Dr. Elizabeth Tso
Advisory Board Member, Deceased

2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

This is Elizabeth’s favorite Bible verse. She lived it daily as she fought the cancer that took her life. It was her statement of faith.

Betty Tso was born to T. C.  and Margaret Tso. She prayed to receive Christ as her Lord and Savior while watching a Billy Graham Crusade and was a member of Berwyn Baptist Church for over 45 years. Betty was a Sunday school teacher for the Women’s Class, Chair of the Scholarship Fund, the substitute pianist and served as Berwyn’s ‘resident doctor.’ She was also a small group leader for Bible Study Fellowship. She was compassionate, thoughtful, generous and kind.

Betty graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1979 and after completing residency, was one of 3 physicians to establish the field of emergency medicine at U of M. The department flourished, established its own residency program through which Betty became a mentor and more for countless residents, medical students and faculty.

She inspired other emergency physicians, setting an example. She was known for personally calling her EM patients the next day to check on them. If other physicians mentioned doing this, they would say, ‘like Betty.’ Days off would find Betty providing medical care at a local hospice, For many, she embodied the ideal of the caring EM physician.

Betty was a strong advocate for other physicians. In the early days of EM medicine, women were largely excluded from leadership positions. Betty established regular meetings of UMEM Women. She encouraged many to seek leadership positions. Always keenly aware of her colleagues needs, she created an elective month for a resident with late complication of pregnancy. Even during her fight with cancer, Betty responded to the needs of her fellow physicians.

Many of her colleagues referred to her as a friend, life coach, sounding board and ‘work mother’ all in one. She made friends easily throughout her department, participating in the major events of their lives, bringing thoughtful gifts and cards. Residents invited her to their weddings.

Betty was devoted to her specialty and her school. She served as an examiner for the American Board of Emergency Medicine and on the Board of the University of Maryland Alumni Association. She continued to serve on the University of Maryland Admissions Committee until her stroke.

As a pioneer, mentor and inspiration, Betty impacted generations of people. The Department of Emergency Medicine named its professorship after her — “The Elizabeth L. ‘Betty’ Tso Endowed Professorship. She is greatly missed and still treasured for her caring, thoughtful and generous life.