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Paul Luu, M.D.

Dr. Paul Luu was born in Vietnam and left his home country in 1979 at the age of sixteen. Separated from his family, he fled the country as one of the hundreds of thousands of "boat people" escaping communist rule, political instability, and poverty. After surviving several days at sea and four months stranded on a remote island in Indonesia, Paul was resettled in northern California. There, he struggled to learn English, get an education, and navigate the complexities and cruelties of the U.S. foster care system.


Through hard work, an unshakable sense of hope, lots of luck, and help from caring individuals and mentors, Paul managed to earn a GED, attend college at University of the Pacific, and then medical school at UCLA. After years of competitive medical internships and fellowships, Paul became a plastic surgeon specializing in reconstructive and hand surgery. He currently owns and operates a private medical practice in Seattle's Rainier Valley and makes frequent trips back to Vietnam to volunteer his medical services.

Paul's extraordinary story is documented in his forthcoming memoir, From Survivor to Surgeon: A Refugee's Story of Perseverance and Purpose, co-written with Christopher Maccini.

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