US Open chief medical officer breaks barriers for Asian Americans

FLUSHING, Queens (WABC) – The US Open kicks off in Queens next week, and as the athletes hit the courts, a doctor treating them breaks down barriers.

Dr. Alexis Colvin is the first Asian American and the first woman to hold the title of Chief Medical Officer at the Open.

While superstar athletes like Naomi Osaka break down barriers on the pitch, there are also women of color breaking glass ceilings off the pitch.

Meet Dr Alexis Colvin, a tennis rockstar who made history in her own way.

“Usually the coach or the doctor comes out first and then they call the doctor if they need further treatment in the field,” Colvin said.

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Colvin is an orthopedic surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital.

She is the first Asian American and the first woman to be Chief Medical Officer of the US Open.

In a space heavily dominated by men, it is a path that took him 25 years to find its way. The sport that has come to define much of its own history.

“I went on dates with my future husband here, sitting in the nosebleed seats,” Colvin said. “It’s pretty amazing that you can walk the field at the US Open every year and call it my office for almost a month.”

Throughout the year, Dr. Colvin travels with world-class athletes.

You don’t see many Asian women playing tennis or on the court as a coach or doctor, so she hopes her story inspires others like her.

She has been the Chief Medical Officer for several years now, but believes visibility and representation are more important than ever.

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“This year, you just couldn’t ignore it. The increase in Asian hate crimes,” Colvin said. “I don’t think it’s necessarily going to go away because now that people recognize it, there might be more attention.”

Meanwhile, being the best doctor in the Open, she says, is like being on call for three weeks in a row. But that’s not a bad thing.

“I didn’t even know it was a possibility,” Colvin said.

It’s a possibility now, thanks to pioneers like her.

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