My medical trip in Beijing


This year is the ninth year of my general practice in Beijing. In these nine years, people often ask, “Is there a difference in general medicine in China and in the United States?” I usually answer, “Yes, different... Sometimes I will answer, no difference... ...and sometimes I may answer differently." Because I want to inspire their curiosity, I want to share my experiences and feelings in Beijing - now I want to share with you.

Speaking differently, from the beginning to the present, the expectations of patients for treatment have always made me quite shocked and troubled. I don't just want to talk about the difference between foreign patients and Chinese patients: at Beijing Hejia Hospital, I feel that patients with different cultural backgrounds have significantly different attitudes toward health. A typical example is cold. I often encounter a situation in which a young Chinese woman has obvious cold symptoms such as runny nose and cough at the time of the consultation, but other physical conditions are normal. She made it clear that she hopes to take intravenous antibiotics. Although I explained to her, "You are only a viral infection, there is no need to use antibiotics, antibiotics can not achieve therapeutic effects." She may be nervous or flustered, but still requires intravenous injection, and said to me, "you and the local The doctors in the hospital are very different." Yes, we are different.

But isn't this the original intention of foreign doctors (such as myself) to consider coming to China? Come here to meet more challenges and get out of your comfort zone? When my wife and I first set foot on the vast land of China and started a new life, everything here deeply attracted me. My wife's childhood was spent in Beijing, and she moved to the United States after high school. For her, coming to Beijing is like returning to a hometown that has been long gone, but it is full of novelty and tension.
Crossover CCTV News

Of course, we can continue to live a comfortable and comfortable life in the beautiful Sonoma County: I have been working in a general medical clinic in Sequoia Forest. Every day after work, I drive back to the home on the hillside in the vineyard. We can Breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the clean environment while sampling our own wine and local organic arugula salad. However, if life has always been the same, I will never be able to experience such a diverse culture, nor will I understand the attitudes and methods of health and medicine. I also don't have the chance to become a New York Times health columnist and have unique insights into environmental pollution issues, and it is even less likely to publish a Chinese health book (although neither my mother nor my mother can understand the content of the book, she does I am very happy and proud of it.) I am even less likely to find a patient and meticulous Chinese aunt. With her help, my son has been healthy since he was born, and we are no longer in a hurry.

The time spent in China, such as the white gap (beyond my expectations), also made me realize that I learned a lot from the knowledge and science knowledge of the patients. Taking the common cold as an example, it is well known that anti-therapeutics in Western medicine have no effect on the treatment of colds. As a doctor, I feel very embarrassed because there is no cure for the common disease in the world. But much Chinese uses some Chinese herbal medicines to treat colds or flu, and other countries such as India and even Germany are gradually favoring Chinese herbal medicine. My favorite children's and adult cough syrup is currently a popular type of ointment synthesized by Chinese herbal medicine. Compared with other Western medicine over-the-counter cough syrup, the ointment has the advantages of significant effect and low side effects. Although I have not found any research to prove the efficacy of Radix Isatidis in preventing or treating colds, when I am cold or uncomfortable, I still take Banlangen according to my wife's request. After a few days, I will feel better. Honestly, I don't know if this is a placebo effect, but as long as I get better, my wife will be happy (this is definitely a big benefit).

Too many clinical differences; what are the similarities between general medicine in Beijing and California? In short, my daily schedule is the same as before: I usually receive children and adults, perform routine health checkups, and manage common diseases such as colds, backaches, and stomach upsets. I originally thought that I could receive many tropical diseases or foreign diseases, but in fact, these diseases are rare, usually in patients who return from vacations in the tropics or high altitudes.

Of course, even from a visual point of view, California's bright sunshine and Beijing's sometimes gray sky have a big contrast. The two places are very different in terms of environment, but air pollution and food safety are particularly prominent. I highly recommend that friends living in Beijing and other big cities in China place a good air purifier in the bedroom. There is no doubt that air pollution can damage our immune system and has been classified as a carcinogenic chemical by the World Health Organization (WHO). But even with environmental problems in these places, smoking and heart disease caused by malnutrition still pose a great threat to public health throughout the country.
annual tailored health check

Therefore, my health advice for all of my patients (regardless of age, no matter where you are from) is still the same as for California patients: the control of your health is far beyond your imagination. Lifestyle and health are closely related to the more common diseases in the world such as heart and lung diseases, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Of course, other factors such as the environment, genetics, and social economy also have a certain impact. But no matter where you live, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is always the same: moderate exercise, balanced diet, adequate sleep, smoking cessation, maintaining a healthy weight and a positive mindset.

However, we do not have to rely entirely on doctors to understand all the health-related recommendations. Mom is always right: one apple a day, the doctor is away from me...

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