Growing up in mainland China, Juan Joanna Yu, MD, an endocrinologist at the University of Maryland Community Medical Group (UM CMG) – Diabetes and Endocrinology, always knew she would be a doctor. After attending medical school there, she came to the U.S. to study neuroscience.
But Dr. Yu’s plans took a turn when she was introduced to the field of endocrinology, which includes treating diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
“I felt like there was much more I could do for diabetes patients in terms of prevention and treatment,” Dr. Yu said. “Now, endocrinology is my passion.”
Before joining UM CMG (a partner of UM Charles Regional Medical Center), Dr. Yu received endocrinology training at the National Institutes of Health. She has also been recognized by the Consumers’ Research Council of America as one of America’s Top Physicians.
Dr. Yu is just as dedicated to interests outside of her practice, reserving evenings and weekends for other passions and activities, including photography classes and a book club. She also manages to squeeze in quality time with her husband, an allergist, and her daughter, an emergency room nurse.
“It all keeps me busy,” she said. “But it allows me to come back to work energized.”
Q&A with Dr. Yu
Her First Job:
“I spent three years working as a neurologist and helped stroke patients with rehab.”
What Inspired Her to Become a Doctor:
“My uncle was a physician, and it just seemed natural for me to become one, too.”
To Unwind After a Long Day:
“I try to practice what I preach. I play and teach tennis, take tai chi classes, and I run regularly. I also organize activities for the Centennial Park Slow Runners Club, a group of women cancer survivors who exercise together. These are women who didn’t exercise before cancer treatment, but they do now because it changed their lives.”
What She’s Reading:
“Right now, my book club is focusing on Chinese history books.”
If She Could Add an Eighth Day of the Week:
“I would spend more time on photography. I take a class every other week from a professional photographer, but I don’t have a lot of time to take pictures for the assignments.”
Best Health Tip for Patients:
“I don’t just tell patients to eat well and exercise — I tell them why it’s important. I will ask my patients to test their blood sugar before and after exercising to see how much lower it is. Seeing an immediate change in the number makes a big impression on them.”
Favorite Part of Her Job:
“Helping patients understand how medications and lifestyle changes can improve their diabetes. Patients will tell me, ‘I’ve seen so many doctors, but no one has talked to me about why I need this medication or why I need to exercise.’ It’s very rewarding when they come back and they feel better, they’ve lost weight, their blood sugar is better — they’re just happier.”
Want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Yu? Call UM Community Medical Group – Diabetes and Endocrinology in Waldorf, MD, at (301) 870-4100 today.