Meet Dr. Connie Cheng ’05
Dr. Connie Cheng ’05 is one of two founding physicians at UCLA’s new Pasadena branch, where her daily activities range from delivering babies to providing abortion care to operating in minimally invasive robotic surgery to conducting community outreach to educating women about best health practices. She is also a wife and mother to one-year-old Jordan Jack Lee. In addition, she serves on the physicians’ council for June, a digital maternity career startup and runs an evidence-based women’s health blog on Instagram, @TheGynMama.
Her informative and often poignant blog posts on @TheGynMama (such as one recently where she described her own experience with fertility struggles) reveal the human side of a highly educated and respected doctor. She attributes a lot of her fearlessness in communicating these important issues to her experience at Webb.
“I didn’t feel intimidated or fearful at Webb and that gave me a self-confidence I didn’t see in others, especially when I got to Pomona College,” says Cheng. “People at Webb believed in me.”
She cites her close relationships with former teacher Anne Graybeal, track coach Phil Hogarth, tennis coach and calculus teacher Daren Starnes and coach Dan Pride. “Ms. Graybeal encouraged us to think and listen to our thoughts—you’re supposed to learn things to pass the test, but she wanted to hear our interpretations. These people weren’t just my teachers, they were my mentors,” she said of the faculty who encouraged her to try different things, like running track and playing basketball (despite her 5’2” stature).
“They taught me to be mentally resilient—even when I was playing sports where I wasn’t the best, and the coach was tough,” she says.
“The fact that VWS is a school for girls also made me attuned to the difficult challenges that women face in their health,” she adds. “It opened my eyes to the fact that we go through different things health-wise.”
Cheng graduated from Pomona College with a degree in molecular biology, followed by Yale Medical School; she completed her residency at UCLA in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
This article is an excerpt from “Young Alumni On the Move” that appears in the Fall/Winter 2021 Webb Magazine. To read the full article, you can view or download it by clicking here.