Friday, July 2, 2010

Dr. Peter Choi, MD PhD

Dr. Peter Choi passed away on June 28, 2010 in a tragic hiking accident in the Mason Lake area of the Cascade range. Born on October 18, 1971 at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit to Yung-In and Sohee Choi, Peter grew up in Ludington, Michigan where he first discovered his love of the outdoors. Peter graduated from Huron High School in Ann Arbor, establishing life long friendships and a passion for all University of Michigan sports.

Peter completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell University, followed by an MD/PhD program at Loyola University in Chicago. Dr. Choi then joined the Otolaryngology residency program at the University of Washington, where he continually proved himself to be a very skilled surgeon with a passion for helping his patients and an abiding love of learning. He forged many deep friendships during his residency, and was known for his integrity, quick wit, and his sense of commitment to his work. He spent time honing his abilities at Harborview, Seattle Children's Hospital, the UW Medical Center and the Seattle VA Hospital. It was also during this time that Peter got his loyal corgi Ernie, who was a great source of relaxation and security for him through the years.

In 2008, Peter was the victim of an attack in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle that left him in a coma with a severe traumatic brain injury. Through the dedicated work of his colleagues at Harborview his life was saved, and he began the long road to recovery. His family and friends were constantly by his side as he moved through the difficult months of surgeries and physical therapy that led to his miraculously full recovery. His intense drive and dedication served him well as he fought his way back to full health and ability, always supported by his loving family.

Peter's passion for using his skills to help those that he could extended beyond the Seattle area. In 2009 he joined with the Aloha Medical Mission and travelled to Bohol in the Philippines to do volunteer surgeries for the local people who have little access to modern medical facilities. Following this, he had worked at the Guthrie Clinic in Pennsylvania for the past three months, making more friendships and always continuing to learn and grow as a surgeon.

Peter passed his boards in May of this year, and was very excited to start his fellowship at Children's Hospital on July first. Before he embarked on this next step of his journey through life, he had been planning for months to take a short camping trip with Ernie to relax and enjoy the beautiful Cascade range that he loved.

Peter also had a passion for music, both in appreciation of many various styles and as a skilled musician himself. Throughout his life he played the piano, cello, and guitar, and he enjoyed going to the Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra and other concerts whenever he could. His friends remember him as the life of the party; always quick with a joke, a karaoke song, or a passionate criticism of any sports referee ruling against his teams. His love of learning and of life will be deeply missed by all who knew him before his life was so suddenly and unexpectedly cut far too short.

Loving brother, faithful son, loyal friend, and passionate surgeon, Dr. Peter Choi is survived by his younger siblings Paul and Amy, and by his parents, Yung-In and Sohee Choi.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you donate in his honor to a fund being set up in his name to support the Otolaryngology residency program at the University of Washington.
Checks made out to the "Dr. Peter Choi Fund for the Otolaryngology Resident Program" can be sent, addressed to "In Memory of Dr. Peter Choi" or "Dr. Peter Choi Fund for Otolaryngology Resident Program" at Box 358045, Seattle, WA 98195-8045