Dr. Vivian Chen Yang, MD

May 25, 1937 ~ January 5, 2022 (age 84)

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Dr. Vivian Chen Yang, 84, of East Brunswick passed away peacefully at her home on Wednesday, January 5, 2022.

Dr. Chen was born in her parents’ apartment on 44 Mulberry Street in Chinatown, New York City in 1937. Her parents, Forman Chen and Phoebe Pong, had immigrated to United States in 1911. Her family moved to Morris Plains, New Jersey where they had a small farm and restaurant. She played the clarinet in her high school band and had a job in a movie theater. 

She was awarded an academic scholarship to New York University where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1958. With the aid of another academic scholarship she enrolled in the New York University School of Medicine. In 1962, when she graduated from medical school, in her class of 120 doctors, there were 10 women. She was the only student of Asian descent in her class. She completed her medical internship and ophthalmology residency in New York City.

She was board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1971 and became a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 1973.

After completing her medical training in 1966, she moved to New Jersey where she established the first ophthalmology practice in East Brunswick. At the time, the town was still quite agricultural and undeveloped. She converted one garage in her home into an office with one examination room and began her private practice. As her practice grew,, she moved her practice to its current location off Cranbury Road. She continued practicing Ophthalmology for 40 years after which she managed the office.

Predeceased by her husband, Stephen Yang, in 2011, she is survived by her two sons, Preston H. Yang and Kenneth E. Yang, M.D., with whom she shared her medical practice, his wife, Nisha Malik, M.D. and her grandchildren, Adrienne and Natalie Yang.

Cremation was private. In lieu of flowers, donations honoring Dr. Chen's memory may be made to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.


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