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Doctors without Borders, easier hospitalization

  There are more than twenty thousand foreigners living in Guangzhou, an international metropolis. They are from hundreds of different countries with different languages. According to a civil survey, it is not so convenient for foreigners to see a doctor. Some say “cannot afford to see a doctor” and some say “not easy to visit a doctor”. While in the International Outpatient Department of Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou, Cao Chun, a medical director who studied in UK before is leading her team trying to make an easier hospitalization to foreign patients.

Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou, international patients


  Cao chun, who studied in Jilin Medical Institute and worked as an academic leader in Hematology and Oncology Department of Jilin Center Hospital, has twenty years of experience in internal medicine and Integrated Chinese and Western medical treatments. With strong theoretical basis and rich clinical experience, she is specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of various kinds of tumors and malignant hematological system disease with biotherapy and gene therapy, and good at applying traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine to treat diabetes, high pressure and obesity. Cao chun has published more than 20 papers in national and provincial periodicals, among which, 3 scientific research projects accessed provincial Technology Progress Award.

  Change for the better

  Facing role transition, pursuing “treat before getting illness”

  In 2006, Cao chun returned to Jilin from UK and was eager to leave for Guangzhou. As living abroad for years, Cao chun has been “brain washed” by western medical concept which is doctors should not stay in one organization for the entire life. In addition, Cao chun likes Guangzhou, which is an international metropolis developing comparatively fast with reform and opening-up policy. So she came to Guangzhou and worked in Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou. “I have been worked in the consultation offices of Vietnam and Indonesia and at last I came to the International Outpatient Department of Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou.”

  Changing working place from a grade-3 general hospital in Jilin to a privately operated hospital in Guangzhou, from internal medicine and Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine to International Outpatient Department, Cao chun needs to reposition herself and adapt to the new role. At first, Cao chun felt lost as the patients were not so many as in the grade-3 hospital. But with the rapid development of Outpatient Department, more and more patients come to Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou. Currently, Outpatient Department is formulating a scientific way of clinical treatment for various diseases in order to offer better service to foreign patients.

  “There is no more tedious process to see a doctor for foreign patients, they do not need to wait in line and can even communicate with doctors in English directly. We also have interpreters for more than 10 languages like Arabic, Thai and French.etc which makes the communication zero hindrance. We create the English medical record and save it for each patient, moreover we also provide English version of health guidance for each disease.”

  With years of studying and living abroad, Cao chun keeps changing her research directions after returning. Generally speaking, specialists choose to research in their own skilled field like some may have exquisite medical skills in surgery. But Cao chun changed her direction from treatment to rehabilitation, and then to treatment and prevention. In her opinion, a good doctor is not the one who cures many patients, but the one who tries his best to keep people from illness. With years of working experience of Chinese medicine in UK, she thinks the theory of “superior medical treat before getting illness, medium medical cure potential disease and inferior medical cure disease“ from “Huangdi’s Internal Classics” is classic. She says” Chinese medicine always pays attention to the prevention more than treatment; treat before getting illness so that healthy rate can be improved”.


  Fully understand and respect patient to maintain patients’ dignity

  Cao says” as a doctor, medical skills are important but the communication with patient is also critical especially when the patients are from different countries with different culture background. If medicine is just hardware technologies like CT, gastroscope or ultrasound, but without service, care or respect, the core value of medicine which is maintaining dignity of life cannot be embodied.

  Most foreign patients’ diseases are common; even so, Cao chun does not slack off and tries to get the job done perfectly. Her principles are patient-centered, reinforce the service and management, guarantee the patient and their families’ rights. “When patient is sick and discomfort, he comes to seek medical help from doctors and has high expectation for hospital. However, patients’ comprehension with medicine is different from doctors’, thus there comes misunderstanding.” said Cao chun.

  How to deal with this misunderstanding? “When patients complain, we should understand his feeling and explain to him with more patience.” said Cao chun, “for example, if a patient catches cold and has fever without bacterial infections, and doctor only prescribes anti-virus medicine granules, the patient may think that the doctor does not pay enough attention to his illness; however, fever is caused by viral cold and does not involve with bacterial infection, patient can get better in a few days by resting and drinking water, there is no need to take too much medicine. Besides, some diseases are not curable with current medical technology, when we communicate with patient, we should tell the truth to the patient as doctors or medicine is not omnipotent. With thorough communication, patients can fully understand doctors and the development of medicine, so they can respect science and have better relationship with doctors.”

