physicians and healthcare professionals for Central New York.

Dr. Lawrence Chin, MD, Dean of SUNY Upstate Medical University’s College of Medicine

On top of all of his obligations, he’s still actively working as a neurosurgeon.

“I still see patients,” Dr. Chin said. “I’m still clinically active, and that’s really important to me as well because I think I can serve better as a dean by being with the students in the operating room. I can understand what the doctors are going through with how to make their lives better.”

Pursuing the American Dream is exactly what Dr. Chin’s parents did when he was a young boy. His mother and father strived to make their children’s lives better after they came to the United States from China as college students.

My parents sent me to Taiwan to live with my grandparents. So, my grandparents actually raised me until the age of four.

Dr. Lawrence Chin, MD, Dean of SUNY Upstate Medical University’s College of Medicine

Dr. Chin returned to the United States once his parents got on their feet. Raised in Michigan, his father had a career in aerospace engineering and his mother worked as a librarian.

“I was lucky that when I went back to the states, my grandparents came with me. They remained part of the family and they were a part of my upbringing along with my mom and dad. In a way, I had the best of both worlds,” Dr. Chin proudly explained.

Dr. Chin’s upbringing contributes immensely to his growing list of accomplishments, not only as a doctor, surgeon and dean, but as a husband, father and leader in Central New York.

“Having the Asian experience, for me, it’s a plus,” — Dr. Lawrence Chin

“It’s just another heritage I can bring to people and that I get a lot of satisfaction out of. I feel very blessed,” Dr. Chin said.

No matter where life takes him, that feeling of pride is something Dr. Chin will hold onto forever.