Chester Wong
Dr. Chester Wong is a local legend. He has been a Cornerstone of San Francisco Central for over three quarters of a century. He was born in China in 1922 and moved to San Francisco when very young, with his brothers Kenneth and Edson. The Wong brothers attended both Chinese and English schools and attended San Francisco Junior Academy, finishing their last two years of high school at Golden Gate Academy across the Bay.
During his senior year of high school, Chester Wong worked as a chemistry lab assistant. One day, he decided to make firecrackers. He was grinding gunpowder with a ceramic mortar and pestle when a friend came along and decided to join in the fun. Unfortunately his friend grabbed a steel mortar & pestle. As soon as he began grinding, sparks flew and BOOM! There was a big explosion. Chester lost the hair on half of his head and what hair he had left stuck straight up. He also had burns on his face, so they treated him with picric acid, which caused his face to turn orange.
Chester Wong graduated from Golden Gate Academy in 1940 and went on to attend Pacific Union College (PUC). He loved practical jokes; at PUC he and his brother Kenneth would play tricks on the night watchman. They would follow him during his rounds at night and unlock all the doors he locked. Sometimes they would lie down in the choir loft of the chapel and make eerie moaning sounds when the watchman came in. The watchman was so freaked out he actually started bringing his mother along on his rounds. Chester finally had to confess to the watchman’s mother that he was the culprit; and, as punishment, had to accompany the night watchmen on all his rounds.
After two years at PUC, World War II came along. During the war, Chester Wong served as a med tech for two years in three places:, Fort Lewis, WA; Buzzards Bay, MA; and Taunton, MA. After the war, he returned to PUC and graduated in 1948 with a biology degree. He then went on to Loma Linda where he worked as a parasitology instructor.
Their first move was to Monterey, Mexico where Chester started medical school. He moved to Washington D.C. where he finished medical school at Howard University, graduating in 1961. He returned to San Francisco where he began a surgery residency at University of California San Francisco (UCSF); but after two years, he decided there were too many surgeons in the world, and switched to a Physical Medicine & Rehab residency.
After completing his residency, the now Dr. Wong took the position of Medical Director of Physical Medicine at Herrick Hospital and the Easter Seals Society of Alameda County for 13 years. He started his private practice in 1972.
There are actually three Dr. Wongs. Dr. Chester Wong was accompanied in medical practice by his brothers, Kenneth and Edson, each of whom left their mark on the profession and their community. Each got their start in the San Francisco Junior Academy.