Dr. Tu is a board certified general internist whose interests in cross cultural medical care emerged from her unique life experiences. Born in Taiwan, a Chinese and mostly Buddhist country, Dr. Tu’s family moved to North Africa where she became immersed in the Arabic and Muslim culture. Her cross-cultural experiences expanded when Dr. Tu attended school in Malta, an island nation in the Mediterranean Sea, where the population is mostly trilingual (Maltese, English and Italian) and Catholic. Her fellow students in Malta hailed from various parts of the world: Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), Saudi Arabia, England, Germany and Italy. Dr. Tu then came to the US, first to Ohio and then to Duke to complete her undergraduate degree.
After receiving her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, Dr. Tu served as an Internal Medicine resident at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Subsequently she pursued fellowship training in General Internal Medicine at the Seattle VA Medical Center and acquired her masters in public health degree from the University of Washington.
Currently, as an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington, Dr. Tu provides medical care to patients at Harborview Medical Center, the Seattle metropolitan area’s county hospital. She also teaches University of Washington medical residents and medical students. Dr. Tu’s research interests encompass early detection of cancer, cardiovascular health, tobacco control, cross cultural care, and the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions to Asian Americans. Dr. Tu has published extensively (over 50 articles) on health issues of the Asian American population. She has also received funding from the National Institutes of Health/ National Cancer Institute as the Principal Investigator on two large (R01) studies.
In 1997, Dr. Tu received the American Cancer Society, Cancer Control Career Development Award for Primary Care Physicians. She is also the recipient of the 2007 Betty J. Cleckley Minority Issues Research Award from the Gerontological Health Section of the American Public Health Association.
Dr. Tu serves on numerous national and local committees including: Susan G. Komen Foundation National Asian Pacific Islander Advisory Committee; Washington State Department of Health, Tobacco Disparities Advisory Committee; Co-Chair of the Planning Committee for the Washington State Dialogue for Action Summit, to engage in a state-level consensus-building process and develop a state-wide action plan for colorectal cancer screening. Dr. Tu also sits on the Dean’s Standing Committee on Women in Medicine at the University of Washington.