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GLFHC’s John Chang, DO, has been selected as the Middlesex District Medical Society’s 2023 Community Clinician of the Year, an award recognizing professionalism and contributions as a physician. 

Dr. Chang is a clinic physician for GLFHC and a former medical director at the Middlesex House of Correction. He worked for more than 20 years as an emergency medicine physician at Lawrence General Hospital. 

In addition to his work with the Middlesex District Medical Society, Dr. Chang serves as a member of the House of Delegates for the Massachusetts Medical Society. He earned a Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from the University of New England. 

He came to the United States as an immigrant, poor and speaking no English, thus for years he dedicated his life to helping the poor and disadvantaged. Dr. Chang’s father was a disadvantaged peasant farmer, who inspired him to persevere in achieving his mission to serve humanity. With that vision, he worked diligently, even as he struggled with dyslexia to achieve his dream. 

Such obstacles were a blessing in disguise that acted as the spark to light his way in reaching his goals. Many discouraged him and he was rejected after multiple applications to medical school. 

For him, to be rejected means to try again, thus he went on to obtain several graduate degrees, while applying to medical school. Unfortunately, these advanced degrees didn’t accomplish his intended goals. 

Still determined, Dr. Chang decided to venture into research to obtain answers that will clear the way for better understanding the complex field of electrophysiology. To do this work, he designed and built a machine that can evaluate electrical and mechanical activities of muscles simultaneously for the purpose of this research. The apparatus designed enabled the discovery a chemical mechanism that was revolutionary. 

Hard work did pay off, in linking the Excitation/Contraction Coupling mechanism, that was welcome news for the scientific community. Thus, the International Congress of Physiological Sciences accepted these revolutionary findings for presentation. After 13 years of rejections, medical schools finally took notice of his accomplishments and accepted him. On graduation he received the Dean’s Award, a highest honor.

Such a story encouraged many, thus he was recognized with an award for the Advancement of Medical Education and later served on the Medical School Dean Advisory Committee. Dr. Chang endured much over the years, but perseverance won out in the end. 

His career was successful, as reflected by the rapid growth of his practice, often being the Medical Director and involved with medical societies at the local and national levels. 

He received the highest patient satisfaction ratings and was awarded the Highest Medal of Honor in Medicine. Over the years, he served on the Board of Trustees of his medical school and was instrumental in establishing the only dental school in the state of Maine. 

He recently was elected to a national position, Board of Directors of Urgent Care Medicine, with a vision to establish a new Medical Specialty. His faith in God inspired him to serve and for years dedicated his resources to assist the disadvantaged.