U.S. Open doctor breaks barriers for Asian Americans

FLUSHING, Queens (WABC) -- The U.S. Open begins in Queens next week, and as the athletes hit the courts, a doctor treating them is breaking barriers.

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

While superstar athletes like Naomi Osaka are breaking barriers on the court, there are women of color shattering glass ceilings off the court too.

Meet Dr. Alexis Colvin, a rockstar in the world of tennis, making history in her own way.

"Usually, it's the trainer or physician that goes out first, and then they'd call the doctor over if they need additional on court treatment," Colvin said.

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Colvin is an orthopedic surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital.

She is the first Asian American, and first woman, to be Chief Medical Officer for the U.S. Open.

In a space heavily dominated by men, it was a path that took her 25 years to blaze. The sport that has come to define so much of her own story.

"I went on dates with my future husband here, sitting in the nosebleed seats," Colvin said. "It's pretty amazing to be able to walk onto the grounds of the U.S. Open every year and call this 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 will inspire others like her.

She has been serving as chief medical officer for several years now, but she believes visibility and representation are more important now than ever.

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"This year you just could not ignore it. The increase in Asian hate crimes," Colvin said. "I don't think it's necessarily going away because now that people recognize it, there could be more attention to it."

Meanwhile being the top doctor at the Open, she says is like being on call for three weeks straight. But that isn't a bad thing.

"I didn't even know that this was a possibility," Colvin said.

It is a possibility now, because of pioneers like her.


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