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NATMA 2G 訪 Taiwan! ~~ 2023

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

July 5, 2023 afternoon


China Medical University & Chung Shan Medical University Visits


Cheryl Wu, MD


From NHRI (Taiwan's NIH), we boarded the 小朋友 tour bus again to proceed to our national president, Dr David Yang's alma mater, China Medical University.


Dr Mien-Chie Hung (left), the president of CMU, and Dr David Yang, national president of NATMA during yet another warm welcome to NATMA 2.0


In recent years, the chair of the board of CMU, Dr 蔡長海 Chang-Hai Tsai, greatly expanded the medical school's efforts in recruiting overseers Taiwanese physicians to return to Taiwan and expand its research and subsequent impact on the local communities. Leadership felt it was imperative to build up a prestigious medical center right there in Taichung, so patients don't have ion as the hospitals of Taipei. As such, the team that received us hail from Texas (MD Anderson), Boston (Mass Gen/Harvard), and even. The school's president, Dr 洪明奇 Mien-Chie Hung, who actually retired after a 40-year career at MD Anderson in Texas (as the chair of the Dept of Molecular & Cellular Oncology), proudly told us that CMU was ranked as the top private university in Taiwan last year.


A presentation about CMU, the alma mater of our national president. Dr Yang


As Dr Hung described his illustrous career in Texas, he declared his proudest accomplishment was in fact, voted as the karaoke champion in his Houston Taiwanese 同鄉會! He suddenly - while holding to mic, began belting out an Elvis song. Then amazingly, with the urging of our other NATMA members - Gary, one of our 2G colleagues (who's an AMAZING vocalist, as I discovered during karaoke a few nights ago) from the US, and sitting in the audience at the time - literally sang a 周杰倫 Jay Chou song, acapella - right there on mic on the spot! In Taiwanese! And when he couldn't remember a few of the lyrics, literally Dr Hung and Dr Yang, at the front of the class, chimed in, and they finished the song, in symphony. The audience erupted in applause, and it felt like pure magic. Definitely one of those things that you can't create/you just wait/for it to gestate/ (wow just writing about it is inspiring me to ad lib!).


The Excellence Building at CMU (clearly a Taiwanese parent with high expectations named it 😬)


Afterwards, we boarded our bus again and went to my dad's alma mater, Chung San Medical School. We were super late (spontaneous karaoke tends to have that effect), but nonetheless walked into a large building with a welcoming committee, replete with a long table of gift bags filled with more sweet delicacies. The Vice president of the hospital, Dr Kang Hsi Wu 巫康熙 (of note, when your given name is that of the most well-known Qing Dynasty emperor, anything less than the VP of a hospital probably is unacceptable) is an affable pediatric hematologist-oncologist. He gave us a presentation, where he described his discoveries and ideas about how to use haploidentical hemapoietic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells for cancers, strokes, and critical limbs. His hospital was also exploring mesenchymal stem cells to treat intersitional lung disease, ARDS secondary to Covid, and other connective tissue diseases.


Dr Yang, left, presents a gift bag from NATMA to Dr Kang-Hsi Wu, the VP of Chung Shan Mesical School & Hospital


It was clear Dr Wu loves medicine, and his passion was infectious. Afterwards, we got a tour of their rehabilitation center, which is outfitted with a - yes - robotic gaittrainer for patients who have suffered strokes or other injuries to their lower body. I couldn't help but get a photo with him!


The rehab center at Chung Shan Medical Center.


The TyroMotion robotic gait-trainer at Chung Shan Rehab Center.


After a busy afternoon, our very own Dr Alpha Lin, our Taiwan 2G counterpart, took all of us out to the most well known restaurant in Taichung, 頂粵吉品, a Cantonese style restaurant with a serpentine wine cellar that you can book your own room in. We finished the night with a tour of the cellar and some awesome Taiwanese karaoke. Even Dr Peter Hou, our New England Chapter prez, let his hair down and sang quite a few songs! For the next few days, Taiwanese classic 愛拼才會贏 was stuck in my head.


At the famed restaurant, Ding Yue, in Taichung


There are five urologists in this photo! From left, Dr Alpha Lin, a physician colleague at Show Chuan, Dr Chu-Chi Chen, Dr Gerry Sheu, and the chair of another local hospital next to Dr Sheu.


Dr Rita Chuang, an orthodontist in LA, and I in the wine cellar


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