My desire to become a physician began at a very early age when I was still living in China. My mother was working in a hospital; she would take me to work with her and the hospital became my playground. I saw so many patients suffering from pains and injuries and these experiences had a profound effect on me: I wished that someday I, too, would be able to help the sick and injured.
After I graduated from Jinan University Medical College, Guangzhou, China, I obtained a masters degree in Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. I then spent 4 years in New York City working as a research fellow at two prestigious medical institutions: The Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and The Rockefeller University’s Department of Cellular Physiology and Immunology. My main focus was in virology and immunology related to HIV research and, as a result, I published many research papers. I next began a family medicine residency program at the Aultman Hospital, Canton, Ohio, where I gained great experience with patients. My experiences caring for patients and helping them toward recoveries reinforced my desire to dedicate my life to work as a physician.
Since then I’ve been practicing medicine in San Francisco. I continue to treat seriously ill patients at Saint Francis Hospital. I am fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin, and I do home visits and house calls to elderly Chinese patients whose physical and language barriers often prevent them from seeking necessary medical care. I established my own practice so that I can spend more quality time with my patients, and can focus more on disease prevention. My extensive knowledge in the area of HIV research helps me greatly in my treatment of HIV infected patients.
The more I practice medicine the more I realize that a good physician not only must gain clinical knowledge and master technical skills, he also must listen intently to his patients’ needs and engage them in the medical decision-making process. He must travel their life journey with them. To do this he must be nonjudgmental, respectful and empathetic to what his patients are going through. I believe the true art of medicine requires the healing of not just patients’ physical wellbeing, but their souls as well.
The child whose playground was a hospital has grown up to find his calling: to be a physician dedicated to alleviating others’ suffering.