  Cao chun thinks, even an ordinary doctor of Outpatient Department should have sufficient communication with patients and cannot ignore the patient’s needs. Keeping close contact with patients and tracking patients’ condition should be a doctor’s working habit. Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou is not only a place to treat disease, but also a spiritual homeland to provide complete and comprehensive medical service. “I came to Modern Cancer Hospital Guangzhou as I would like to try different fields. Life is short and I prefer to do the things I like within limited time. Currently, our hospital is preparing for the JCI authentication whose core value is “human oriented” which endeavors to satisfy the patient’s medical needs. So the key point is not the hospital equipment, number of ward beds or the technical index of the specialist team, the biggest feature is to ensure the patients’ medical safety and guarantee the patients and their families’ rights”, Cao chun explained that after we pass the JCI authentication, our foreign patients can enjoy the world class medical service.

  Case study

  3 year old patient from Mali first refused to hospitalize and turned healthy and active after treatment

  “We have a lot of patients from Arab countries whose whole family has stomach illness and diabetes problems, this condition results from Arabian diet habit. Arabian is good at cooking with various kinds of dressings and their diet is usually sweet, flavored, oily and rich. They eat food when is still hot and drink coffee and tea daily, this kind of diet habit easily makes the stomach overloaded and creates health problems. After our special treatment and nursing care, lots of patients have been cured or get better, “ Said Cao chun.

  There was one case impresses Cao chun most. One day the International Outpatient Department came a Mali woman who was neatly dressed and talked with sharp words. Together with the woman was a three year old boy who was just discharged from some other hospital. The little boy was completely out of spirit with puffy face, swollen eyes like a bell and swelling belly. After checking his medical record, Cao chun was shocked as the boy should continue to be treated in the hospital and not stop taking the medicine. “He is in such a critical condition, why he was discharged and suspended the medicine?”

  The boy’s mother angrily said,” I cannot have him stay in the hospital as I have six kids to take care of and I’m still pregnant.” “I can understand you”. Cao chun responded her calmly and kindly, she told the boy’s mother that even without staying in the hospital, he can still be cured. After communication, Cao chun asked the boy to take a complete physical exam and after that he was diagnosed of nephrotic syndrome, asthmatoid bronchitis and alfa thalassemia. According to the boy’s condition, Cao chun suggested a comprehensive treatment program including renal cortical hormone injection, albumin supplement, renal function improvement and anti-infection.

  However the boy’s mother still felt unconfident whether the condition could be improved without staying in hospital and she kept asking,” Is that all we need to do?”, Cao chun told her, “ Please come back for the further checkup regularly,” After three months treatment without staying in hospital, the woman came back with the boy for a return visit, “ my boy’s eyes are no longer swollen, his belly is no more swelling, please have an immediate checkup for my son,” after the examination we found the boy’s anemia condition was improved, hemoglobin was between 98-108, blood albumin rose from 17 to 26 G/L, his whole situation was getting better.

  At that moment, the boy’s mother finally had some smile, she told Cao chun, “your treatment program is very effective, my boy’s condition is much better!” Therefore, she took the boy for regular visits and changed her attitude from doubt to trust. After the treatment, the boy was recovered and lively as before.


  A good doctor should note below 3 items:

  1. Strictly implement the treatment process and system, and take care of patient’s safety.

  2. To carry out the most sacred code of ethics. Hippcrates, who is the Father of Medicine, made an oath that he would have a clear medical practice and pure life, which indicates as a doctor you must be virtuous. Only if a country has virtuous teachers, judges and doctors, can it move towards the real harmony and civilization.

  3. Medical care workers should keep working to improve their humanities cultivation. A good doctor is not only with excellent medical skill but also with corresponding concern and dedication care to patients; in addition, a good doctor should have a good heart so that he can place patients’ interest into the center of his own career and even put it above his own interest when required.

  Quoted from Information Times https://roll.sohu.com/20131127/n390853216.shtml

*Surgery, in addition to the appropriate chemotherapy and radiotherapy, are effective in treating early cancer, but certain patients in late stage of cancer may not be tolerate surgery well as they can be relatively weak. A combination of carefully planned minimally invasive therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy can effectively reduce the side effects and discomfort of treatment and may help patient get better efficacy.

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