Page 2 of Eyelidoc Travel Blog Posts


Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 27th 2013

May 25, 2013 (Chengdu) As is tradition, we have a final meal together with the two teams at the Thumbs Up Hot Pot restaurant near the Tian Chen Lou hotel. Our teams are now big enough that we have three rooms reserved, but the main room has the largest round table with a Lazy Susan that I've ever seen. Here's how it works... first, you make a special sauce to dip your morsels of hot pot in after they're boiled. There's a separate "relish" bar set up where you can mix spices, herbs, garlic, oil, soya sauce, and spices and hotter spices. When seated around this large round table, waitresses bring out food in plates (mostly raw meats and vegetables) and place them on the world's largest Lazy Susan (motorized so it spins slowly). You can ... read more
Hot Pot Table 2
Hot Pot 3
The Actual Pot

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 27th 2013

May 25, 2013 (Chengdu) Often in our conversations or when trying to capture a photograph to convey what we were experiencing, we realized one of the key differences between life in OKC and in Chengdu is the scale of the need and opportunity. The size of the population, the construction boom and the need is so massive that it is difficult to express. For example, we went to Jianyang as part of the blindness prevention program and thought we were going to a "rural" area - Jianyang is larger than Oklahoma City. SPPH had over 3,300 beds; West China Hospital is even larger with over 5,000 beds - and these are in the same city. When traveling through Chengdu, we would count the number of construction cranes visible with one 360° span and frequently would see ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 27th 2013

May 25, 2013 (Chengdu) Having someone that is able to translate for us is very valuable - particularly when it comes to medical and specific ophthalmologic terminology and concepts. We have been very fortunate in our teams to have this role fulfilled by two ophthalmologists from Kaiser Permanente in Northern California. Dr. Yun Liu takes the bulk of the translating burden and was instrumental in some of the tough negotiation sessions we had. She is pleasantly firm and assertive in her approach and is able to bridge the ophthalmic divide having been trained both in Shanghai and in the US (Utah and San Antonio). Her skills were supplemented with support from Dr. Paul Chen throughout both negotiations and in the academic exchange sessions. Oliver Li is an OU student whose family lives in Chengdu and he ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 27th 2013

May 25-26, 2013 (Chengdu) The trip home this time was quite uneventful. We did take a different route home which seemed a bit more efficient than going through San Francisco. The team was split up when leaving: Rebecca Stevenson left for an internship in Bangladesh; Jeff Moore and Val Meyers left for Katmandu where they're coordinating efforts for a business incubator and exchange program, and then will fly on to London to meet with Dr. Claire Gilbert at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's International Eye Center. LSHTM is a premiere global school of public health that has a robust program in international eye care. We hope to affiliate that to our emerging Global Eye Care Program at DMEI/OU; the rest of us headed to Hong Kong, where we were met with a sign ... read more

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 27th 2013

May 25, 2013 (Chengdu) A key component of the trips to Chengdu is the opportunity for clinical teaching with the faculty and resident there. This year, the bulk of the work fell on Dr. Lao, Chen and Adler's shoulders, although Dr. Farris and Liu also made some significant contributions. We are starting to see evidence that some of the structural concepts to clinical teaching are starting to get integrated into the teaching, although still quite slowly. An example is the 8-part eye exam. When we first arrived, it was impossible to understand the structure of their exam and their patient presentations. We reviewed with them (some would say we pounded it into them) the need for an organized approach to the eye exam and we advocated the typical North American 8 part eye exam. Many of ... read more
Dr. Farris and Pupil Exam
Dr. Farris and Adler
Dr. Lao on "Motility"

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 27th 2013

May 25, 2013 (Chengdu) Negotiations with the Chinese delegation was an interesting and overall fun experience. But it isn't very efficient from a time management perspective. Typically it is a very formal setting with conference tables set up with each party on one side of the room. The teams were large - this was again both good and bad. Good because the relevant parties with the expertise and interest were available; bad because the number of simultaneous conversations that are possible went up exponentially (and could be held in either English or Chinese). So intermittent periods of chaos are to be expected. It appears to many of us who don't speak Chinese, that if there is more conceptual discussion than terse factual data driven discussion, a short sentence in English is much harder and more wordy ... read more
Myself, Dr. Farris and Dr. Liu
SPPH Leadership
Session 1

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 27th 2013

May 25, 2013 (Chengdu) Bonding between the Chinese and American teams is an important part of every trip. Old bonds get tighter and new friendships develop as well. One of the best ways to do this is through karaoke. Music also reduces the language barriers and allows people to communicate in a different way. The Chinese love this past time, and most cities have sophisticated setups for karaoke - special clubs where a room can be rented, your own monitor/screen set up and catered with fruit, snacks and drinks. Our Chinese hosts have a tradition of doing this toward the end of our time there, and this time was no different. We had two sessions - one of them on Thursday night in Chengdu, and one outdoor session in the hotel near Jianyang. Most of the ... read more
Eldad the crooner
Jeff Moore has a turn
Jeff Moore and Samantha Toth

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 27th 2013

May 24, 2013 (Jianyang) Blindness prevention in West China is synonymous with the campaign to identify and treat cataract blindness. About 50% of blindness in West China is due to cataract - an advanced opacification of the natural lens of the eye which can be removed and replaced with a man made lens and rapidly restore vision. As one moves away from "urban" areas to more "rural" areas the barriers to care become more apparent. Even villages and towns in China are larger than most of the cities in Oklahoma. An in between towns are vast areas of rural agricultural land or rugged mountain slopes that can't be farmed. In Sichuan, most arable land is carefully used - every square inch with rice paddies or terraced off to use sloped land. It is a very lush ... read more
Patient with cataract
Jianyang Health Center
Blindness Prevention Clinic

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 25th 2013

May 25, 2013 (Jianyang, Chengdu) We held a blindness prevention screening clinic at a community health center in Jianyang. These county level health centers are an important node in the battle against cataract blindness, and of the screenings we did, 40-50% of eyes had advanced cataracts, and we some some patients who had had cataract surgery with very poor results. The need was reinforced again this trip. The clinics went smoothly and the team got a glimpse, but a reasonable sense for the burden of disease, an insight into the delivery system and a first hand experience with the challenges of the infrastructure.... read more
Jianyang Health Center
Dr. Farris
Screening3

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 25th 2013

May 25, 2012 (Chengdu) Just a quick update after a bit of silence on the blog. The silence had to do with lack of internet access or time to update the blog. Lots happened in the last few days which I'll summarize quickly, but then detail later. We completed negotiations with the hospital and were successful at coming to an agreement after some challenges. This is seen as an historic event in SPPH's history. We have some strong supporters in administration and the Department of Ophthalmology. We have also done our Blindness Prevention Program overnight trip to Jianyang, returned to Chengdu for a final "hot pot" dinner with the SPPH team. And we even had an outdoor karaoke last night. Heading back to the USA tomorrow: Chengdu to OKC via Hong Kong and SFO! Some of ... read more




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